It’s not April Fools Day and we usually shy away from attention-grabbing sensationalistic headlines. The closure of some sections will sadly be a genuine reality if we are unable to recruit additional adult volunteers in the very near future. This is why it’s extremely important we be bold and blunt at this pivotal time.

This message, whilst sent primarily to parents and guardians of young people who are members of Penistone Scout Group, is not limited to just that audience. We welcome adult volunteers from parents, guardians, families and friends of the group, plus anyone from the local community who shares our goal of supporting and developing local young people.

Why are we considering closing some sections?

We don’t have sufficient adult volunteers to sustain the weekly programme, let alone the core additional events/camps we wish to run for the young people each year. The cancellation of some recent weekend events, section meetings and community items such as the Christmas Tree collections being quite recent examples.

The group are very fortunate to have the dedicated and wonderful adult volunteer team we presently do. This challenge is no reflection of them. We’ve ten sections made up of ~250 young people. Our existing volunteers often have multiple roles in the group, and like everyone, a finite amount of time. People’s goodwill and time covering to prevent event or meeting cancellations can only go so far – we have seen burn out and reliance on key people. It is not reasonable or appropriate for this to continue.

People’s personal circumstances change – this impacts their personal volunteering journey and availability. Some have naturally drifted away having given years of dedicated time and support, in many cases as their own children have been part of the group. We’ve sought additional support to replace these – often enjoying positive responses and new volunteers.

Whilst we are grateful of both the new adults and the longer-standing team, we need a tide changing level of new volunteers so we can continue the exciting and inspiring development of local young people through Scouting. Without this change, the group will contract in size, we will consolidate sections and there will be an impact to many of the young people – potentially including your own or young people you know.

What can I do?

We will be holding a session at Penistone Grammar School on Monday 20th January from 19:30.

The school have kindly made the lecture theatre available to us so we can welcome as many of you to this important presentation and open evening. The meeting is for parents, guardians, grandparents and members of our community who share a vested interest in supporting and developing young local people.

On the evening we plan on:

  • Sharing details of volunteering roles and opportunities – whether they are directly engaging with the young people or as part of keeping the lights on.
  • Noting how you’ll be supported, trained and developed as a volunteer – remember, you don’t have to be Bear Grylls. If you sign up, turn up and get stuck in, you won’t regret it.
  • Providing opportunities to mix and speak with members of our leadership team and executive committee

You don’t need to wait for the 20th January to let us know if you can support the group. You can do so right now: we need adults to attend weekly youth meetings (doesn’t have to be every week), we’ve vacancies on our executive committee (similar to being a school governor) or there’s our Active Support Unit who support the group with building maintenance, equipment and activities.

You can get in touch by:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 01226 610350

Online: By filling out our handy form.

Thank you for reading, please do everything in your power to keep our Scout Group alive for another 110+ years.

Rob Robinson
Group Scout Leader