Scouts launch campaign to help Sheffield youngsters recover from impact of pandemic
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As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many members of the organisation have not been able to continue meeting up or connecting and membership has fallen by 24 per cent in the region over the past year.
The #GoodForYou campaign is designed to attract new volunteers across South Yorkshire, which will enable more young people to be supported through Scouts – and allow members to rejoin in cases where the pandemic prevented them from doing so.
South Yorkshire Scouts lead volunteer, Neil McKay, 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.
“We have seen group bookings increase at our activity centre Hesley Wood which is a good sign young people want to get back to having adventures now more than ever.
“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.”
Although volunteers were still supporting young people remotely throughout lockdown, numbers have fallen by nine per cent over the past year.
The campaign hopes to emphasise the benefits that volunteering brings, both to young people and the volunteers themselves.
Brian, a Scout volunteer from Penistone, added: “In my area, Scouting is a lifeline for those in areas of deprivation - during the pandemic it became a beacon of normality for young people and helped them keep a positive mental attitude during a difficult time.
“I know that Scouting helped me get through the last year as well. Scouting makes such a difference to young people’s lives in the long term, plus it’s a great way for adults to have fun too.”
The #GoodForYou campaign is one of a series of campaigns being run over the next six months.
It is hoped that through encouraging more volunteers to join, new Scout groups can be created in the areas of greatest need, particularly amongst communities who may have been disproportionately impacted from the pandemic.
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 be part of empowering young people to be prepared for their future.”
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