SCOUTING in Bewdley is facing the biggest leadership crisis in its 105-year history.

A shortage of adult help has meant that at least one of the town’s three troops could be closed down – with the other two under severe pressure.

The 3rd Wribbenhall group, which meets in Spencer Avenue, has already lost its beaver unit and its cub pack is run by one leader, however, the demand is greater than ever.

Chris Phillips, Wribbenhall’s group scout leader, said: “I ran the troop for 18 months on my own and now have one other leader to help me, but we are still in danger of closing.

“For any adult thinking of joining it doesn’t need to be a case of all hours. One extra adult for each week of the month would be enough.”

At the 1st Bewdley group, which began in 1909 and is based in Park Alley off High Street, cubs and beavers are both run by Alex Parmenter, who needs at least another four helpers.

“I’m locked into it, but it’s become a major balancing act,” she said.

“If I’m ill or have work commitments the whole thing shuts down. I feel under a lot of pressure.”

At Far Forest, leader Peter Johnson runs both cubs and scouts at the New Road headquarters along with an assistant leader, but he said planning and running programmes on two nights a week was “not sustainable in the long term” without additional help.

“The quality and variety of the scouting adventure is better than ever,” he said.

“However, unless this problem can be rectified soon, long established groups in the Bewdley area face the possibility of closure.”

At an emergency meeting with Robin Dellbridge, district commissioner, it was agreed to hold joint meetings between Bewdley, Wribbenhall and Far Forest cub packs as a temporary measure to help save money and planning time.

Far Forest scouts, established in 1931, the 3rd Bewdley which began in 1913, and the 1st Bewdley all currently have their own headquarters.

Mr Dellbridge said: “Three groups in the district have already been lost and we don’t want to lose any more.”

To volunteer, call Chris Phillips (Wribbenhall scouts) on 07855 022328, Andrew Blyth (Wribbenhall cubs) on 01299 401909, Alex Parmenter (Bewdley cubs and beavers) on 01299 403083 or Pete Johnson (Far Forest cubs and scouts) on 01299 400821.