Our Patch Autumn 2017 Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush - Page 4

Our Patch AUTUMN 2017 The 28th Hammersmith tours Tesco, camps, gets muddy on the Thames and sells cakes Your shout DYB, DYB, DYB T Do Your Best! It’s the mantra of scouts, guides, cubs and beavers, but a shortage of leaders threatens the future of this beloved institution. Tim Harrison reports from the campfire he scout movement has never been more popular in west London, with active scout, guide, beaver, cub and brownie groups enjoying activities which don’t need mobiles or screens. But a dire shortage of willing and able leaders means much of the demand simply can’t be fulfilled, with the volunteer gap threatening a treasured tradition. Tony Smith joined 18th Chiswick as a cub, 60 years ago. He restarted the troop in 2014, helped by St Nicholas church. “It was my first group when I joined as a cub in 1954,” said Tony. The aim is to add scouts (age 10 and over) to the current 24-strong cub pack. A part of the Thameside Grand Union scout district, 18th Chiswick meets at the scout HQ behind the Pilot pub off Wellesley Road. “The problem is leaders,” said Tony, reflecting a crisis which affects Hammersmith, Fulham and Chiswick. “It’s all about lifestyle. When I was a boy I remember Chiswick’s Cherry Blossom shoe polish factory [near Dukes Meadows]. The factory hooter sounded at 5pm, and everyone left. “Well, very few people finish dead on 4/5 5pm anymore; 9 to 5 jobs are a thing of the past, yet we start beavers at 5.30pm, cubs at 6.30pm and scouts at 7pm. A lot of parents just haven’t got home by that time.” There’s no financial burden to being a leader or volunteer; every cost is covered, including uniforms, training and clearance checks to work with children. Throughout the district there are more than 1,000 young members… but that number could double if there was a reservoir of leaders. Where else could you do climbing, rugby, first aid, website design, fire station visits, trampolining, caving and camping for subs of just £35 a term? We need more people to come and help, p VPvFffGf"v&pvF6G&V( ėN( 2FR6VW7B&'6GFr6W'f6PF( VVBFb^( &PFW&W7FVBfVFVW&rG&F琦VB6VFvW'3tv6ФFW"bvW7BF( 2vЦFVB&VfW"B7V"w&W2267&VFr66WBG&f"BFזV"ЦG>( b'WBBFVVG2VFW'6VFR#FW'6֗F2R`F&VRw&W2&&Vvv66P&7FVBRB2rvFrƗ7@bVvW"Vw7FW'2( vWGFrGVBfVFVW'22F&&VvF&RFS6G&VvFrƗ7G27&70FR6VG'( 6B7Frw&W66W@VFW"VF6W'G( vRF( @GfW'F6Rf"Vw7FW'3vRF( BVV@F'WBVW'2&RW&vVFǒVVFVB( ХFR#FW'6֗Fv60'BbvW7BF66WFrF7G&7B2F&fr&VfW"6vR6ЦVvBB'W7FƖr7V"6VvBУ2( 2V6vFvFrƗ7B( 2'WB0rf&֖r66WBG&F&WFFPFW&W7Br2FG2&VB&VfW'2VWBB7B7FWV( 2666V"vf&B&Bs"vRFR3b7V'0VWBg&F2Bw&VV6FR&'VB'FVbVvBGVBfVFVW'2VvƗfW26WW&G2'W6vF2vfRBf֖ǒ62FRWp66WBw&Wv6VWBBw&VV6FP&'( v^( &RfW'W6FVB2BV0v^( &R&RFffW"fF7F266WFpWW&V6Rg&6FB&Vf&RFWfRFW"W&W"VBvW&PFW7FVFFWB( R6B