SCOUTS in Westhoughton have bucked the national trend and created a new group.

Despite shortages of scout leaders across the country and locally, the Bolton18th scout group, based at the John Holt Community Centre, recently held its official investiture.

Rob Pimblett, district commissioner of the Bolton South with Farnworth scouts, hailed the response of the community to the new group.

He said: "It is fantastic for the area and the community actually came to us directly to ask because of the awareness of the Scouts' difficulties.

"For the foundation of the group, it is fantastic. The brownies and cubs will all become scouts then hopefully they will move into the leadership."

The group currently has a foundation of 20 beavers and eight cubs, which Mr Pimblett described as a 'solid foundation'.

He said: "The group has had a fantastic reception from the local community around the John Holt Centre.

"A huge thanks to all the district who have been involved at some point in opening this new group.

"And thank you from the majority of our network and explorer units to the dedicated group members around the whole district for their continued support."

The investiture ceremony is when the group announces its commitment to the Scout Law.

It was attended by the police and the town mayor of Westhoughton Cllr Sam Watkin, who was chosen to place the neckers on the cubs and beavers.

The creation of the new group came after Bolton scout officials revealed the difficulties in finding enough scout leaders and guides to keep group's open.

The Bolton South and Farnworth Scout Association was forced to close the 14th Farnworth Scouts as there were not enough leaders to run the activities.

When asked why he thinks it has become such a problem, Mr Pimblett said it was a “sign of the times” and that people might not have the time. More information can be found at