A VILLAGE cubs group may have to disband after 14 years unless they can find more helpers.

St Paul's is the only group for beavers, cubs and scouts in Hoddlesden. But leader Ann White today voiced her fears for its future unless more adults step in as volunteers.

She said: "We have around eight beavers and roughly the same number of cubs. I'm the only official leader of the cubs and it's starting to get difficult because I'm juggling all three of the groups.

"If I stopped, or if one of the three helpers left, we wouldn't be able to manage. There's a possibility that the cubs might have to stop.

"Officially we have three helpers but it's not enough.These groups have been running for around 14 years and it would be such a shame for them to go now."

Ann blames the consumer culture for the downslide in volunteers for cubs, who are aged eight to 11.

She said: "Ten years ago we would have had more people wanting to help but now it's all about money and people just don't get involved in volunteering as much as they did. I think they are also afraid of the responsibility, but the role is very rewarding.

John East, district commissioner for Darwen Scout Association, said groups throughout Darwen faced similar problems.

He said: "We want to get more children involved in such groups but we can't manage because we have a leader shortage. Some groups are more successful than others at recruiting, usually parents.

"We are always on the look-out for responsible adults to become leaders and helpers.

"Many people feel they have nothing to offer such groups which is simply not the case.

The group meets every Tuesday at St Paul's Church, Hoddlesden, from 6.15pm to 7.30pm.

For details about becoming a volunteer contact Ann on 01254 775049.