Cambridgeshire Scouts is looking for more volunteers, to help turn “Generation COVID” into “Generation Hope”
The Scouts have launched the national #GoodForYou campaign, designed to recruit 10,000 volunteers nationally, and we are aiming for an ambitious 250 (or more!) across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Like so many organisations the pandemic has taken its toll on Cambridgeshire Scouts, after many years of continued growth. In the past year numbers of young people decreased by 1,550 (-24%), although they are already coming back in their droves – just take a look at these photos from some of the fun already being had as face-to-face scouting returns!
In the same year 300 adults (-12%) also left – they have simply been unable to carry on, due to the pressures of lockdown, uncertain work situations, or because they’ve needed to spend extra time looking after loved ones. Even where adults have remained lack of access to suitable devices, and poor broadband, has meant that virtual scouting has not always been possible.
Scouting across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is now looking to build back even stronger and is firmly focussed on the future. To do this more adults are needed to step up and volunteer, creating opportunities for themselves and young people to recover from the impact of the pandemic by supporting their wellbeing and building the skills needed to succeed in life.
Chris Ward, County Commissioner, said “The past year has been a tough on everyone; many have got ill or lost loved ones and key workers have worked their hearts out. Young people have suffered as much as anyone. They have been cut off from their friends, their schools and have missed out on exams and simple things like meeting up with grandparents. This last year will have been one of the hardest times they’ve ever known. These young people have been called “Generation Covid” but I prefer to call them “Generation Hope”. This is because I have seen in them spirit, resilience and determination never to give up. They give us all renewed hope for the future”
Over the next six months the Scouts will be running a series of locally focused recruitment campaigns across the UK, including across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The campaign is designed to appeal to new adult volunteers and emphasise why volunteering is good for your health, happiness, skill development and family life. There are thousands of such volunteers already, who have done amazing things to keep scouting going throughout the pandemic, but they are waiting to welcome more adults to the team. According to research individuals are 15% less likely to suffer from mood swings and anxiety if you’ve been a Scout or Guide (Source: Cohort study by the University of Edinburgh and Glasgow, 2016).
Helen Mearis said “Becoming a Cub Scout Leader was the best decision I ever made. Scouting has given me amazing adventures, buckets of confidence and an extra family who I know have always got my back. It kept me sane in lockdown and even led me to becoming teacher! ”
Lee Mason said “Being a Leader is the best thing I’ve ever done. You can develop the lives of young people, create life long friendships and improve your mental health.”
Louise Clover, Deputy County Commissioner, said “Society has changed. People are perhaps less likely to be commuting every day in the future, or perhaps having changed roles completely, so maybe there is finally time available to give to volunteering. That might be taking a hike in the woods or cooking over a fire, delivering training or keeping accounts or even organising events or making a water rocket – it is definitely a perfect antidote to hours on the laptop. Our future volunteers might be parents of young people already in the movement, people who remember their own days as a Scouts or simply those who want to better support the young in their community.”
For more information on volunteering please contact your local Scout Group direct, or visit this page
Whilst these photos show scouting in action, and the difference it makes, remember that behind all these photos are a team of volunteers – many of them work “behind the scenes”.