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Adult Volunteers Required

Scottish Scouting attracts more volunteers than ever before, but waiting lists hit an all-time high

  • Scouting across West Region now has 5,380 members
  • Flexible volunteering means more adults needed than ever before
  • Young people, boys and girls, and adult volunteers joining Scouting has grown for the eleventh consecutive year, nationally waiting lists now reach 3,400

 Figures released today show that Scouting is continuing to grow in popularity throughout West Region with the eleventh consecutive year of growth. Across the Region there has been a 12.8% growth in Scouts membership, driven by an increase in Leaders who work directly with young people.

The charity, which helps young people to develop skills for life, now has a total membership of 5,380 in the region, with the number of young members growing by 4%. The Cub Scouts (8-10 years) are the most popular Scouting section in Scotland with the Explorer Scout section (14-18 years) the fastest growing section with numbers increasing by 4.5%.

Mark McGrath, a volunteer Cub Leader from Greenock said:

“I love being a Cub Leader, it’s one of the best things I have ever done. It’s been a really rewarding experience, being part of such a supportive team, and I get as much out of it as the young people I work with.

“I’ve just returned from a Region Cub trip to Denmark and it was amazing fun for the Cubs and Leaders alike. Seeing all these young people making new friends and learning new life skills that they wouldn’t get anywhere else has been fantastic.”

As the charity grows in popularity, so does its waiting lists. Over 3,400 young people are waiting to join nationally, a figure larger than ever before and 9.4% higher than the previous year.

Scouting offers flexible volunteering which it credits as part of the reason for the rise in adult volunteers joining.  Increasingly there is a move towards flexible volunteering to fit around busy lifestyles.

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics, between 2000 and 2015 volunteer participation rates increased from 39% to 41% for men and from 39% to 42% for women. However, the average time per day spent volunteering decreased from 12.3 to 11.3 minutes for men and 16.3 to 15.7 minutes for women.

This has meant that the charity now needs more volunteers to lead groups and keep up with the numbers of young people who want to join.

Scouts Scotland’s Chief Commissioner, Graham Haddock, said:

“It’s great to see our membership exceed 50,000 for the first time this century. It is also astonishing to reflect on 11 consecutive years of growth in our youth membership. So many new young people want to join not just because we give them amazing experiences and opportunities, but Scouting also gives them the confidence and skills to achieve great things.

“Scouting relies totally on the dedication and commitment of our adult leaders and volunteers who work with young people every single week. Sadly, we still have a long list of young people waiting to join and benefit from what we offer, but we need more volunteers. Over the years, I have seen the tremendous benefit that Scouting has on many thousands of young people across Scotland, so I would really encourage people to consider if they can help us to improve lives. We have many different roles that people can fill regardless of how little or how much time they think they can offer.”

Scouting continues to be the largest co-educational youth movement in Scotland and the UK.  These results are released as the charity is working on its priorities for 2018 and beyond, to ensure that it can offer Scouting to every young person, regardless of circumstances or background.