Lions, Scouts, Covid and the Hard of Hearing

Hi Kent, the local charity for deaf and hard of hearing people, were given a massive boost to their services by 9th Dartford Scouts, on Friday.

Communications for deaf and hard of hearing people has been extremely difficult during the coronavirus pandemic because mask wearing prevents deaf people from lip reading, greater use of face shields is a positive way forward.

Using their close relationship with the Dartford Lions, 100 face shields were given to Hi Kent on Friday by 9th Dartford Scouts.

Debra Jones, press & fundraising office for Hi Kent, said how pleased she was to receive a message out-of-the blue from Group Scout Leader, Neil Gearing, enquiring if Hi Kent could make use of the face shields.

Within just a few hours it was arranged for the face shields, given by to the Dartford Lions, to be allocated to the Scouts for them to hand on to Hi Kent.

Both the President and Vice-President (Avtar Sandhu MBE) of Dartford Lions were on-hand to watch Scouts Samuel, Patrick, Kieran and Oliver, make the presentation to Debra Jones.

Scouts Oliver (11), Kieran (12), Patrick (13) and Samuel (14); Hi Kent press officer Debra Jones; Dartford Lions President Ragbhir Sandhu and Vice-President Avtar Sandhu MBE

Ragbhir Sandhu, Dartford Lions President, said “we are pleased to help 9th Dartford Scouts to provide these valuable resources to Hi Kent, who we know will make great use of these shields. It never occurred to us that face masks make it almost impossible for people who are hard of hearing to communicate, some of them reply upon lip reading, I hope that these face shield make a difference to their everyday lives”.

Neil added “once again 9th Dartford Scouts are demonstrating good citizenship by supporting their local community, and keeping to our Scout Promise to help other people. Only last month our whole Scout Group spent a day to clean the recreation ground behind our Scout hall, we collected ten bags of rubbish. It was another brilliant all-section event bringing together our Beaver Scouts, Cubs Scouts, Scouts and Explorer Scouts along with parents and leaders. The litter pick was supported by McDonalds as part of their ‘love where you live’ campaign. This showed Teamwork at its best.”

If parents want their children to join Scouting at 9th Dartford they can text Neil on 07931 125008, or visit and use the ‘want to join’ button – quoting 9th Dartford in the enquiry will get the message direct to Neil.

Talking about the growth of the Scout Group even during the covid-19 restrictions, Neil said it was exciting to have a new team of Leaders for the Cub Pack, “we have a few spaces available for a September start for boys & girls especially those aged 8 to 11 years. Having received financial support from Dartford Borough Council, we can offer free sessions in September for all new recruits.” The Scout Group meet in its own hall in Heath Lane (Lower).


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