• 1 st New Cross Scouts, formed in January 1908, is opening a new Squirrels programme for 4-5 year olds
  • First new addition to 1st New Cross Scouts in 15 years, Squirrels supports early years children to learn essential skills for life
  • Call for volunteers to help with the long waiting list of children across South London

23rd February 2022 – Today, 1 st New Cross Scouts are opening their doors to the newest members of the Scouting family – Squirrels! Squirrels is a tailor-made program for 4 and 5-year-olds, who get to be active, explore nature and have fun learning outdoors with friends. The group has already worked up a long waiting list and is calling on grown-ups in Lewisham to volunteer to give these young children a chance to thrive after the pandemic.

The Squirrel Drey is welcoming 15 new Squirrels from a range of different backgrounds from across Lewisham, Deptford, and Brockley. It will join 500 other Dreys that have been set up across the UK since September, with priority being given to those communities most affected by the pandemic.

The emphasis for Squirrels will be on having outdoor adventures, making new friends, and learning new things, recognized by a new set of badges. Squirrels create a positive, safe environment for young children to develop, as they learn essential skills for life.

New Squirrels will get to learn new skills and meet new friends while pitching a blanket tent, planting seeds, or learning how to spend 50p in a local shop. The program is crafted to help them develop teamwork, communication, creativity, community awareness, and other core skills. New badges that Squirrels can earn will include Feel Good, Be Active, Explore Outdoors, Brilliant Builder, and Exciting Experiments.

“We’re delighted to be opening our doors to the newest members of the Scouting family. It’s been really tough on four and five-year-olds during the pandemic, especially in our catchment. We’re hoping to give these young people a sense of adventure, provide them with skills for life and positively impact their journey.”

Squirrels leader Debbie Cohen said

“I’m so glad that younger children will now have the chance to join our family of Scouts and develop skills for life. We know from our pilot program that 4-5-year-olds can really benefit from the activities that Squirrels offer. 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 donors to get behind us”

Bear Grylls, Chief Scout said

Scouting wouldn’t be possible without our incredible volunteers. That’s why we’re asking parents and other adult helpers to step forward, even if it’s an hour a week or occasionally helping out at a camp. It all makes a difference.

For more information about this new Squirrels group and 1st New Cross Scouts,

contact Liz at liz.f@1stnewcross.co.uk or visit www.1stnewcross.co.uk*ENDS* For more information please contact:  Liz Fricker on liz.f@1stnewcross.co.uk