Scouts honour their patron saint and renew their pledges. Food donation at Family Fun event highlights plight of Eastleigh's hidden hungry.
Scouts from all over Eastleigh have celebrated St George’s Day by parading through the town before gathering at the bandstand to renew their promises and donate food to Eastleigh Basics Food Bank.
All UK Scouts take part in some form of St George’s Day event annually and on Sunday (28 April) over 350 Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts and Explorer Scouts – from between the ages of 6-18 – were on parade along with their leaders, stepping out to music provided by the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band, ‘The Spitfires’.
The Scouts taking part were drawn from 1st Eastleigh, 4th Eastleigh, 7th Eastleigh (2nd Fair Oak), 8th Eastleigh (1st Fair Oak), 12th Eastleigh (1st Bishopstoke), 13th Eastleigh Sea Scout Group (Bishopstoke), and 14th Eastleigh groups.
Before presenting the local food bank with a stockpile of tinned and packet food that had been collected by Scouts to help feed hungry families in Eastleigh, the Chaplin to Eastleigh District Scouts, the Reverend Jono Harvey, told the crowd how well used the Basics Bank was:
“There were 466 people fed this year, that is 296 adults and 170 children to the end of March, 701 people fed during 2018 and a total of 16,628 people fed since they first opened in 2011”
While thanking the Scouts for their efforts in collecting food, Dave Needham representing Eastleigh Basics Bank, said the total number of people fed had now exceeded 17,000.
Scouting is the largest co-educational youth movement in the world with over 25,000 members in Hampshire, 500,000 in the UK, and over 50 million across the world. Since it started in 1907, it estimated that in excess of 600 million young people have passed through the Scout movement across the world. The Scouts say they are fully inclusive with members from all faiths and ethnic backgrounds.
The Scouts’ District Commissioner Dick Whittington took the opportunity to urge members of the crowd to consider volunteering as adult helpers so that more groups could be set-up to meet demand.
Afterwards the District Commissioner told Eastleigh News:
“What we’ve done here today is central to scouting, renewing our promises, recognising our patron saint , Saint George, showing we are live and kicking and that there’s good young people out there who are committed to helping each other, developing their skills for life”