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Growth Press Release - 11th April 2017


Press Release

Scouts in Kent report record number of volunteers but waiting lists at all-time high
  • Over 22,551 people involved in Scouting in Kent, including 5,439 adult volunteers
  • Yet waiting lists for young people at an all-time high of 1617
  • Bear Grylls and Helen Glover call on more adults to sign up to Scouting

11 April 2017: Scouts in Kent have reported the highest number of adult volunteers on record in its latest annual membership figures, which were released today.

Scouting now has 5,439 volunteers, more than at any point in its history. With the nature of volunteering in the UK changing and more adults offering there time flexibly, more people are needed to run Scouting than ever before. This includes youth workers, as well as charity trustees and skills instructors. This year is the first time that The Scout Association has fully incorporated trustees into their total number of volunteers.

Despite such high numbers of volunteers, the waiting list for young people who want to join the Scouts in Kent has sky-rocketed to 1617, the highest figure in Scouting’s history. Scouting continues to grow among young people, with 253 joining in the 12 months up to 31 January 2017. Scouting is available to boys and girls with female youth membership at 25%.

In total, there are now 17,112 young people involved in Scouting in Kent. Including adult volunteers, total membership today is up by 8.1% at 22,551. Scouting continues to be the largest co-educational youth movement in the UK with twelve consecutive years of growth in its youth membership.

Dean Harding, County Commissioner of Kent Scouts said:
“We’re delighted to see another year of strong growth in Scouting in Kent. This is largely thanks to the work of our 5,000+ adult volunteers. They are continually working with young people to deliver relevant, youth focused programmes and adventure! We still need more adults to deliver Scouting locally.

Kent Scouts was recently recognised as Voluntary Charity of the Year at the Kent Charity Awards 2017. Many adults who are signing up with the Scouts have a limited amount of time to donate to us and we recognise this with flexible volunteering in a range of roles from Scout group leaders to administrative and trustee positions.”

The Cub Scouts (8–10 years) is the most popular Scouting section with 5872 members in Kent and 92 additional members in the last 12 months.

Natalie Forester a Youth Commissioner for Kent Scouts, said:
“It’s fantastic to see that Kent Scouts is continuously growing year on year, making us the second largest Scouting county in the UK. This continued growth, both in Kent and the UK, clearly shows that Scouting is of importance and relevance in today’s society; giving our young people a chance to develop and learn new skills through adventure and fun activities. This could not be done without the amazing volunteers, from section leaders to young leaders to those working behind the scenes, who donate their time to delivering the programmes and amazing opportunities to our young people. However, with waiting lists at 1,600+ young people, we need more volunteers. Every adult has the option to be involved in Scouting but currently, not every young person. However, everybody deserves that chance, in order to experience the amazing things that Scouting has to offer.”

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said:
“I’m super proud that we have so many adult volunteers are helping young people develop the skills they need to succeed in life. Our challenge is to keep recruiting even more adults as we’ve got 51,000 young people wanting to join and benefit from what Scouting offers. Volunteering changes us all for the better. Please join me.”

Last month five new celebrities signed up to be ambassadors for The Scout Association to promote the vital skills that its members develop through Scouting. The celebrities are Paralympic and Olympic gold medallists Ellie Simmonds and Helen Glover along with Anita Rani, Steve Backshall and Megan Hine.

Scout Ambassador Helen Glover said:
“Adult volunteers are the lifeblood of our movement. As a volunteer myself in my capacity as a Scout Ambassador, I recognise the vital importance of helping young people develop skills for life. I call on anyone with a little time and enthusiasm to help us. Whatever your skill, big or small, come and share it and help inspire the next generation.”

Scouting is shaped by young people in partnership with adults and we are always looking for new Volunteers to and if you want to help young people gain skills for life join the adventure at


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For further information or interview requests please contact:
Simon Corrigan – Media Manager – Kent Scouts
T: 07886381611

Notes to Editors:

About Scouting

  • Scouting, the world’s largest youth movement, was founded on 1 August 1907
  • In the UK, Scouting is supported by The Scout Association, enabling 7,000 groups across the country to provide opportunities to over 450,000 young people aged 6-25
  • Scouting helps young people, both boys and girls, enjoy fun and adventure, while developing skills for life: the practical, character and employability skills they need to succeed
  • Over 200 activities are offered by Scouting around the UK, from canoeing and caving to coding and community projects, made possible by the efforts of over 140,000 adult volunteers
  • Worldwide, Scouting has over 40 million members – both male and female – and operates in nearly every country in the world.
  • UK Scouting has over 250 Scout Activity Challenge badges. These require participants to achieve a level of understanding and skill realistic and appropriate to their age range

About Kent Scouts

  • Kent Scouts is the second biggest Scouting County in the UK
  • Kent Scouts 2017 membership is 22,551 made up of 17,112 young people and 5,439 adult volunteers
  • Kent Scouts won ‘Voluntary Charity of the Year’ at the Kent Charity Awards 2017

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