The Scouts suffered the worst membership scouts since World War II

The Scouts movement lost more volunteers and young members last year than at the start of World War II, the Covid Locks closed weekly meetings and withdrew allies.

Active membership fell by a quarter last year, with 117,000 fewer Beavers, Schaubs, Scouts and Investigators taking part. One in 10 adult volunteers, many of whom were key workers, have also withdrawn, and the number of volunteers has dropped from 1,156,000 last year to 1,100,000. Many adults who lost their jobs or had to change jobs during an epidemic are no longer able to help.

The loss of volunteers is proving particularly sharp and the 113-year-old movement is struggling to operate at its capacity, with some troops having to remove members. C Since the January 1 census, the number of children volunteering has returned more than the number of volunteers.

Some groups continued to hold virtual meetings in Zum and there were initiatives to organize fort camps where members pitched tents in their back gardens and joined online singles ongs. But the longest-locked areas, including the North West, Wales and Northern Ireland, have seen the biggest loss of involvement, and the organization is concerned that it could bring back people from more disadvantaged areas with less access to IT.

The effect reflects widespread uncertainty in the voluntary and philanthropic realms. Research According to the National Council for Voluntary Organizations, UK organizations have seen a decline in donations and expect a 177% drop in trading activity next year.

Matt Hyde, chief executive of the Scout Association, said: “This is another example of how young people are affected. [by the pandemic] And how certain communities have been most affected. We are winning the battle against Kovid but now we have to win peace and that requires economic and social reform. ”

The epidemic continued to grow in membership, with between 200 membership and total membership growing to about 200,000 between 2020. But this is the biggest loss between 1938 and 1941, when Britain fought the war. At that time, the membership dropped by 28% as most adult volunteers were recruited.

Slump registered scouts to send dozens of community organizers to recruit new volunteers.

Andy Ameley, who runs the 244th Birmingham First Castle Vale Scouts group, said he has lost 225 of his volunteer leaders and his membership has dropped from 63 to 38, although the reb has improved to 57.

“We’ve been looking back on a lot of volunteers who are meeting outsiders and seeing the rewards on young people’s faces is making a difference in their health,” Hyde said. “The public health benefits of volunteering are huge.”

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