Willesden scout group faces closure unless volunteers come forward
PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 February 2014
A popular scout group in Willesden which predates the Second World War faces closure unless volunteers step forward to take over reigns, the retiring leader warns.
Brian Stroud, who has been running the 25th Beaver Scouts for 43 years, with wife, Maria, is urging for volunteers to take over leadership of his beloved organisation, following the announcement of his retirement.
The father of four and grandfather of three is reluctantly hanging up his badges to focus on the education of his grand child with special needs after nearly 50 years of service.
“I have been with the scouts for the best part of my life and I’d be sad to see the group close because no one is willing to take over,” he said.
Mr Stroud became the Leader of the Willesden Scout group in 1971 at the tender age of 17.
He ran the organisation whilst working for the Highway Agency and later Transport for London for 40 years, and even took Monday afternoons off to pursue his unpaid position.
The vacant position has been advertised on different scout websites and leaflets have been posted through letterboxes in the local area but have failed to evoke a response, according the head scout.
“I think what is happening now is that work commitments determine what people can and can’t do,” he said.
“We have a lot of doctors and people from other professions who volunteer who would love to do the role but won’t be able to give the time and effort that is crucial to the organisation because of their work schedule.”
Telling the Times that the group is as popular now than it was then, the 62-year-old added: “Our group enables children to express their selves and develop key life skills.
“It also provides them with another avenue, alongside school, for them to reach and achieve their full potential.”
The group currently meets at Kings Hall Community centre in Harlesden Road.
The Beaver Scouts in Willesden will seize its operations in June if a replacement is not found.
Anyone interested in the vacancy can call Brian Stroud on 0775 156 8164
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