Bear Grylls praises St Albans woman running in Olympic Torch Relay

TELEVISION presenter Bear Grylls has expressed his pride in there being “so many Scout volunteers” involved in London 2012, including a St Albans woman running in the torch relay tomorrow.

Caroline Atkins, an office manager of Harpenden Road who is well known within St Albans for her extensive volunteer work, is running in the Olympic relay on Saturday, July 7, at 12.04pm in Stansted Mountfitchet.

Caroline, 47, was nominated to carry the flame after leading thousands of St Albans children as Explorer Scout leader for 28 years.

Bear, adventurer and the UK’s Chief Scout, said: “I’m super proud that so many Scout volunteers have been rewarded for the adventures they offer young people with this once-in-a-lifetime Olympic opportunity.”

A spokeswoman for the Scout Association said Caroline has, “dedicated her life to community service”.

She added: “Despite being a working mum of two children she gives up at least 15 hours every week for local children of all ages who are involved in Guiding and Scouting with hours of planning, administration, preparation and, most importantly, leading the guides and cubs.

“She is also a key member of the costume team for St Albans Gang Show spending hours each and every year sewing costumes for children to wear.

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“Every year she steers and leads her scouts to do a vast amount of work within the community from carol singing at homes for the elderly to a host of charity fund raising events.

“On top of this commitment she also finds time to support a young boy who has Cerebral palsy at cubs who is in a wheel chair and has no verbal communication.

“She has actively encouraged deaf children from a local deaf school to become involved in Guides. Caroline is an inspiration and an example for all to follow.”

Caroline said she felt honoured to be nominated to carry the flame and that it was, “lovely to be recognised”.

She added: “I’m nervous about running tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to it.”