Scout group on the brink of collapse due to leader shortage

A VILLAGE scout group on the brink of collapse is calling on the community to save it from closure by coming forward as leaders.

Without enough adults to get into uniform, Witchford Scout Group will fold before the end of the year - leaving 36 youngsters unable to attend their weekly fun packed meetings, and the 40 children on the waiting list will never get the chance to join the Scout Association.

Posters have been put up around the village, and the group has contacted the parish council, schools and the youth club, to explain their plight. And on October 30 the scout group has a last chance to recruit, when parents of existing members and those on the waiting list, will be invited to attend a Halloween event,

It is the Beaver colony that is in most desperate need of leaders - the 6-8 year olds have just one leader in uniform at the moment.

And if the colony closes, the rest of the group - cubs and scouts - will be brought down like a pack of cards.

District Commissioner Dr John Wells said: “It is not safe to run Beaver meetings without enough leaders; and without leaders I will be forced to close the unit by the middle of December.

“That will mean the rest of the group will not be viable, so sadly, the cubs and scouts will also have to close.

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“We desperately need more leaders; it is even possible to role share, with three adults taking over one leader’s place.”

The Beaver colony needs two more leaders; and the cubs require at least one more leader. By March of next year, the scout troop will be short of two adult leaders.

Dr Wells said: “We need help from the community; we are a very successful group with our own premises and we are financially sound. We always do well in the raft race at Aquafest, and the group performs its service to the community by looking after the open spaces in the village.

“A number of people have agreed to support the executive committee, but that does not get over the leadership problem.”

Leaders would need to commit to attending three hours a week for 30 weeks of the year; and will be given free training.

Anyone wanting more information can contact Dr Wells on 0845 6436250 or e-mail