Harrogate and Nidderdale District Scouts are appealing for volunteers as their programme returns to normal.

The scouts were forced to move online during lockdown and had been unable to carry out their usual physical activities, including sailing, abseiling and rock-climbing.

And now that the 14 groups and 9 explorer units across the area are able to resume in person, leaders have welcomed any volunteers who wish to ‘step up and help’.

Russ Hirst, Deputy District Commissioner for Harrogate and Nidderdale District Scouts, said:

“There is a shortage unfortunately. We have 100,000 volunteers across the country but every group will always welcome anybody who wants to step up and help, either for an hour a year, an hour a week or more, the groups will welcome you and give you lots of guidance.

“We always say we are helping train these youngsters for life and giving them the opportunities to do things that they wouldn’t be able to do. Sailing, abseiling, rock-climbing – a lot of these kids don’t come into contact with these things on a daily basis so it’s great to see their faces light up when they have a go at something.”

Harrogate and Nidderdale District Scouts covers an area from Pateley Bridge in the west to Marston Moor in the east, with most groups located in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

Scouts have been unable to carry out their usual activities during the pandemic, including abseiling.

During the pandemic, scout groups have been unable to meet on a weekly basis and in some cases have not physically seen other members in over a year, something that has had an effect on their mental health according to Russ Hirst:

“It’s doing social things as well as activities. Just meeting their peers, and they haven’t seen them for 13 months in some cases, really helps their mental health.

“A lot of them have been struggling and we’ve been aware of that. We’ve been online like many people through the pandemic but getting back and being able to talk to people, and then being able to do things again is just fantastic.”

Anyone interested in helping out as a volunteer at Harrogate and Nidderdale District Scouts should contact the group via email: CC@NYS.org.uk.

If you’d like to find out more about Harrogate and Nidderdale District Scouts, find them online or on Facebook.

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