Scouts launch campaign to recruit volunteers in Hemel to help young people reconnect and learn life skills
Scouts' #GoodForYou campaign hopes to recruit over 200 volunteers in Hertfordshire
Scouts are today (May 27) launching the #GoodForYou campaign designed to recruit over 200 volunteers in Hertfordshire to help young people to reconnect, supporting their wellbeing and building their skills for life.
Youth membership in Hemel Hempstead has fallen by 16.3 per cent over the past year, falling from 1,084 young people last year to 907. Adult volunteer numbers in Hemel Hempstead are also down from 309 in 2020 to 293 for 2021 (5.17 per cent).
In Hertfordshire, youth membership has fallen by 17.7 per cent and adult volunteer numbers are also down from 5,311 in 2020 to 4,626 for 2021. This drop in numbers follows a sustained period of growth, where total membership rose by nearly 62 per cent between 2006 and 2020 across the county.
These numbers are an indicator of how the pressures and disruptions to life over the past year mean not all youth members have been able to continue.
This is especially the case in communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Scout groups across Hertfordshire are now looking to build back better and empower the Covid generation when they need most.
To do this Scouts need more adults to step up and volunteer to lead young people. Scout volunteers will create opportunities for young people to recover from the impact of the pandemic by supporting their wellbeing and building the skills needed to succeed in life.
Liz Walker Hertfordshire Scouts County Commissioner said: “Young people have lost out on so much in the past year and our membership numbers show how many were unable to continue with Scouts due to lockdown.
"The good news is they are coming back in droves, so we need more people to help us ensure young people can meet friends, have fun and fulfil their potential by learning skills for life.
"That’s why today we’re calling on people to volunteer for Scouts.
"Volunteering is good for communities, good for young people and good for you.”
Over the next six months the Scouts will be running a series of locally focused recruitment campaigns across the UK, including in Hertfordshire, designed to encourage those young people and adults who drifted away during the pandemic re-join and to create new Scout groups in areas of greatest need.
The campaign will be designed to appeal to new adult volunteers and emphasis why volunteering is good for your health, happiness, skill development and family life.
Since the first lockdown, Scout volunteers have provided thousands of hours of Zoom sessions, supported young people with at-home challenges like the Great Indoors and Hike to the Moon. And when restrictions have allowed, have run socially-distanced meet ups.
Claire Stevens from 1st Apsley Scout Group said: “Scouting during the pandemic, whether it was on line via Zoom or when allowed face to face, helped keep my mind active and enabled me to support our young people who were often left with nothing – no school, no activities, no chance to catch up with friends.
"We completed badges, camped at home and cooked (often leaving a lovely mess in our parent’s kitchens).
"We widened our audience, new members signing up whilst on line but most importantly -we had a massive amount of FUN!”
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout: “The past year has been so tough for so many. And it’s also shown just how important it is for us to work together to help those in need.
"Scouts plays a fundamental role in the lives of thousands of young people and our goal is to build back our membership by welcoming thousands of new volunteers across the movement.
"As an adult volunteer you can help us continue to make an incredible contribution towards helping young people learn new skills for life.
"You’ll gain some great new skills, new friends and be part of empowering young people to be prepared for their future.”