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Scouts suffer biggest drop in numbers since WWII as membership plunges by a QUARTER during lockdown 

Scouts suffer biggest drop in numbers since WWII as membership plunges by a QUARTER during lockdown

  • Scout numbers fell 24.5 per cent from 480,083 to 362,752 during the pandemic
  • Leaders called for youngsters and adults to rejoin movement as lockdown lifts
  • Chief Scout Bear Grylls said the goal was ‘to build back our membership’

The Scouts suffered their biggest drop in membership since the Second World War in the pandemic, it was revealed yesterday.

Numbers plunged by 24.5 per cent from 480,083 to 362,752 as activities stopped or moved online. More than 15,000 adult volunteers quit.

As war hit the UK, youth membership fell from 394,615 in 1938 to 284,678 in 1941. 

Leaders yesterday called for youngsters and adults to rejoin the movement as lockdown lifts.

The Scouts want to recruit more adult volunteers after losing 15,000 during the pandemic

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: ‘The past year has been so tough for so many. Scouts play a fundamental role in the lives of thousands of young people and our goal is to build back our membership by welcoming thousands of new volunteers.’

The Scouts said during the pandemic volunteers have provided millions of hours of Zoom sessions and supported at-home challenges.  

The Scouts will be running a series of locally-focused recruitment campaigns encouraging new volunteers to join, as well as inviting young people and adults who drifted away during the pandemic to re-join and create new Scout groups in areas of greatest need.

The Scouts said during the pandemic volunteers have provided millions of hours of Zoom sessions and supported at-home challenges

The Scouts said during the pandemic volunteers have provided millions of hours of Zoom sessions and supported at-home challenges

Leaders yesterday called for youngsters and adults to rejoin the movement as lockdown lifts

Leaders yesterday called for youngsters and adults to rejoin the movement as lockdown lifts

Jobs will be created for 66 young adults through the Government’s Kickstarter programme, and new team members will work as development officers to support Scout groups to welcome new members.

Scouts chief executive Matt Hyde, said: “Young people have lost out on so much in the past year and our membership numbers show how many were unable to continue with Scouts due to lockdown.

“The good news is they are coming back in droves, so we need more people to help us make sure young people can once again meet friends, have fun and fulfil their potential by learning skills for life.

“That’s why today we’re calling on people to volunteer for Scouts. Volunteering is good for communities, good for young people and good for you.”

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