Meet the volunteers who make a difference in your community

Blackpool Scouts celebrated girls and women in Scouting as part of International Women’s Day.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 3:45 pm
Elizabeth Abbott, Blackpool District Scout secretary
Elizabeth Abbott, Blackpool District Scout secretary

Women in Scouting is nothing new; there have always been female leaders and now Scouting is fully mixed for boys and girls.

But this month’s International Women’s Day gave the district the opportunity to thank their volunteers for everything they do.

Irene Wheatley, Scout Active Support Unit manager, said: “I joined Scouting nearly 50 years ago.

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Irene Wheatley, SASU manager, pictured left

“The big thing for me has been to give time to all our young people in the hope that they will go on to have a great future and maybe put their experiences back into Scouting.”

Lorraine Howe, 4th Blackpool, Group Scout Leader, said: “Seeing an Explorer continuing with their Scouting journey, when I can remember them being a Cub and a Scout enforces why I

continue to volunteer.

“It has given me opportunities.

Victoria Johnson, 1st Staining, Scout Leader, pictured left

“It has given me the confidence to grow as a person and to try new things, which then enables me to encourage our young people to do the same.”

Girls first joined the Scout movement in 1976 as Venture Scouts, the section which previously catered for 15 to 20-year-olds.

In 1991 UK Scouting became fully mixed, and on January 1, 2007 it became compulsory for all groups to ensure provisions were in place to accept girls into all sections.

Victoria Johnson, 1st Staining, Scout Leader, said: “Volunteering has been a massive part of my life from starting in Guiding and moving to Scouting two years ago.

Lorraine Howe, 4th Blackpool, Group Scout Leader, pictured left

“I’ve participated in Gang Show as well as joint camps and District Camp.

“Being a leader allows me to give something back to the community and it’s a great feeling seeing the young people grow and send their own children to the movement and to help develop

their life skills too.”

Elizabeth Abbott, District secretary, said: “Volunteering in many different roles in Scouting has been a big part of my life.

“Currently my role is to support the District to promote making a difference and putting happiness into the lives of others. In return through my Scouting life I have experienced many happy

times and events.”

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