Plucky OAPs save Tipton cubs

PUBLISHED: 08:47 15 September 2010

Tipton scouts group under threat of closure due to no new leaders to take care of the group. Retired leaders have stepped in to take the reins until replacements can be found. Leaders Gordan Shepherd, Derek Marriott, Graham Leach and Brian Foulkes with existing scouts and new recruits.; Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shv 1673-36-10AW

Tipton scouts group under threat of closure due to no new leaders to take care of the group. Retired leaders have stepped in to take the reins until replacements can be found. Leaders Gordan Shepherd, Derek Marriott, Graham Leach and Brian Foulkes with existing scouts and new recruits.; Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shv 1673-36-10AW

Archant

A PLUCKY trio of pensioners have stepped in to resurrect a shut down children’s group.

Old timers who saved the Tipton St John Cub Scouts have now pleaded for volunteers to come forward to help secure its long term future. Brian Foulkes, 74, Derek Marriott, 78, and Graham Leach, 66, have more than a century of scouting experience between them.

“It’s a bit like an episode of Last of the Summer Wine!,” said assistant scout leader Brian, who wasn’t prepared to see children from Tipton, Newton Poppleford and West Hill left disappointed when the unit folded in July.

A recruitment drive proved an instant success as the pack’s membership doubled and kids enjoyed their first meeting on Tuesday.

“It has shut down,” said Brian, “at the moment we’ve only got four spaces left, which is brilliant.

“The reason we did this is simple, without a cub pack, in two and a half years there wouldn’t be a scout group. We want this to be the best scout group in the district.”

Long-standing cub scout leader Gordon Shepherd has returned to help the trio.

The cub pack, for seven to ten-year-olds, acts as a feeder group for the scouts.

“Three scout leaders are going to help run the cubs, we expect to do this for a year until we can get new leaders and get them trained,” said Brian.

He now hopes volunteers willing to give up a fraction of their time to co-ordinate matters such as fundraising efforts and events will come forward.

“What we need is an executive committee, which is crucial,” said Brian, “It would only take up 12 to 15 hours a year of people’s time, but you can’t seem to be able to get people to commit themselves.

“If you don’t have an executive committee you’re in a lot of trouble,” he added. To help contact Brian on (01395) 567600.


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