A SOUTH Lakes company boss has been named the new Cumbria Scouts’ Commissioner after a search lasting several months.
Matthew Canwell, a director of Lakeland Ltd, will lead a ‘growing movement’ of more than 4,000 Scouts across the county.
He takes over on April 1 from Graham White, who stands down after five years’ service.
His appointment comes at a time more volunteers are being sought to help lead Cumbria Scouts.
The movement’s most high-profile supporter - the Duchess of Cambridge - visited the Lake District last March to raise awareness of the volunteer role and was famously filmed enjoying a rainy-day camp fire meal with Scouts at Newby Bridge.
The appointment of a new Cumbria Commissioner follows a county-wide appeal spearheaded by the adventurer and survival expert Bear Grylls, who is the current Chief Scout and the tenth in that post since the popular movement was founded by Robert Baden-Powell in 1920.
Mr Canwell, who lives in Kendal, is married with four children, all of whom have benefitted from Scouting.
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Chris Harris the Scout Association’s Commissioner for the North West said: “I am delighted to announce that Matthew Canwell has accepted my invitation to become the next County Commissioner.
“Matthew, as district commissioner of Kentdale, is well known within the county. He impressed the interview panel by his proven leadership ability, his strategic vision for the county and by his systematic approach to Scouting.”
Mr Canwell said he was aware another 50 adults were needed just to satisfy the vacancies that exist for Scout leaders in Cumbria.
”Not only is it about giving boys and girls the opportunity to experience fun and adventure, adults can get just as much out of Scouting as the young people and they can develop skills that can be transferred into other areas of their lives,” he said.
“As County Commissioner, I hope that I can encourage more people to join our team and make Scouting available to an even bigger proportion of the young people of Cumbria.”
Mr Canwell is one of more than 700 volunteer Scout leaders in Cumbria who give up their time to encourage Scouting among young people.