On Monday 17th October 2022, we officially opened our 3rd Squirrel Drey in the district at the 1st Goosnargh Scout Group. 12 Squirrels took their promises in front of their parents and carers as well as the Mayor Of Preston, Councillor Neil Darby, who used to be a Scout himself at the 1st Ashton.

Squirrels offers the best of Scouts – learning by doing and getting into the great outdoors – combined with early years best practice of storytelling, routine, and play. It’s a huge leap forward for us: our first new age range in 35 years. And it is a key part of our response to the challenges facing young people.

We know that the most fundamental connections are made during the precious, formative years before five years old. What happens then – positive or otherwise – stays with them for life. Change the start of the story, and we change the whole story.

Warren Frost Lead Volunteer said: ‘We are thrilled to have welcomed a new Squirrel Drey into Preston District this week, the young people really enjoyed getting to know each other and we are super excited to see the section develop over the coming months.’

Levison (4) New Squirrel Scout said: ‘I’m so happy to make new friends, have fun and where my Necker.’

Giving children the best start in life

Research from Ofsted tells us that the young people hardest hit by the pandemic are not developing the basic skills and learning they need. Early years children have returned less confident and more anxious after lockdowns.

Squirrels offers skills for life when and where it’s needed most. This is our opportunity to help enrich the lives of young people, preparing them for a brighter future.

We’re offering this brand-new programme, with wellbeing, kindness, and social action at its heart.

Building closer families, stronger communities, and a fairer society

Squirrels comes at a time when inequalities in our society are all too clear.

So, we’re:

  • Helping 4- and 5-year-olds gain key skills like communication, teamwork and resilience through structured play and story telling
  • Giving them a sense of achievement with great role models and a positive environment encouraging kindness and aspiration
  • Strengthening the bond between parents or carers and their children by encouraging family volunteering
  • Creating closer, more connected communities with volunteering at the heart.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “I’m so glad that younger children will now have the chance to join our family of Scouts and develop skills for life.

All of us at the Scouts believe that by offering opportunities at this early age, inspiring a sense of wonder, fun and curiosity, we can have a long-lasting, positive impact on young people’s lives.

To make this work we need more volunteers to join the team and get behind us.”

Why we need help to make this work

We’re a charity and a volunteer-led youth movement. Squirrels can only succeed with the help and support of You! Volunteering at Scouts isn’t just about changing young people’s lives. It’s about doing something that’s #GoodForYou too. Good for your health and happiness, good for developing skills, and good for making friends.