In 2015 Willesden District started a development project to grow our district and recruit more new adult volunteers. To do this we work with our National Headquarters to employ development officers to work locally in Willesden, seeking out community leaders and meeting places, and setting up these new provisions.
We ran taster session in Harlesden and St. Raphael’s; both projects recruited enough volunteers and young people to start new permanent scouting provision. The new sections in Harlesden have been so successful in their first year that they have already had to introduce a waiting list for young people to join. They are now on the search for more volunteers to offer Scouting to those on the waiting list.
Linda Anneh-Bu, our new Group Scout Leader at 10th Willesden Scout Group, said,
Scouting is a bit of lifeline to the community round here. It gives the young people really fun and exciting things to do and helps them develop skills that will help them in later life. I am proud to be part of the team that gives new opportunities to our young people.
In 2018 we opened four new Scout Groups in Willesden:
27th Willesden in Neasden
10th Willesden in Harlesden
35th Willesden in St. Raphael’s, and
14th Willesden in Kilburn
We also opened two new Explorer Scout Units for 14 to 18 year olds, Allegiance ESU who are joint with the 14th Willesden; and a Young Leaders Unit to provide training to Explorer Scouts who volunteer in other sections.
Already in 2019 we have run a taster session, a four-week trial and scouting activity day in Stonebridge, which this week has lead to the opening of a new Beaver and Cub section, expanding the 10th Willesden Scout Group.
While our initial three year project in now approaching its end we are now looking for local grant funding to take our growth even further and ensure the stability ind long term success of these new groups.