Scouts launch campaign to recruit volunteers after numbers drop during pandemic

·2-min read

The Scouts want to recruit more adult volunteers after losing 15,000 during the coronavirus pandemic.

The movement is launching the #GoodForYou campaign which aims to recruit at least 5,000 volunteers after adult volunteer numbers fell from 155,907 in 2020 to 140,810 in 2021.

This drop in numbers follows a sustained period of growth, where total membership rose by nearly 200,000 between 2006 and 2020.

Youth membership has also fallen by 24.5% over the past year, from 480,083 to 362,752.

Scouts volunteers
An adult volunteer helping a child with an activity (Scouts/PA)

The Scouts say the numbers are an indicator of how the pressures and disruptions to life mean not all youth members have been able to continue in the movement, adding that this is especially the case in communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

The Scouts will be running a series of locally-focused recruitment campaigns encouraging new volunteers to join, as well as inviting young people and adults who drifted away during the pandemic to re-join and create new Scout groups in areas of greatest need.

Jobs will be created for 66 young adults through the Government’s Kickstarter programme, and new team members will work as development officers to support Scout groups to welcome new members.

Matt Hyde, Scouts CEO, 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 make sure young people can once again meet friends, have fun and fulfil their potential by learning skills for life.

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“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.”

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “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 help empower young people to be prepared for their future.”

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