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Chief Commissioner's Blog | And finally...

And finally…

As we head into a busy weekend with the AGM,  90th Gilwell Reunion and my hand over to Tim on Sunday afternoon now seems a good time to reflect for the last time and say a great many thanks.

The longest handover!

There have been many ‘last’ events over the past few months and a even a few firsts too as well as much reminiscing but as I look back over my 15 years at the centre of UK Scouting I can truthfully say that I’ve had an amazing time and thoroughly enjoyed (almost) all of it.

Simple beliefs and high points

I have throughout been driven by a simple belief that Scouting provides life changing opportunities and that every young person should have the opportunity to enjoy it. So for me, the transformation of our image and consistent increase in those enjoying Scouting over 11 consecutive years is something I’ve been very proud of.  And not because I’m driven by numbers!

And there are many other high points also, too numerous to list you may be relieved - our Centenary in 2007 with the amazing World Scout Jamboree and events around the UK,  becoming ever more inclusive and representative of our communities and shaped by young people themselves.

And a few lows

Of course, any role like this has to deal with the less pleasant side and not all of our strategies have gone to plan with a few disappointments and ‘challenges’, Compass obviously being one and still not having a searchable website! But my biggest disappointment is our increasing waiting lists.  40,000 young people who have said they want to join but who we cannot yet accommodate.

Great teamwork

I learnt quickly as a Sixer and Patrol Leader that the key to success for any leader is to have a great team around them and I have been so fortunate in my 15 years and especially the last 8 as UKCC to have had great teams to support me, to provide great ideas and to continually challenge.

We know that Scouting works best when all of our teams; staff, volunteers and Trustees work in partnership and I’m especially fortunate to have worked with and been supported by two great Chief Executives, Derek Twine and Matt Hyde and very many great staff colleagues in a wide variety of roles.

As I look at the problems of the wider charitable sector and Scouting’s enduring success, for me, a key part of that is our volunteer led culture. As society changes and work/life pressures continue, such a culture becomes ever harder but for me is a value we must hold onto, adapting to changing times. Something we have proved very successful at for 109 years.

Living about as far south as I could and do this role, I am especially grateful to my long suffering family; Julie, Alastair, Francesca and Em for allowing me to do the role and supporting me 101% throughout.

That’s it

And very finally, to everybody who has enabled us to provide those life changing opportunities for increasing numbers of young people and for allowing me to be guardian of the most amazing role in UK Scouting, a very big thank you.






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