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Women and girls now form a quarter of the Scouts’ membership

Esme 4th left hiking with Ayers Explorer Scout Unit
Esme 4th left hiking with Ayers Explorer Scout Unit

Scouting is continuing to grow in popularity in Cumbria with more young people joining the Movement, according to The Scout Association’s latest annual membership figures released today. The figures reveal that the increase in females is especially strong, with 127 joining the Movement in Cumbria in the 12 months up to 31 January. This complements a strong growth of 90 males.

The total number of girls and young women Scouting in Cumbria now stands at 699. Including adult volunteers, there are now 1008 females in The Scout Association in Cumbria altogether. This is the highest proportion since the Scout Movement first welcomed women and girls into all of its sections 25 years ago.

The Scout Association’s membership figures reveal that 106 young people joined the Scouts in Cumbria in 2015. This means that there are now 3516 young people involved in Scouting across Cumbria – up 3.16% on 2015. Including adult volunteers, total membership today is up by 5.3% and now stands at 4294. Scouting continues to be the largest co-educational youth movement in the UK with eleven consecutive years of growth in its youth membership.

Cumbria Scouts reaching new heights
Cumbria Scouts reaching new heights

The impressive growth in young people joining Scouting means that there is a greater need for adult volunteers than ever before. Despite 111 more adults joining in the past year, there is still a huge need for more volunteers to cope with increased demand from young people.

Esme Edwards an Explorer Scout aged 16 from Carlisle, said: “I love Scouting and I always enjoy the adventures that Scout volunteers have helped us plan. I’ve picked up some really helpful life skills along the way like team building, planning and how to communicate with people. Scouting has also helped me grow in confidence and I have enjoyed learning new skills alongside my male friends. I have been to camps and events all around the UK and Switzerland and I have had great fun and learned loads of skills every time I do something Scouting. I’d definitely encourage young people of all ages and both genders to join.”

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “I am super proud to see so many young people and adults learning new life skills, and achieving personal rewards through Scouting in the UK. I am excited to see Scout numbers continue to rise across the UK, especially the numbers of girls.

What I’m most pleased about is that Scouts across the UK are putting their time in to helping their local communities. Through our A Million Hands campaign we are pledging one million hands to supporting four of the biggest social issues currently facing the UK and the wider world, but we can’t do it on our own. We want all young people to come and give Scouting a try and to get involved. This is how we can all play a vital role in shaping tomorrow’s world for the better.”

The record growth in young women and girls joining Scouting is a testament to the Scout Association’s commitment to fostering diversity and social integration within our local communities.

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