SCOUTING has become the fastest growing community based youth charity in the UK, a census has revealed.

Membership in Halton and Cheshire has grown by 4.3 per cent to more than 12,000 people actively involved across the county.

Scout leader Rick Wakefield from 14th Widnes said: “Being a scout leader is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. It’s great helping young people in my local area.

“I’m looking forward to representing the district and the county at next year’s World Jamboree.”

Mersey Weaver district, which includes Runcorn, Widnes, Frodsham, Helsby, Alvanley, Norley, Kingsley, Ince & Elton currently has 1440 members, a rise of 1.8 per cent on a year ago.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls, whose visit to Runcorn was one of the highlights of 2013, said: “I am super proud to see so many young people and adults learning new life skills, achieving personal rewards through scouting.

“ I am excited to see Scout numbers continue to rise and the big reasons for this are that more and more young people are realising that scouting can give them so much - whether it’s the opportunity to be involved with some incredible adventures, learn practical life, outdoor and teamwork skills, or helping to improve their local communities.

"People don't want to miss out and Scouting brings them all together, empowers them and allows them to make a positive impact.”

The number of adults volunteering to change young people’s lives in Cheshire has grown by 365 in the past eight years to a total of 2,255.

Nationally, scout membership has grown by 100,000 to 550,000 in the last 10 years.

For information on how to join the scouting adventure in Cheshire visit