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Scouts Cymru makes plea for volunteers as waiting list hits record high

04 Jul 2024 4 minute read
Image: Scouts Cymru

Emily Price

Scouts Cymru have made a made plea for volunteers after it was revealed that thousands of children in Wales are on the waiting list to join the organisation.

In an open letter to the media, Chief Volunteer for Wales Rhian Moore said that a record number of youngsters are “missing out” because of a lack of volunteers.

The organisation helps children make new friends and develop skills with activities such as camping, hiking, swimming, abseiling, cycling and canoeing.

Every week, more than 18,000 four to 24 year olds take part in Scouting activities across Wales thanks to 4,700 volunteers.


On Wednesday (July 3) Scouts UK revealed that 107,000 children across the country are waiting to join Scouts – 4000 of which are waiting to join groups in Wales.

Rhian Moore said: “These are the highest numbers since Scouts began recording this information and the reason they are on the waiting lists is that, simply, we need more volunteers.

“Not being able to welcome every child who would like to join Scouts is a situation we know all too well in Wales.

“We have more than 4,000 children and young people who would like to join our adventure – and it saddens us that we currently can’t accommodate them.”

At a recent volunteer run All Wales Scout Camp at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells – children were asked to explain what they enjoy most about Scouting.

“I have made friends from all over the world,” wrote one, with another saying, “It’s important as it takes your mind off things.”


Scouts Cymru’s Chief Volunteer said: “It doesn’t surprise us that so many young people in Wales want to join Scouts. They tell us all the time how much they enjoy being a part of the movement.

“We have more than 4,700 volunteers across Wales without whom Scouting simply couldn’t exist.”

Scouts volunteers run weekly meetings in halls up and down the country, catering for Squirrels  (4 to 6 years olds), Beavers (6 to 8), Cubs (8 to 10.5), Scouts (10.5 to 14), Explorers (14 to 18) and Network (18 to 25).

Other volunteers help cut the grass or drive the group’s minibus. Some even step in to balance the books or order the badges the young people earn.

Others ensure the smooth running of the Scouting programme and policies at a national level or support their local group as a trustee.

Ms Moore said: “Volunteers aren’t a magic breed of people who have bags of free time. The majority of them also have work and family commitments, and busy lives of their own.

“They regularly tell us that what drives them is seeing just how much Scouting benefits young people. The confidence it gives them when they try an activity they didn’t think they could do.

“Knowing they have passed on a skill that will help them in later life. Seeing a once-shy child laughing and running around with their new friends.”

The organisation says the volunteer experience has been recently revamped making it more flexible so that people can do what they can, when they can.


Ms Moore said: “We’re really proud that Scouting in Wales grew by 2.7% last year, with 335 more young people and 156 more adult volunteers joining the adventure.

“But we still have 4,000 young people on our waiting lists missing out. Not to mention those who aren’t on our waiting lists, perhaps because there isn’t a group near to where they live, or because the waiting lists are already too big for their local group.

“Our ambition is that every child and young person in Wales who wishes to join Scouts has that opportunity.”

To find out about different opportunities to volunteer in Wales visit here.

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