Record Growth in Barnsley

19 Apr 2012

115 new members in Barnsley help take Scouting’s numbers to highest this century

Annual census: Scout numbers in Barnsley District now stand at 1,149 (increase 115, 10%)

  • UK membership now stands at 525,327 (increase of 16,408, 3.2%)
  • Growth driven by rise in Explorers: 2,455 joined in the UK in past year
  • The number of volunteers “working” for Scouting is bigger than the combined workforces of the BBC (24,000) and McDonalds (67,000) put together

You may well see details of Scouting’s annual census in the news today, and 115 new Scouts in the past twelve months in Barnsley District have helped take the number in the UK to its highest this century.

Scouting in Barnsley has grown 10% in the past twelve months, helping take total UK membership to 525,327. Total numbers in Barnsley District Scouts now stand at 1,149. This impressive surge in membership – the seventh consecutive year of growth – has helped cement Scouting’s position as the largest co-educational youth Movement in the country, helping even more young people and adults join in the adventure.

The enormous range of adventures provided by Scouting for young people is just one of the reasons for this amazing growth. Scouting allows them to experience the great outdoors and our young people can enjoy more than 200 activities including zorbing, water skiing, abseiling and adventure glider flights.

We also offer an environment for young people to achieve their full potential as individuals and responsible citizens. These principles are reflected in the range of community work that Scout Groups undertake week in-week out. Barnsley District Scouts are set to celebrate their growth with a visit to celebrate St Georges day, also the patron saint of Scouting at Wentworth Castle & Gardens on Sunday 29th April. A number of activities will be taking place including geocaching, archery, treasure hunts, as well as grass kayaking and a scout made carousel.

A report unveiled last year demonstrates the positive impact of Scouting for young people:

38% of young people in Scouting have volunteered for another organisation

  • 40% of voluntary groups surveyed would not be able to get the same amount of work done if Scouts had not been involved
  • 36% of former youth Scout members volunteer for 2 hours a week, compared to 26% for the general population
  • Previous studies have also shown that each year Scout Leader contributes the equivalent of 37 million hours voluntary work which is the equivalent of £380 million pounds worth of unpaid youth work
  • Equally striking is the 50 Explorers in Barnsley who have chosen to sign up to the Young Leaders’ Scheme. Through the scheme, Explorers make a commitment to work as Leaders in Beaver, Cubs and Scouts.

Those involved in the Young Leaders’ scheme are offered full training, helping them to develop and grow as individuals while aiding the personal development of other young people. Furthermore, the skills involved in leadership – such as communication and time planning – can be transferred to other environments like the workplace.

Explorer Scout quote [Thomas Yems, 16, Penistone] said: “I’ve recently committed to being a Young Leader to help ensure that the experiences I’ve had can be passed on to the next generation of young people. I’m picking up all sorts of useful skills that will be useful for my CV in the future.”

Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, said “It is so great to see Scout numbers rising in Barnsley District and a big reason for this is the number of teenagers joining the adventure. More and more young people are realising that Scouting offers them so much – whether it’s the opportunity to go on a big international adventure or the chance to learn and hone vital life skills.

 I am also excited to see that so many young people in Barnsley have committed their time to give back as Young Leaders. Leadership in Scouting offers so many personal rewards and practical benefits, and so many employers nowadays recognise these as being both empowering and work/life-enhancing. There truly is something for everyone in the world of Scouting.”