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88 new members in Hetton, Houghton and Washington help take Scouting in the Area to Record High

posted 21 Apr 2013, 13:52 by Stephen Harrison   [ updated 21 Apr 2013, 13:53 ]
  • Annual census: Scout numbers in Houghton-Le-Spring now stand at 757.
  • UK membership now stands at 536,787
  • Growth driven by rise in Beavers Scouts (those aged 6 – 8) as a result of new colonies opening in the West of Washington and Hetton-Le-Hole
  • The news comes as the Duchess of Cambridge celebrates with scouts at Windsor Castle ceremony.

22 April 2013: 88 new Scouts in the past twelve months in Washington, Houghton and Hetton-Le-Hole have helped take the number in the UK to its highest this century. The news comes as details of The Scout Association’s annual census are published today.

Scouting in Houghton-Le-Spring district has grown 13% in the past twelve months, helping take total UK membership to 536,787. Total numbers in the district now stand at 757. This impressive surge in membership - the twelfth consecutive year of expansion - has helped cement Scouting’s position as the largest co-educational youth Movement in the country.

A large part is of this growth is due to the district opening new provisions for young people aged 6 to 8 in the west of Washington and Hetton-Le-Hole to meet demand for scouting locally. The district has been able to do this as a result of new volunteers coming forward to take on leadership roles in scouting. Could the continued growth in adults wanting to join scouting in Houghton-Le-Spring be linked to UK Scouting’s most high profile volunteer, the Duchess of Cambridge?

Just like the Duchess of Cambridge, our adult leaders volunteer flexibly allowing them to give as much or as little time as they have available and to fit scouting around their busy lives. As one of the UK’s most high profile figures, it’s hoped the Duchess’ involvement will inspire other adults to get involved in Scouting. With waiting lists nationally at an all-time high of almost 38,000, and locally we still have more young people wanting to join than we have places, there is an urgent need for more volunteers, in order to meet the growing demand.

Gemma Thubron, a female adult volunteer from Washington, said:

“I can’t always give up time every week, but scouting makes it really easy to volunteer around my other commitments – and they let me give as much or as little time as I’m able. I saw that the Duchess in Cumbria did some training last month. If someone as busy as the Duchess can find time to volunteer, anyone can! I couldn’t recommend volunteering more highly; I just wish I’d got involved sooner!”

Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, said:

“It’s great that so young people and adults are joining the Scouts, more than ever before, and I am sure this increase has had much to do with the Duchess of Cambridge becoming a Scout volunteer last year.

“The Duchess is an incredible role model for young women and she helps us show that Scouting’s not just for boys. She’s also such a generous volunteer and everyone is so excited to have her in the Scouting family. Many people have followed her lead and are getting involved and enjoying the adventure!”

The Duchess yesterday celebrated the achievement of over 400 Scouts and adult volunteers at Windsor Castle. The event recognises the outstanding achievements of both young people and adults in scouting. Jonathan Chicken from Washington received an award for his outstanding contribution as to Scouting as a volunteer. Chief Scout and international adventurer Bear Grylls also attended the event at Windsor castle.