MORE than 500 Scout groups could close and others face a “bleak” future with coronavirus hampering fundraising, the Scout Association has said.

Groups in some of the poorest areas of England were hit when social distancing ended jumble sales, quizzes and car washes, the organisation said.

But a new fundraising campaign aims to try to save those most at risk, with a virtual race around the world.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said scouting was needed now more than ever.

More than 7,000 groups have so far joined the fundraising event, which challenges Scouts to travel 172,000 miles collectively in their local areas.

East Sussex is on the list for possible closures.

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