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Muslim scout group offers Asian children‘something to call their own’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: October 01, 2013

30/09/13 Setting up a new Muslim Scout group - Newton Road, Winshill Raffia Arshad is Setting up a new Muslim Beaver Group in Burton.Rae and Margaret Bradshaw District and Assistant Commissioners

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A NEW scout group catering for children from Burton’s Asian community could soon be set up in the town.

Plans are well under way for the new group, which has the full backing of the district commissioner for the area, and if all goes well it could be up and running by Easter next year.

The group will work along similar lines to existing scout groups, but will give children the chance to enjoy activities based on the Muslim faith on things usually associated with scouting.

Raffia Arshad, who is behind the group, told the Mail: “We want to try to draw in the Asian community. There are a lot of scout groups around, but there are not than many Asian children. We’re hoping to instil trust in parents with the group, so they will be happy for their children to get involved. We want to make it more relevant to the children’s culture, and for them to have something they can call their own.

“It will be open to everybody, but it will be aimed at Asian, and especially Muslim, children.”

Mrs Arshad had the idea to set up the group – which will begin with a beaver colony for children aged six to eight – when she was looking for a group for her own son. She said she wanted him to retain a connection with his own community, and it looked as if that would be difficult in one of the existing groups.

She has now undertaken training to become a leader, along with several other people, and work is going ahead to find a venue and create a committee.

District commissioner Rae Bradshaw said demand had been high for this type of tailored group for some time.

“The movement has been slowly moving to be more inclusive, and I have been under pressure to do this for some time, but the problem has been we have had the volunteers. Raffia knows the demand in her own community,” he added.

Muslim scout groups already exist in areas like Nottingham and London.

More information is available by emailing burtonscouts4u@gmail.com

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