Retirement beckons for scout leader after three and a half decades
STUART Pickford, who has been steering the 3rd Cheadle Scout Group for more than three and a half decades, is about to step down from his post.
Dedicated Stuart, of Vicarage Crescent, Upper Tean, is preparing to retire as leader in July after what he describes as an incredibly rewarding 36 years with the local scouting troupe.
In preparation for his fond farewell later this summer Stuart has launched an urgent appeal for adult leaders and volunteers to help secure the future of the organisation in his absence.
He spoke to the Times and Echo this week about his longstanding involvement with the 3rd Cheadle Scout Group.
“I became involved by accident really. I used to collect Scouting badges as a bit of a hobby and I approached the then Cheadle Scout leader, the late Mr Davenport, to see whether he had anything I could add to my collection and that was it really, I was straight into it.
“Within about a year I was leader of the group – it really was a tremendous first 12 months!
“Things are very different now than they were then, scouting was a lot simpler when I first started volunteering.”
Reflecting on the highs of being Scout leader Stuart continued: “Scouting helps to teach children how to look after themselves and others and gives them the chance to learn about life and how to work as a team.
“Seeing them grow and develop has been very rewarding and makes all the hard work worthwhile.
“It is wonderful to see some of our former scouts go on to do really well. Scouting teaches so many valuable skills and enables children to see what they might be able to achieve in the future.”
With Stuart set to step down later this summer and with a real shortage of adult volunteers waiting in the wings the local scouting group is making a heartfelt and urgent plea for more potential leaders to come forward and help cement the future of the club.
“We urgently need volunteers who can come along and commit to helping out with the scouts group regularly.
“We currently meet every Monday from 7pm until 9pm at The Monkhouse in Prince George Street, Cheadle and accept girls and boys aged from 103/4 and 14,” added Stuart.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering as an adult leader with 3rd Cheadle Scout Group please telephone Stuart Pickford on 01538 722663.
Full leader training will be provided, police disclosure in operation.
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