We've been going since 1967, and we're proud of it. Our legacy still direct where, what and how we do things, even today.

The Unit has been providing adventures since 1967, to thousands of young people.

We’re proud of where we’ve come from. It sets us apart.

< Check out our ’40 Years at Woodseats’ video, produced by Matt Richards, an ex-Unit member.

Where it all began

Woodseats Venture Scout Unit was established in 1967 (and in 2017 celebrated its 50th Anniversary) as the only Venture Scout Unit in the Sheffield Sheaf District, which was rare as most Venture Units were attached to Scout Groups.

However, as the founding members saw the opportunity to run a decent-sized Unit for the whole District and thought it would be better than having several Units with only a handful of members.

The great thing about this decision was that every Scout member in the Sheaf District knew that one day they would end up at Woodseats, doing the sorts of crazy things they saw Unit members doing!

We’re known for doing thing ‘The Woodseats Way’.

Ventures became Explorers and the Network

In 2001 when the Scout Association decided to alter the dynamics of the sections by bringing the age groups down, they replaced the Venture Scouts section with Explorers and the Network.

The only way we could continue to run as before was to set up a new Scout group that had no Beavers, Cubs & Scouts but an Explorer Unit – meaning all the Scouts across Sheaf District would move on to Woodseats when they got to 14.

This means that every Beaver, Cub and Scout in the District knew eventually they would join us at The Unit, and still do today in 2023 – it just works!.

Spiney – our unofficial logo

Woodseats Venture Unit (WVU) wanted to mark itself on the map of venture scouting, and that meant a logo!

So, the founding members in 1967 cleverly adapted the WVU letters into the shape of a hedgehog.

As the members of the Unit at the time were massive fans of Monty Python, the hedgehog was named after a character from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Spiney Norman.

We’re still proud of it today and features on all our publications and clothing.

The logo is “world famous” with many members reporting being stopped in far-flung places as ex-Unit members spotted the giant Spiney logo on our new hoodies.

‘Spiney’ Norman

Our bus, Spiney Norman.

We also named our infamous bus after him! Our bus is a 1954 Bedford ex-RAF vehicle which has taken Unit members all over the world on countless trips and adventures and is still running around today! We acquired the bus in the ’70s and painted it blue and yellow (which became our colours) with the spiney logo on the sides.

We named it Spiney Norman and it’s known by every member who has passed through the Unit in the last 35 years.

It’s now been donated to the Solway Air Musuem where it’s returned to it’s former glory – a bomber crew bus!

The Scout Post

The Sheffield Scout Post started at Woodseats Venture Unit following a change in the law in 1981, which stated that charities could set up their own postal service. Unit leaders Pete Stevenson, Roger Legge and John Hall decided that this could be a great way of fundraising for the Unit.

The service was a massive success and the funds raised went towards buying our HQ on Helmton Road where we still are today. After 20 years of members and supporters giving up their evenings and weekends to sort through masses of post and deliver them through all of South Sheffield and Dronfield (and often as far as Stocksbridge and Mansfield!), the workload became too much for us to handle and the service ended there.

The Unit made enough to keep running them the whole time and is still living off the healthy bank balance this provided us with today.

Woodseats Venture Unit is renowned for starting the Scout Post.

John Hall M.B.E

John was a Scout leader at WVU and was adored, admired and loved by all who knew him.

John spent his life working with young people and provided amazing opportunities to anyone who passed through Scouting.

Later in his life, he was awarded an MBE for ‘Services to Scouting’ by HRH The Queen.

John sadly passed away in 2010.

To find out more about the man behind the name, the poking stick and the catchphrase, read an Eulogy read out at his funeral here.