Parents take the lead
When they discovered a lack of after-school children’s activities in their area, parents in Jarrow, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, set up their own Scout Group...
Parents in Jarrow took it upon themselves to set up Scouting in their area after discovering a serious lack of after-school activities for their children. When their young ones came back from school with flyers advertising Scouts, the parents put their heads together and decided to set up their own Scout Group.
After attending a taster session with Scouting’s Regional Development Service (RDS), which visits schools and frequently holds sessions to give potential volunteers a flavour of the Scouting world, the mums and dads of Jarrow got to work and eventually formed 5th Jarrow Beaver Colony for their 6-8 year olds.
Angela, one of the proactive founders of the Colony, commented on the need for after-school adventure: ‘I got involved because I wanted to help my son with his confidence, communication and general life skills. It’s a huge benefit for all the young people here.’
The Colony now has 21 Beaver Scouts, four leaders and other parent volunteers. Stephen is one parent who signed up as an Occasional Helper: ‘It’s warm and friendly here. Everyone can join in – it could be as simple as pouring the juice out and getting the young people into groups.’
While the new Beaver Colony has provided an opportunity for young people to enjoy exciting activities and games, it has also given the parents a chance to socialise and build community spirit.
Melanie, a parent who helped to set up the Colony, said: ‘It’s hard to meet new people when you work full-time. It’s been great to make friends with the other parents. My son has additional needs and he goes to a school outside the area. I wanted him to meet local children and feel part of the community. Now when we go to the local supermarket he sees children he knows, and we’ve never had that experience before.’
The parents have also made sure that Scouting helps the Beavers get to know their own neighbourhood better; so far the Group has visited the local fire brigade and is working with the local council on a recycling project.
Do it yourself
Find out more about the RDS and check out 5th Jarrow’s video below.