Scouts help young people choose their future.

It's Your Choice imageScouts from the New Forest have helped to raise £180 for a Totton based young people’s charity.

The money was collected at an event to celebrate the Scout’s achievements over the past year and inspire them to ‘reach for the stars’ in a space themed event chosen by the Scouts themselves.

Held in the centre of Lyndhurst, the event included the launch of balloon rockets and an inspirational message from astronaut Tim Peake, himself a former Scout. Hosted by the 5th New Forest North Scouts, based in Calmore, the event involved Scouts of all ages travelling around the solar system, meeting other people and learning important skills along the way all from the comfort of their seats.

Seven year old Scout, Harrison said “It was really fun with lots of laughing and seeing my friends.” Ten year old Isaac, who played one of the parts in the event, said “I liked being part of the Major’s crew. He had to have a crew so he wasn’t lonely.”

The money raised was presented to Totton based young people’s charity It’s Your Choice by Scouts who took part in the event. The donation was received by Emma Larter, youth worker at the charity who explained its significance. “This money will go towards training up youth workers to help young people through our drop in service.”

It’s Your Choice empower young people to make positive life choices and provide help and support to prevent problems escalating into bigger concerns. They offer information and advice about many issues affecting young people across the New Forest including drug and alcohol abuse, sexual health, homelessness and mental health issues.

Adult volunteer, Steven Osborn said “Scouting gives young people skills for life so they can be full and active members of our community. We give them confidence and resilience to make a difference, as do It’s Your Choice. The work they do to help young people in our area is so important and we wanted to help them to do just that.”

Mental health awareness in particular is one issue the Scouts are helping to tackle. As adult volunteer Steven Osborn explains, “Improving the mental health of our young people is something important to us. My six and seven year old Scouts have raised money in the past to help local teens so I am glad that we can help again.”

Nationally, this cause is being championed by the scouts as part of their A Million Hands programme of community impact that has already seen hundreds of thousands of young people take action on one of four key projects.

The Scouts help prepare young people with skills for life and is shaped by young people in partnership with adults. They are looking for new volunteers. Get in touch to join or get involved via or call 02380 847847.