Harry joined The Scouts as a Beaver. Having grown up with Cerebral Palsy, Harry’s muscular co-ordination was restricted which caused him to wear leg braces when he was younger. Harry felt like an outsider at school, and struggled to fit in with other children whose natural curiosity would lead them to point and ask questions about Harry’s condition.

Even though he was never bullied, Harry felt exposed and different – he naturally retreated inwards and suffered a lot of confidence issues.

The Scouts changed everything for Harry by offering him a close knit community where people knew him well and considered his needs as part of a team. Instead of standing on the side-lines, Harry learnt to do things he never thought possible, like: hiking, climbing and canoeing!

When the time came, Harry’s leader encouraged him to go for the World Scout Jamboree selection. During the selection Harry faced a tricky balance beam that he knew would be a challenge due to his condition. Thankfully, the person ahead of him in the race came back and gave him a shoulder to lean on as he crossed the obstacle.

It was these little acts of Scouting kindness and support over years that gave Harry the confidence to go to Japan for the 23rd World Scout Jamboree. Harry has since worked in a Scout Adventure Centre, volunteered with his local group, and moved to Lincoln for University.

Now at University, Harry joined the kayaking society. “I remember the first time I got in a kayak and just kept spinning round in circles. I was convinced I couldn’t do it but the leaders encouraged me to keep going.”

Harry’s story reminds us everything Scouts can celebrate this Christmas, and instils a sense of pride in a movement that makes its members smile. Scouting brings happiness because with Scouting young people realise that they are capable. We're asking for donations this Christmas so we can reduce waiting lists and introduce more young people like Harry to the Scouting movement.