A Scout troop in Salford is in desperate need of new volunteers after an increase in members since the coronavirus lockdown.

Clifton Scout Troop has struggled to recruit new leaders and has one person due to retire and others already taking on extra responsibility.

Scout leader, Stuart Kernighan, said: “We just don’t have enough leaders or volunteers to help in the evenings and to help with other things as well, such as building maintenance and events, the committee as well.”

The group is located within the Lowry district where the shortage of volunteers is a common issue across many Scout groups.

Stuart said: “A lot of the groups that fall within that area are in a similar position to us, they are struggling to acquire volunteers.

“A lot of people don’t think to volunteer unless it’s raised to them.”

The Clifton troop offers children a unique experience and a chance to build key skills as well as increasing social interaction which has become of increased importance since the pandemic.

Stuart said: “We’ve certainly seen an explosion of numbers. Kids want to be outside and it’s just like a whole new experience for a lot of them.

“There are kids with certain special needs and the experience I have with them and the way the parents talk is that they are completely different kids after.

“Just being in a group with their friends makes such a difference.”

Image credit: Stuart Kernighan

Scout volunteers are offered the chance to give something back to the community and told that any time they can offer is useful.

Stuart said: “It’s completely flexible to accommodate the fact that we all have busy lives now, you can’t commit to every single week.

“It’s not just good for the kids, it’s good for volunteers to also get to do something fun.”

The group also has a focus on inclusivity, encouraging both girls and boys and people of all ages to get involved.

Stuart added: “The amount of people I speak to who say Scouts is just for boys, it’s not true.

“It’s really good to have a broad spectrum of people there because there’s always somebody you can bond with.”

New volunteers can sign up here.

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