Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017. 


Richard recently became a Scout Leader for the day as 28 Cub Scouts, from across the UK – including members of our own Brickhill Cub Scouts – held the first ever Pack meeting at the Palace of Westminster. The event was part of The Scout Association’s drive to promote the benefits of volunteering to adults.

A collection of MPs worked with 12 adult leaders from around the UK for Volunteers’ Week. They helped the Cubs enjoy a number of activities including setting up a camp and going on an indoor expedition. (See below for video)

The benefits that volunteering has had on the lives of the adult leaders present was clear to all the MPs. Many of the leaders at the meeting only joined Scouting in the last two years.


Every week Scout leaders develop skills such as planning, organising, communication, and teamwork while running a range of activities for young people aged between 6 and 18. These skills can in turn be transferred to the workplace.

Leading the meeting was Jenny Thorp a teacher at Latymer All Saints Primary School in North London and leader at 4th Enfield Scout Group. Having worked previously as a personal trainer, Jenny used her Scouting experience and skills to secure a place on the Graduate Teacher Programme and gain her first teaching position.

She said:

“Getting involved in Scouting is one of the best things I’ve ever done. Whether it’s leading a camp or planning an activity, you’re constantly being challenged. When I decided to change career paths and become a teacher, the skill-set I’d developed in Scouting was the key to getting a place on the Graduate Teacher Programme.

“Volunteering has helped me bring new ideas, confidence and creativity to my teaching methods. This doesn’t just apply to being a teacher though; almost everyone needs strong interpersonal and planning skills in their job nowadays.”

Patrick, a Cub Scout at the meeting, said:

“The MPs made great Scout leaders and I really hope they sign up to do more volunteering as well as encouraging other people do the same.”

Through Scouting, adults also play an important role in their community, helping young people build their character and take part in outdoor adventure. The contribution of all adults working in the Movement is equivalent to nearly half a billion pounds of paid services for young people annually.

Adults who are interested in joining Scouting can find out more details at: http://www.scouts.org.uk/join

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