Hundreds of Scouts and Guides will march through Hitchin on Sunday 23rd April as part of their annual St George’s Day Parade. St George is the patron saint of the Scouting movement.

This year's parade has the potential to be the largest one ever, as recent census figures have revealed that there are now 1,072 members of Scouting in Hitchin, 107 more than in 2016, a 9.5% increase. Since 2007 the membership in the town has increased by 60%, however the District are still looking for more volunteers as many Groups still have long waiting lists of young people wanting to join the movement. Read more here.

Hitchin Guides will be joining Hitchin Scouts for the third year in a row to parade through the town.

Members are asked to meet on the grass area by arches adjacent to St Marys Church/Lower Car Park, Portmill Lane by 2.15pm, wearing full uniform.

Parents and members of the public are welcome to watch from the side of the road, as the young people aged 6 to 18, parade in their uniforms along Queen Street and Bridge Street, led by the Epping Forest Pipe Band. They will begin parading at approximately 2.30pm. Parents and members of the public are kindly asked to stay on the pavement while the young people parade and not enter the road.

The Scouts and Guides will convene in the Market Square for a short service and the renewal of their promises read by Jude (Beaver Scout) Noah (Cub Scout) and Amber (Scout). The service in the Market Square will begin at approximately 3.00pm and be finished by 3.45pm.

Welcomes will be given by District Commissioner, Tony Hankin. The service will be led by Kieran Murphy from Phase.

The parade will end with a couple of traditional Scout Campfire songs led by Scout Leaders, Barry Rust, Christian Frisch and Sam Hankin.

Hitchin Scouts would like to thank Epping Forest Pipe Band, Herts Highways, NHDC and local Police for assisting with the parade.

There will be a collection during the service in favour of the Hitchin AED scheme. It was created 15 years ago to supply and manage community AEDs in the Town Centre. The scheme was pioneering as they identified that having these lifesaving equipment in and around the town could change the outcome for somebody who has a sudden cardiac arrest. More recently these schemes have become more commonplace thanks to pressure from the media and many peoples personal experiences and evidence from the UK Resuscitation Council.

The scheme have raised the money to pay for the 6 x AEDs with the help of friends and the Hitchin Community. They also manage the sites, replacing batteries, pads and other equipment when needed and they back these sites up by using the British Heart Foundation's Heartstart Initiative and have a team of five volunteers to train over 2.500 individuals who live or work in Hitchin.

They are continually delivering this training which takes a considerable amount of time so any additional funds raised help to update and replace equipment as just to replace a battery each year costs £140 each. We hope you will support this excellent cause.

Please Note: In the event of wet weather, the parade logistics may change. Members will be contacted by their Leaders if the weather becomes an issue.

You can find out more about Hitchin Scouts and the opportunities for getting involved at www.hitchinscouts.org/volunteering or follow them on Twitter @hitchinscouts.