The 29th Purley Scout Group is launching Croydon’s first Squirrels group, a brand-new branch of the Scout movement for children aged four and five.
Squirrels offers the best Scouts has to offer – learning by doing and getting into the great outdoors – combined with early-years best practice of storytelling, routine, and play.
The new Squirrels group, known as a “drey”, is being launched by 29th Purley, a thriving scout group based at and supported by Purley Baptist Church on Banstead Road.
Squirrels will meet weekly during term time, with occasional expeditions and camps.
Squirrels was launched nationally in 2021 and represents the first new scout age range in 35 years. As each new drey opens, volunteers are supported by the Scouts’ national team, who provide a launch mentoring scheme. Additionally, all Scout volunteers can access the Scouts’ extensive training scheme, covering everything from First Aid and firelighting to inclusivity and promoting positive behaviour. All volunteers are Enhanced DBS-checked on a regular basis.
The Squirrels’ programme and approach leans heavily on experience gained during an early-years pilot in more than 40 communities, as well as years of pioneering work in Northern Ireland. Pilot groups thrived in black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, and areas of high deprivation.
Squirrels comes at a time when inequalities in society are all too clear. By launching Squirrels, the Scouts say that they are:
- Helping four- and five-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.
Parents and carers who are interested in finding out more about Squirrels in Purley can contact 29th Purley via their Facebook page https://facebook.com/29thpurley
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