Teen off to global gathering

Morpeth Scout Matthew Eke-off to Japan. 'REF 2107149503
Morpeth Scout Matthew Eke-off to Japan. 'REF 2107149503

Every penny counts for a Morpeth teenager, who is looking forward to an adventure in the Far East next year.

Matthew Eke will be among the 30,000 Scouts and Guides from more than 150 countries that will travel to the Yamaguchi region of Japan for the World Scout Jamboree.

And after the 12-day event organised by the World Organization of the Scout Movement, which starts on July 28, 2015, he will sample Japanese family life under the Home Hospitality programme.

The 4th Morpeth Scout, 15, has started his fund-raising as each participant needs to contribute about £3,500.

He is a young leader for the Tuesday Cubs section and these youngsters have added to the total by collecting 1p and 2p coins for a Penny Challenge. This raised £212. Other activities to bring in money so far have included a sponsored meal at Marabinis and a raffle, and a race night will take place next month.

The Lancaster Park resident has also done bag-packing at supermarkets and a bucket shake at the Metrocentre with the other Jamboree participants from Northumberland. Matthew was the only scout selected from the Castle Morpeth District.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to the trip. I’m sure it will be a fantastic experience.

“It will be great to meet Scouts from many different countries at the Jamboree. The programme will include a few practical activities, learning more about Japanese culture and others and a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

“The Home Hospitality part will be interesting as I will get to see first-hand how Japanese people live, work and socialise.

“I’m grateful to all the people and businesses that have supported me so far, including Rutherfords, Facets and Saks for raffle prizes, Barclays for exchanging all the Penny Challenge coins and a neighbour who works for Nike who got me a signed Manchester City shirt for the raffle.”

Although Matthew just missed out on selection with the Northumberland section, he was chosen at North East level as extra places were given to regional units across the UK.