Save the Scouts by racing around the world | UK | News (Reports)

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Bear Grylls is calling on Scouts to help Scouts (Image: Martyn Milner/The Scout Association/PA)

This year has been tough on every single one of us. And that includes Scouts too. We’ve got more than 7,000 groups across the country doing their best to help young people gain skills and find their place in the world. But now at least 500 of these groups have told us they might need to close their doors. They’re struggling to pay their bills and to even keep the lights on.

Many of the Scout groups at risk of closure are based in communities that were already struggling before COVID-19 hit.

Scouting is more important than ever before, giving young people a sense of connection and belonging, and supporting communities in areas of deprivation which are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

We’ve got parents and carers who’ve lost their jobs, unable to pay for subs and activities.

Without our help, these groups could close within weeks.

That means a whole generation could miss out on the friendship, skills and opportunities we offer.

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Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls at Manchester Central Convention Complex (Image: Peter Byrne/PA)

We can’t afford for that to happen.

We won’t let it.

That’s why we’ve launched an epic challenge – our Race Round The World.

We’re asking everyone to travel a mile or more in their local area (or do a project at home) and get sponsored for it.

Their miles will be added to their team’s total and help them get the 43,000 miles round the world.

Bear Grylls meets the Queen

Bear Grylls meets the Queen (Image: Yui Mok/PA)

We’ve got four brilliant teams all racing against each other in a spirit of friendly competition and having fun along the way.

To help us out, we’ve enlisted some of our great Scout Ambassadors to lead the way – including Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds and astronaut Tim Peake, rower Helen Glover and naturalist Steve Backshall, mountaineer Saray Khumalo and explorer Ed Stafford, Dwayne Fields – the first black Briton to reach the North Pole – and TV survivalist Megan Hine.

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Every one of these heroes has committed to help their team to the finish line.

The Duchess of Cambridge with Chief Scout Bear Grylls

The Duchess of Cambridge with Chief Scout Bear Grylls (Image: Ben Gurr/The Times/PA)

It’s about a lot of us doing a little to make a massive difference.

But why the world?

Well, with so many jamborees and expeditions abroad cancelled this year, we thought we’d give our young people the chance to cross borders without going further than their local park.

It’s a chance for them to discover the wonder our precious planet has to offer – and to whet their appetites for big adventures in the future.

As Scouts, we’ve already raised more than £350,000 for local communities this year as part of our epic hike to the moon.

This time, it’s about Scouts helping Scouts.

But we need as much help as possible if we’re going to get four teams round the world.

That’s why I’m calling on former Scouts, parents and everyone who recognises the incredible work the Scouts do, to join us.

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You can donate directly or travel a sponsored mile (any way you like) and support us in our mission to save our groups and Race Round The World.

You can sign up in less than a minute by clicking here.

This is our moment to help each other; to show what we mean when we make our promise to help other people.

The Duchess of Cornwall meets Bear Grylls

The Duchess of Cornwall meets Bear Grylls (Image: Arthur Edwards//PA)

Now is the time we need to invest in our young people and help them when they need it most. This is our moment to show how much we care; to show our solidarity and our friendship.

And no matter which team crosses the line first, the real winners will be our young people.

So join me on the startling line for the biggest race of the year.

Let’s race round the world.

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