News | National Volunteers Week profiles
National Volunteers Week runs from June 1-12, and is an excellent opportunity to say an enormous thank you to hardworking Scouts volunteers around the country.
Over 115,000 adults volunteer with Scouting every week, running activities and supporting other adults, in a wide variety of different sorts of voluntary roles. To celebrate the achievements of our volunteers, we've profiled 12 Scouts volunteers who go the extra mile in their community.
Check back here over the next 12 days to see each profile.
Ben - Young Leader
Ben is 14, and is training to be a Young Leader, as well as working towards his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. He regularly volunteers with Scouts, as well in the wider community – delivering meals to older people, picking up litter in the local area, and helping run Tae Kwon Do classes for children.
‘I have been gaining experience as a Young Leader at my Group. The younger members realty look up to us, so it is very nice to give back what I received when I was Cub and Scout,' Ben says. 'I like volunteering because I want the people of the next generation to experience what I have already experienced.’
Waqar Sheikh - Muslim Scout Fellowship volunteer
Waqar is a member of the Muslim Scout Fellowship (MSF), having become involved after many years of volunteering with Scouts. He was invited to join the MSF executive committee, where he was able to make a real impact in his community.
‘I take the lead on the training courses that MSF holds (along with an awesome team). We never stop with just one role: the passion always gets us involved in other projects. So we're almost always very busy!' Waqar says. 'Over the years Scouting has become a passion, and everyone in the teams I work across is always seen as family. So I am in the very lucky position to do what I love, with people I enjoy being around!'
Chris Hollyoake - District Commissioner
Chris Hollyoake has been District Commissioner for Tamworth, West Midlands, for just over a year. Groups in the District needed more Programme support for adventurous activities, prompting Chris to encourage more local leaders to gain their permits. There are now 28 qualified archery instructors in the District, compared with two just a year ago.
‘Being DC can be very busy at times. From the start I was very clear that I could not do everything. If you have a team around you that share the load, it keeps it fun,' Chris says. 'We are putting into place activities, events and support to provide some amazing Scouting experiences to our youth members.’
Helen Woolgar - Cub Scout Leader
Helen is a Cub Leader and busy mum of two. She juggles her day job with volunteering and childcare, and also manages an online shop, where she sells her artwork. She had fond memories of being involved with Scouting growing up, and wanted her children to experience the fun and adventure for themselves.
‘Initially I volunteered to look after the badge records at my son’s Cub Pack, but soon became much more involved,' Helen explains. 'I really enjoy watching the young people grow in confidence as they try new activities. The highlight for me is going on camp with the Pack. All the Cubs’ personalities really shine through, and the best fun is had!’
Paula Davidson - YUF volunteer
Scout Leader Paula has been volunteering for the past year at the new 21st Birkenhead Scout section, set up with support from Youth United Foundation grant. This project has provided Scouting to young people who would not normally be able to access it.
‘I'm aware of the positive impact that groups like ours can have on local communities,' Paula says. 'Last week we went to our district Challenge Camp and participated for the first time. I can't quite put into words how proud I felt when the Scouts went up to get their certificates - seeing the capable young adults they're becoming is absolutely what keeps me coming back each week.’
Steve Ledwood - Beaver Scout Leader
Steve has returned to volunteer at the Scout Group where he was a member back in the 1970s, to give his children the chance to join Scouting. Under his guidance, the Beavers at 231st Shire Green Scouts have the chance to try all sorts of activities and develop their skills and confidence.
'In my eyes I’m reliving my memories of being a kid. I love it - it’s unreal! I’ve made a lot of friends through Scouting, and I’m making a lot of young people happy too. Scouting has made me a better person because I’m surrounded by positive people. We call it a family.'
Kieron Moir - Trustee
Keiron Moir is a UK trustee for The Scout Association. This voluntary role involves debating key decisions about the future of the Movement. Kieron sits on the Nominations and Appointments committees, making sure that other national volunteer roles are fair, balanced and reflective of our membership.
‘I wanted to become a trustee because I think if you want to make a difference to something you really care about, it certainly doesn't hurt to be in the room when key decisions are made,' Kieron says. 'For me, being inclusive and open to people from all backgrounds, whatever their difference, is vital to our development as a Movement.’
Jane Godden - Explorer Scout Leader
Jane became involved in Scouting in the 1980s. She teaches in a Muslim faith school, and has opened a thriving new Scout Group within the school. She has been working closely with an all-female Andalusia Academy Explorer Unit, and recently took them on their first ever camp.
‘It’s been a slow process, because we’ve had to fit Scouting into the school’s ethos. We’ve been opening the [Explorer] girls’ eyes to new opportunities, which they’re allowed to do because it’s through school and within their cultural environment,' Jane says. 'The girls are ambitious and enthusiastic to become Young Leaders. Even after being in Scouting for 20+ years, it still feels new and exciting!’
James Hurrell - Group Scout Leader
As Group Scout Leader, James has been rebuilding 17th Warrington East after a decline in leaders and youth members. By forging links with other organisations in the local community, he’s secured support and funding for the Group, and organised volunteering opportunities for the young people he supports through Scouting.
‘I got back involved in Scouting when my eldest child joined Beavers. I got an awful lot out of Scouting as a youngster, and always wanted my children to benefit from it,' James says. 'I was determined that I wanted to be visibly supporting my children in Scouting so I volunteered as an Assistant Cub Leader. The rest is history!’
Do you know an inspirational volunteer? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #volunteersweek.
Want to get involved? Volunteering with Scouting is incredibly rewarding. Find out more and join the Scouting family!