The fate of a long-established Boys Brigade (BB) Company in Bulwell hangs in the balance despite a determined effort to recruit new members.
First formed in 1953, the 21st Nottingham BB Company based at Ravensworth Road Methodist Church closed in May this year, following a dramatic fall in membership.
Captain Ken Willows, who has been involved with the brigade for 60 years, has launched a ‘Save Our Brigade’ campaign, with the backing of officer in charge Bill Brooks, lieutenants Derrick and Dominic Lea, secretary Margaret Burrows and BB stalwarts Greg Cowley and Andy Sharp.
He said: “It is a complete mystery as to why we are in this situation. In its heyday the BB Company at Ravensworth Road had more than 50 members.
“The church is a perfect venue, it has great facilities, a smashing group of adults who are there to enrich the lives of the young people and to guide them in their journey to become kind and caring adults.”
During the past six months the campaign has targeted local schools, shops and supermarkets, with posters and leaflets but to no avail.
But a recent bid to attract newcomers with a fun night and games evening was not attended by a single child.
Bill Brooks added: “It’s as if the Pied Piper has lured all the children away as in the age old story. But the truth is that without the support of parents this initiative is going to be dead in the water.
“I would like to appeal to adults with children in the local community to bring their children along to see what we have to offer.
“Boys Brigade is a great youth organisation and the opportunities that it offers will certainly enrich the lives of the youngsters.”
The group aims to run an ‘Anchor’ section for boys and girls aged between five and eight, and a Junior Section for eight to 11-year-olds on Thursdays.
For more information call Ken on 07812210878, Bill Brooks on 0115 849776, or Andy Sharp on 07786237402.