500 Scout groups are at risk of closing down as social distancing affects fundraising drives

  • The Scout Association said many of the at risk groups were in deprived areas
  • Groups usually raise funds through jumble sales, quiz nights and car washes
  •  Scout Association has now launched a virtual race around the world fundraiser

More than 500 Scout groups are at risk of closure due to the pandemic.

They are facing a bleak future because social distancing has left them unable to raise funds in their normal ways.

Many of them are in deprived areas where young people ‘most need support’, the Scout Association said.

It has now launched a campaign to try to save those most at risk with a virtual race around the world. 

More than 500 Scout groups are at risk of closure because social distancing has left them unable to raise funds in their normal ways, the Scout Association has said

The event challenges Scouts to travel 172,000 miles collectively in their local areas. Some 7,300 Scout groups across the UK have joined the effort so far in a bid to raise £300,000.

Scout groups in areas such as Birkenhead, Wolverhampton Greater London are among those most at risk. 

The 1st Xscape Scout Group, which serves the communities of Pontefract and Castleford in West Yorkshire, is one of more than 500 that requires further support.

The group usually raises extra funds through jumble sales, quiz nights and car washes – but has been unable to do so due to the pandemic.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls (pictured here starring in a survival television programme) said he was ‘so proud’ of those taking part in a virtual race around the world fundraising effort which challenges Scouts to travel 172,000 miles collectively in their local area

Chief Scout Bear Grylls, said: ‘As Scouts we always support each other – and in today’s tough climate, where we all need inspiration and community, we are taking part all together in our Race Round the World.

‘Scouting plays a fundamental role in the lives of thousands of young people, giving them skills and hope for the future.

‘That is now more vital than ever. I am so proud of those doing their mile in support of those hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.’

The association said the majority of its Scout groups were now ‘back up and running’.

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