The number of young people enjoying skills for life every week in the New Forest has grown in the past year, although we have fewer volunteers making that happen.

Every year, we complete a census of every young person and adult volunteer in the New Forest Scout District, and we’re proud to announce the results from our census earlier this year.

Young people up

For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic, and the dip in member numbers, our total number of young people and adult volunteers bounced back to a total of 1,421 members in our New Forest District, covering the northern half of the New Forest national park and council areas. (2% increase on 2023)

This has been driven by an increase in the number of young people joining in the adventure each week, especially among our Squirrel Scouts (4-6 years), Scouts (10.5-14 years) and Explorer Scouts (14-18 years).

We now have the highest numbers learning skills for life since 2017 (1,048 in 2024, 5% increase), all thanks to the hard efforts of our volunteer leaders who come up with new and creative ways for our young people to become better citizens.

More adult volunteers needed

However, all these amazing efforts are being delivered by fewer volunteers. Our total number of volunteers has slumped by 4% including fewer front-line volunteers. We have lots of volunteer opportunities available, including some lead volunteer roles and plenty of support roles working with our young people.

We have plans in place, including some of Hampshire Scouts’ Growth and Development officers working with some of our groups, but it does not work without parents, carers, former Scouts and people from our community chipping in a little time to make it all work.

There are both front-line and behind the scenes roles available and every little bit helps. Find out more on our volunteer page.

We’re growing but we need more support