Midlothian Scouts are looking for volunteers, is that you?

Friday December 17th 2021

Midlothian-Scout-Leaders

Written by Kirstie Armsworth, Midlothian Scouts

Scouts are today launching a campaign designed to recruit new volunteers across Midlothian to help young people to reconnect, supporting their wellbeing and building their skills for life.

Due to the pandemic, thousands of online meetings were held, as leaders found innovative ways to continue to deliver Scouting and virtual camps at home. Latterly, as restrictions eased outdoor fun was enjoyed and a ‘normal (ish)’ Scouts programme resumed.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, demand for Scouting remains strong with Scouts holding a waiting list of some 134 aged 6-25 years old. To provide the best Scouting experience and continuity for our young people across Midlothian Scouts needs volunteers – leaders, assistants, occasional helpers and part of the Executive Committee.

As Scouts is a volunteer led movement, any Scout Group should draw on the resources and skills of its local community and in particular the existing parents and their family network. So, are you a do-er and give-it-a goer? Now is the perfect time to get involved.

Scouts is both a young persons and adults experience – making friends, trying something new, doing something good for both your community and yourself and importantly making memories. It’s adventurous and rewarding. This Scouting adventure is only possible thanks to superstar volunteers – ordinary people, like you, making an extraordinary difference to young people’s lives.

Scout groups across the Midlothian District are now looking to build on this amazing work and empower young people when they need it 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.

The pressures of the pandemic have led to a decrease in adult volunteer numbers which are down from 166 in 2020 to 115 for 2021.

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.

Do you enjoy interacting with young people? Are you a team player with a positive, can-do attitude? Do you enjoy fun activities – from athletics to astronomy form photography to pioneering? Do you want to do more? Then this is right up your street. This is your chance to make a lasting difference and use your personal skills to help young people gain theirs as a Scout Maker. And volunteering goes both ways – you can benefit too.

District Commissioner, Richard Fairbairn, 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 few months the Scouts will be running a locally focused recruitment campaign designed to encourage those young people and adults who drifted away during the pandemic to re-join and to invite new Scouting opportunities in areas of greatest need. The campaign will be designed to appeal to new adult volunteers and emphasise 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.

Scouts is packed full of amazing activities to engage and challenge Scouts of all abilities. From camps, water activities, nature walks, cooking, crafts, sport and so on. This is only possible thanks to our team of adult volunteers. We help volunteers get the most out of their experiences at Scouts by providing opportunities and support as part of team of like-minded individuals. Our approach focuses on what you want to get out of volunteering with Scouts, while respecting how much time you can offer. As Scouts is a well-known ‘brand’, this experience also looks great on any CV adding further employability skills.

Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, 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 be part of empowering young people to be prepared for their future.’

Sign up information for the online volunteering event on Thursday 27th January at 7.30pm here Midlothian Scouts Virtual Volunteering Information Event | SE Region (sesscouts.org.uk)

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