Adult volunteers needed to become Scout Leaders in the Borders

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Borders Scouts only need 28 new adult volunteers to return youth membership to pre-pandemic levels

-Demand for Scouting by young people has grown across the Borders Scouts District with a 9% increase yoy in young people taking part in Scouting. There has been a negative drop of 1.2% in adult volunteers on the previous year’s Census figures.

Borders Scouts has a youth waiting list of 164. We need only 28 new adult volunteers to clear this list.

-Example roles which need support by local communities – Section Leaders and Assistant Section leaders. These are the most accessible roles available in Scouting. As well as Group Chair, Secretary or Treasurer.

-The total number of young people in the Borders Scout District is 869 and the total number of adult volunteers is only 246.

-21% of young people in Scouting are female which is up on the 2022 Census figures.

-110 Top Awards have been issued to Young people aged 4-25 including the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Queen’s Scout Award (now King’s Scout Award) and Chief Scout Awards – all these build their confidence, resilience and develop essential employability skills.

Borders Scouts has 40 Young Leaders (male and female)enabling those aged 14-18 to develop leadership and the skills they need in life if that be as part of their CV, at University, in future employment or simply to improve the quality of their lives.

-We have 12 active Scout groups in the Borders – Cardrona, Earlston, Eyemouth, Galashiels, Hawick, Jedburgh, Kelso, Lauderdale, Melrose, Peebles, Selkirk and West Linton. We are looking to restart the Duns Scout Group which closed during COVID by running a community information evening in May.

Demand for Scouts by young people across the Scottish Borders continues to grow year on year. There is a shortage of adult volunteers at the 12 local Scout Groups which is stopping 164 young people on the Scouts waiting list from getting a place. Only 28 new local faces are needed to volunteer to clear this waiting list and enable more young people to benefit from the opportunities Scouting provides.

According to the latest Census figures released by Scouts, the number of young people part of the Borders Scouts District has increased by 9% to 869 year on year. While this growth is to be celebrated, more volunteers are needed to help return overall membership numbers to pre-pandemic levels. The Census also shows there has been a drop in the number of adult volunteers by 1.2%. Scouts is so popular that the massive waiting list and lack of new adult volunteer leaders mean Scouting is appealing for help to become Section Assistants or Leaders to ensure there is no barrier to participation.

More adult volunteers are needed to widen the participation in Scouting, inspire younger people and help teach them the skills they need for life. As a volunteer-led movement; Scouts is only possible thanks to the adult volunteers who help young people aged 4-25.

Andy Beaumont, the District Commissioner of Borders Scouts District, said: “We have lots of eager young people – boys and girls – wanting to join Scouting. We want to accept them, but we need new Leaders if that is to happen. We only need 28 new faces from right across the whole of the Scottish Borders to support more young people. We think that’s totally doable and possible with thanks to our local communities. The power of volunteering and reducing our waiting list lies with them.’

 “At Scouts, we give young people the opportunity to improve their confidence, wellbeing, and resilience. We have so much fun. Borders Scouts wants to help young people realise how amazing they are, but the plea for more volunteers to enable this begins today.”

“We are proud to be inclusive seeing a growth in girls joining Scouts year on year. We are also pleased to have awarded over 110 Top Awards last year from the Duke of Edinburgh Awards to Chief Scout Awards. These build essential employability, personal and character skills that will help improve the quality of young people’s lives.”

“I encourage anyone to give volunteering with Scouts a try. Anyone can help – working with young people or more ‘behind the scenes’ – and no Scouting experience is essential. Whether it be two hours a month or one or two hours a week. Everyone has a skill and Scouts can help you use it to support the future and the next generation. And we have rewarding flexible opportunities to help adults benefit from Scouting too.”

Janie Jeffrey, Assistant Squirrel Leader at the Lauderdale Scout Group said: “Before taking on this volunteering role, I had never been part of the Scouting movement before!  I really enjoy working alongside my fellow Leaders (who are also now my good friends!) to plan sessions and come up with exciting ideas for the Squirrels. It is a team effort, and no one is ever expected to plan, organise or run anything on their own.”

“As an Occupational Therapist, I value the importance of activity participation and bring the experience of this to my role as a volunteer but there are no checklist requirements to become a volunteer in Scouting. Everyone has something to offer and without volunteer Leaders, our children would not be able to enjoy the amazing activities that Scouting offers. So, if you’re reading this and thinking ‘what help could I be?’ The answer is: A big help.”

Alistair Cameron, Group Chair at the Earlston Scout Group, added: “I work a busy day job with a fair degree of responsibility. Volunteering with Scouts is a great release and gives me a great sense of pride to be doing something to support the various Scouting sections that have a meaningful impact on my local community. With no previous Scouting experience, it’s been fantastic to be part of the Cubs pack as a parent volunteer as well as my role on the Executive Committee.”

Although there are 246 voluntary leaders, committee members and administrators in Borders, more is needed if the Scouts want to expand and grow their current membership of 869 young people.

Those interested in learning more about volunteering for the Scouts or joining as a volunteer can find out more information on the website – or contact them via Facebook or Twitter.

More about Borders Scouts:

The Borders Scouts District has 12 active Scout Groups – see map below (the red ‘group place holders’ are for guidance only):
* Every week in the Borders we give around 860+ young people aged 4-25 the skills they need for school, college, university, job interviews, important speeches, tricky challenges and the big dreams: the skills they need for life.
* Our young people are supported by 240+ adult volunteers, both directly with youngsters and behind the scenes

* We have a youth waiting list of 160+ which is more than we’d like!

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, demand for Scouting remains strong with Borders Scouts holding a waiting list of some 160+ young people. To provide the best Scouting experience and continuity for our young people across the Borders, Scouts needs volunteers – leaders, assistants, occasional helpers and part of the Executive Committee. Please help?