Scout leader's weekly trek is a labour of love - but more volunteers needed

The Northern Echo: HELPING HAND: Richard Smith with the 7th Darlington Sea Scouts which he makes a 100-mile round trip weekly to help run HELPING HAND: Richard Smith with the 7th Darlington Sea Scouts which he makes a 100-mile round trip weekly to help run

A SCOUT leader who makes a 100-mile round trip from Northumberland to Darlington each week has appealed for adult volunteers to swell the group’s ranks.

Richard Smith drives from Newbiggin-by-the-Sea every Wednesday to help run the 7th Darlington Sea Scouts, at Heathfield School.

Mr Smith, 30, was born and raised in Darlington and was a scout himself before becoming one of the leaders 12 years ago.

The group was part of an experiment many years ago, which saw sea scouts groups set up in areas miles away from the sea.

It obviously worked, as the group celebrated its centenary last year.

Asked what motivates him to keep up his involvement, Mr Smith said: “I do not support football, so I can never understand fans getting so passionate about their team, but I can when it comes to this scout group.

“This is my scout group and I do not want to see it failing.”

The group has about 60 children and teenagers on its books, aged from five to 18, but only a handful of adult helpers.

Mr Smith added: “We are not asking for masses of commitment, it could just be an hour a week, people do not have to dedicate their lives to it, it depends how much time they are able to give.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer scout leader can call Mr Smith on 07771-415936.

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