15 Years and Still Going Strong – RC’s Update

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Happy Birthday to Us! This year marks 15 years since South East Scotland Region was formed from the union of Borders, East Lothian, Edinburgh and Midlothian Areas.  

Over the last 15 years you, our amazing volunteers have provided tens of thousands of young people the opportunity to experience the vast benefits of Scouting, helping them to develop Skills for Life which have been invaluable and empowered them to make a positive contribution to Society. 

To mark this important milestone in the Region’s history and to celebrate the many achievements of volunteers across South East Scotland, I hope that you will be able to join myself and the Regional Leadership as well as fellow volunteers and invited guests for a special event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on March 26th at 2pm. As well as giving an opportunity to look back on some of the highlights of the last 15 years this will also be an opportunity to meet with fellow volunteers and catch up with friends old and new. If you would like to come along please let us know here

Looking to the Future

This year’s special anniversary isn’t just about looking back but is also a great opportunity to look forward to the next 15 years. I recently had the pleasure, alongside Mike Treanor, Deputy RC, of facilitating a District Development event for the East Lothian District Team with the aim of updating their District Development plan to reflect the current needs of young people and volunteers in the District as well as to incorporate the updated Regional Strategy

Thank you to all those volunteers who came along to support District Commissioner Hilary Cartwright – the enthusiasm for Scouting within the room was obvious – and to all those who will be involved in turning the output of the day into reality – allowing more young people across East Lothian to enjoy the benefits of Scouting. 
East Lothian District Development Day

If you are interested in running a development session for your Group, Unit or District please let me or Mike know.

Another exciting vision of the future came during a recent visit (my first) to the Headquarters of the Scouts at Gilwell Park, where Scott Goddard, Regional Transformation Lead, and I joined with our counterparts from 9 other Counties (equivalent of Regions) across the UK to get further insight into the exciting changes coming to the Scouting volunteer experience. It is a recognition of the quality of Scouting within our Region that we have been selected to be the first Region in Scotland to adopt the changes. You can find out more about the changes in Scott’s article and I hope that you will be as excited as I am about the opportunity that these changes provide to improve the experience of our volunteers and to bring more volunteers into the movement, ultimately allowing us to provide Scouting for more young people in South East Scotland. If you would like an even early look at the changes I would encourage you to get involved in the Testing Hub which gives you the opportunity to provide direct feedback on the proposed changes to those involved in developing them. If you have any questions on the change please do reach out to either Scott or myself. 

Making Scouting More Inclusive

One of the areas that we looked at during our time at Gilwell was making Scouting more inclusive. Many of you know that this is one of my key ambitions as Regional Commissioner so I was very interested to read the Life in Scotland Education Report produced by LGBT Youth Scotland and in particular the significant difference that participation in LGBTQ+ events has on how supported young members of the LGBTQ+ community feel. Therefore I am pleased to be able to share that South East Scotland Scouts will be joining with our friends in GirlGuiding Edinburgh to participate in Pride Edinburgh on 24th June. Look out for more information on how young people and volunteers can get involved in coming months!

So as well as a lot to look back on when we meet together on the 26th we also have a lot to look forward to – Scouting in South East Scotland is in great health and that is all due to the tireless work of all of you who give your to volunteer. I look forward to thanking you in person as we come together to celebrate the first 15 years of the Region.  

Yours in Scouting

Martin Elliot
Regional Commissioner