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Milford and Keyhaven Scouts group warns of imminent closure without new volunteers

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A SCOUTING group which has operated in Keyhaven for over 60 years could close forever if new volunteers cannot be found.

Milford and Keyhaven Scouts, which has its headquarters in a hut on the banks of Keyhaven River, has already been forced to shut the Beavers and the Sea Scouts groups.

The Cubs section, for 8-10-year-olds, is still operating thanks to parents but more help is needed to ensure it can continue.

Lee Snook with the current Milford and Keyhaven Cubs group
Lee Snook with the current Milford and Keyhaven Cubs group

Group Scout leader Lee Snook said: “We really need help to keep the group alive. Currently the Cubs are just getting by with the help of a few parents but if we cannot recruit a new team of volunteers then it doesn’t look very hopeful for our future.

“If Cubs does close it would be extremely difficult to re-establish Scouting in Milford and Keyhaven. We are desperate to find a few people who would be willing to share the responsibility.”

As well as a purpose-built hut and use of a woodland inclosure, the Scouts group also owns a sizeable collection of sailing boats, dinghies, kayaks, canoes and camping equipment.

Lee said: “We have all these amazing resources in an incredible location but we just need helpers who are willing to volunteer.

"It could suit recently retired people who have moved to the area – volunteering in Scouting is a great way to make new friends and give something back to your community.

"Maybe people who enjoyed taking part in Scouting as children now have a chance to give something back?”

He added: “Children have missed out on so many important experiences during the last two years of Covid, and now things are starting to return to normal there are so many exciting opportunities like district and county events, camps, mud runs, swimming galas, bush craft sessions and junk wars, to name a few.”

Lee first got involved with Scouting when his son joined Beavers eight years ago. Since then he has acted as a Beaver and Cub leader before becoming the group Scout leader.

“All training is paid for by the group and is mostly done online, so helpers can gain qualifications as they go," he said. "Another benefit is the friendships that you make and the huge difference you can make to the lives of young people.

“If we cannot re-establish Scouting in Milford and Keyhaven then future generations will be missing out on the chances to learn to sail, learn new life skills, try out activities they’ve never tried before, experience staying away from home on camps and so many other benefits that Scouting can bring.

“We would love to get the Beavers and Scouts groups up and running for the spring when the children love being outside building camps, playing games and doing activities like crabbing.”

Ideally each section of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts needs to recruit a team of three to four new volunteers who are happy to step forward to share the role of joint leaders.

For more information email leesnook2@gmail.com

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