MP should support those who care

I am writing with regard to the front page of your Biggleswade edition dated November 2. I live in Biggleswade and have done for only a few years, I am involved in Scouting locally and was quite irritated by Mr Burt s comments, as were many other local p

I am writing with regard to the front page of your Biggleswade edition dated November 2. I live in Biggleswade and have done for only a few years, I am involved in Scouting locally and was quite irritated by Mr Burt's comments, as were many other local people who have urged me to write.

Our Scout group caters for more than 150 local youngsters, boys and girls from the age of 6 to 18. We have recently been fundraising very hard locally and nationally to raise the money needed to improve our headquarters. We are currently bursting at the seams with young people and need a larger facility to cope with all of those who come to us for fun and adventure. We have twice been promised land on which to build our new premises, once by Mid Beds Council themselves. Both times this has fallen through.

In your article Mr Burt is quoted as saying "I was very surprised but now I want to make sure that something is done for young people to try and get them off the streets of Biggleswade", well help us then to get this land on which to build our new premises.

I would suggest that as well as speaking to these young people who choose to stand outside on street corners why doesn't Mr Burt also approach those who are actually trying to do their best for Biggleswade? How many of these young people he spoke to were on parade on Remembrance Sunday?

I was there; did Mr Burt take time out to speak to me, standing in the cold in full uniform along with around 80 other adults and young people from Scouting? No, he did not; it would appear that he would prefer to hang around on street corners with young people, some of whom would rather hurl abuse at me for being a Scout.

Scouting is not "cool" we have to wear a uniform and do as we are told, just like school, but when at school do you get the chance to have an adventure? When was the last time you actually caught your dinner before preparing and cooking it on an open fire outdoors? Many people would ask why would you want to, but our Scout Troop has 30 or so young people who see this as a personal challenge, a challenge which they all rise to annually at their Castaway Camp.

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When did you last have the opportunity to join in the largest youth gathering in the world ever? Our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts will have the opportunity to join in with the World Scouting Jamboree next year, a residential event for over 40.000 people from nearly every country in the world. Scouting, boring, I don't think so...

In addition to land and premises we still need yet more adults willing to give some time. We currently have more young people wanting to join us, we do not have the adults to take them in. Would Mr Burt like to put on a uniform and give us a hand? Biggleswade Scout Group is a roaring success thanks to all of the adult leaders, young people and their parents who support us, but we still need more.

We need people with skills for life and a willingness to be seen to be involved. The days of the "career volunteer" are over but could you give us four hours a month? We are actively seeking adults, young and old to join us in providing Scouting locally, and you do not have to wear a uniform! The Scout Association mission statement, yes we do have one of those, reads: "The aim of the Association is to promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.

The method of achieving the Aim of the Association is by providing an enjoyable and attractive scheme of progressive training, based on the Scout Promise and Law, and guided by adult leadership."

Mr Burt, please do not put us down, we are really doing our best for the young people of Biggleswade, do not tar us all with the same brush as those who don't do anything in their community. You will never be able to convert those who don't, but please support those who do.

If anyone is interested in helping in Scouting in Biggleswade, please get in touch.

Mrs SONJA MAY, Derwent Avenue, Biggleswade

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