A scout group for children with additional needs and disabilities has made a desperate plea for a new leader and volunteers to help it survive.

15th Wallington Scout Group, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is searching for someone to take over from Claire Pearcy who stepped down in May.

But now the race is on to find a new scout leader as it would be tough for the organisation to remain “viable” without a permanent replacement.

Claire said: “After almost 13 years it’s time for someone else to provide a fresh approach and for me to focus on my own family.

“I’m absolutely going to miss seeing the scouts progress through the group and hope we can find a new leader.”

“I’ve met some remarkable young people and watched them develop and grow into confident teenagers, giving them opportunities that might otherwise have been out of their reach.

“Whether that be their first trip abroad, spending the night in a tent, cooking on a campfire, going sailing, gaining their badges, even just to be able to make friends and have fun on a Friday night.”

15th Wallington Scout Group provides around 25 young people, aged between six and 14 years, with a range of activities – including camping, cooking and arts and crafts.

Paul Carabine, a parent representative for the scout group, said: “We have around 18 scouts and it will be difficult for the unit to remain viable without a permanent leader going forward.”

“The group has provided my two sons, both of whom have autism, with opportunities to attend all the sorts of activities that other scouts in mainstream units manage – included activity weekends and camps.”

Anyone interested in working with the 15thWallington scout group can contact Catherine via the group website.

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