Three organisations which have been a rite of passage for hundreds of thousands of young people locally have received the Freedom of Liverpool.
Merseyside Scouts, Girlguiding Merseyside and the Liverpool and District Battalion of the Boys’ Brigade got the honour at a special ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall on Tuesday 5 December.
Between them, the organisations have been in operation for hundreds of years and have tens of thousands of young people taking part in regular activities at any one time.
Lord Mayor, Cllr Malcolm Kennedy – a former cub scout – said: “We all know someone who was or is a Scout, a Girlguide or a member of the Boys’ Brigade.
“Their work has touched the lives of countless young people for generations, teaching them life skills and encouraging them to be active members of society.
“I have recently spent time with each organisation, seeing up close the work that they do and getting involved in their activities. There is absolutely no doubt that many, many young people have grown up to be better adults as a result of being a Scout, Girlguide or member of the Boys’ Brigade.
“It is right and proper that we reflect their significant role in life in our city by awarding them the Freedom of Liverpool and I am delighted to do so.”
Peter Oliver, County Commissioner for Merseyside Scouts, said: “This is great recognition of the amazing work of countless numbers of adult volunteers who have delivered everyday adventure and skills for life to an immeasurable number of young people over the last 110 years.
“It’s an exciting time for Merseyside Scouts. Today, we have a growing team of over 3000 incredible adult volunteers and helpers delivering life changing adventure to over 8000 young people every week of the year – their impact is immense and we hugely value the time they give.
“Our ambition is for every young person across Merseyside who wants to benefit from what we offer, to have that opportunity. In order to do this, we’re going to need even more adult volunteers and now is a great time to get involved.
“Whether that’s running activities, supporting administration or fundraising; we have a wide range of opportunities for you to get involved with.”
Ann Marie Cresaham, County Commissioner for Girlguiding, said: “Girlguiding Merseyside is immensely proud and humble to be receiving the “Freedom of the City” of Liverpool.
“As the highest honour our city can bestow upon an organisation, it recognises and acknowledges the contribution girlguiding has made to the lives of so many young people in our city over the years.
“With approximately 700 volunteers, leading 236 units across Merseyside, guiding provides, a girls only space, gives girls a voice and changes as the lives of our girls change.
“This is why we remain the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK and are as relevant today as we were when we opened our first unit in Liverpool in 1913.
“We are delighted to be receiving this award, we are proud of our members and proud of this great city and its communities we serve.”
Bill Stevenson, Boys’ Brigade Secretary and Chief Executive, said: “I was delighted to learn that Liverpool and District Battalion is to be granted the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.
“This is a tremendous honour for the Battalion and I know just how much it will mean to all our members in the city.
“The Boys’ Brigade continues to be a great force for good and it is encouraging to know that the enthusiasm of so many committed volunteers is being recognised in such a special way. Many congratulations to you all.”