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Oldham scouts reward excellence among their leaders.
Wednesday 13th March 2019 @ 16:05 by Anna Fletcher
Community News

Oldham Borough Scout’s ‘Evening of Excellence’ celebrates the scouting leaders who have gone the extra mile both in the organisation and within the community.

The event took place at the Oldham Event Centre and was attended by leaders and volunteers from Oldham Borough Scouts as well as special guests Deputy Mayor Cllr Adrian Alexander and Deputy Mayoress Cllr Ginny Alexander and Regional Commissioner Andrew Corrie.

District Commissioner, David Hamilton, said: “When I came into the role two years ago nobody had looked at awards for leaders. So I spent the last two years going through everybody’s records and we are starting to catch up now. It is about celebrating what they do as volunteers in the district.”

Leaders were given a range of awards including Long Service from 5 to 30 plus years, the District Commissioner Commendation which went to Peter Joy, the Chief Scout Commendation, Medals of Merit, Bar to the Medal of Merit, Wood Beads and Silver Acorns.

David said: “These guys do so much more than run the Scout group, they are putting in time outside of that and often doing so much in the community outside of that as well. This is just recognising what they actually give to the community. I’ve been a scout leader myself and I see what they do every week so we want to reward them, give them a big pat on the back and say thank you, it goes a long way.”

Currently there are around 50,000 children on the scout waiting list in the UK with that number only increasing. In Oldham there are just over 1,000 Scouts with 478 leaders. Leaders give all they can, but the organisation is in need of more people to volunteer their time to help.

David said: “It is only due to people like this who put in the time and effort that we can actually give these kids what they want. We are crying out for leaders and there is always a job to suit someone. It could be running a scout night, doing cubs or beavers, treasurer, chair or just turning up to help deliver a trailer to a camp. It is up to you how much time you want to commit, but we could always use volunteers.”

One of the evening’s attendees has been involved with scouting since the forties.

Ozzie Millar, 86, who is the proud owner of a Silver Wolf Award, said: “I joined Cubs in 1940. I got a lot out of it to start with and then I started to put a bit back and the more you put back, the more you get out of it so it’s a vicious circle!”

The next big event for Oldham’s Scouts is the Jamboree, which happens every four years and brings together Scouts from all over the world.

David said: “There are more countries that go to the World Jamboree than go to the Olympics. 50,000 scouts will congregate, this year in the USA, on a campsite in West Virginia. They will also visit Canada and Mexico. It’s the experience of a lifetime, they get to understand different cultures and ways of life, it’s fabulous and it is possible because of all of these wonderful leaders.”

David ended the night by thanking everyone for attending including Regional Commissioner Andrew Corrie, Deputy Mayor Cllr Adrian Alexander and Deputy Mayoress Cllr Ginny Alexander.

For more information or to volunteer visit www.oldhamscouts.co.uk