THE Scouting movement in Darwen has reported a 5.8 per cent growth in membership in the past three years.

Bosses also revealed the number of adult volunteers had shot up 19.75 per cent in five years to 97 and female membership had gone from 28 to 43 since last year.

Leaders say the increase in membership locally reflects the latest census figures which provide evidence of sustained growth across the UK for the ninth consecutive year.

The Scout Association plans to recruit a further 58,000 more young people, as well as 18,000 more adult volunteers, by 2018.

Luke Thompson, a Scout leader from Bold Venture Park Scout Group, said: “Being a scout leader is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done.”

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “I am super proud to see so many young people and adults learning new life skills, achieving personal rewards through Scouting in Darwen.”