We are volunteers of the UK’s biggest mixed youth organisation. Within our county we have 650 young people across 13 groups of beavers, cubs, scouts and explorers with ages from 6 to 25 helping children and young adults reach their full potential and develop lifelong skills. To support this we have a number of adult volunteers and young leaders. Scouts take part in a wide range of activities such as camping, hiking, rafting, archery, climbing, competitions and overseas expeditions. With each section having an average of 20 or more young people, this can mean a lot of equipment and personal kit to move and transport, and the use of a large trailer is ideal.
With the changes in regulations, if you passed your driving test after September 1997 you now have to complete a separate car and trailer test to allow you to tow a large heavy trailer. Currently those aged under 39 wont be able to tow unless they have completed a separate course and passed a test.
Within the district we have 195 adult leaders. Out of these, 23% are retired ex-leaders and either aren’t confident or aren’t available. The remaining either don’t have suitable vehicles or tow bars or again, aren’t available, or are under 39 and don’t have the correct towing category on their licence. Many of the younger leaders in our district have suitable vehicles, and the time to help, and are looking to fulfil their potential and provide another key resource for both there own and other local scouting groups.
Even though most of the adult leaders are a mix of ages, most are under 39 and keen to take on more responsibility as the older generation are passing more on to the younger generation. Without some more leaders being able to tow, there will be a shortage of people available to help with logistics of events for the young people. This has started to become an issue and currently we are just managing to sort logistics, but looking forward, with a number of leaders and helpers having less time, moving on, or becoming unavailable due work commitments, it will start to become a real problem.
Many of the scout groups don’t have the available funds to send leaders on this course, and the individuals may not be able to afford the course especially if its primarily used for scouting activities. Those we are looking to fund are from a variety of local scout groups, aged between 23-35, and run a number of sections within their groups. We are asking for help to fund just 8 leaders, to get this category added to their driving licence. The district has a number of large trailers which are shared across the groups, but the restriction of use is having people available to tow them and with the young people organising or taking part in a number of large camps each year, this has become a noticeable problem. With help from you for courses, this is a much-needed resource for us that can be shared across scouting groups, bringing groups together and allowing access to new camps, activities and experiences for our young people.