When UK Scouts launched their new strategy in 2018 they decided to call it Skills for Life emphasising the Scouts’ desire to ensure that as many young people as possible have opportunities to develop skills which will help them to enjoy the best possible future. 

But it isn’t just our young people who can develop Skills for Life through involvement with Scouting. Scouting is also dedicated to supporting our adult volunteers to continue to develop their skills, both to ensure the best possible experience for our young people but also to provide opportunities for our adult volunteers.

That is why we have the Scouts’ Adult Training Scheme, which is made up of mandatory, role specific and ongoing learning and builds on your existing skills and knowledge. This means that the training each volunteer completes is tailored to your specific requirements, with the development of a Personal Learning Plan crucial to identify what learning is required and what existing experience can be used to validate required modules.

This applies to me too as I work towards my Regional Commissioner wood badge and, like many of you, I recently met with my Training Adviser to put together my Personal Learning Plan which included validating some of my training requirements based on prior experience but also identifying learning opportunities which would be beneficial to me in my new role. As a result I now have a plan on how I can work towards completing my wood badge.

I know that there is concern amongst many volunteers about the upcoming transition date of 30 September 2021 by which all adult volunteers who have been in role for 3 years or more are required to have completed their wood badge training so I want to take this opportunity to reiterate the message that Mary Dick, Assistant RC (Adult Training) made in her June update that the Regional priority will be on supporting those who still have to complete their wood badge training rather than sanctions. As part of this we will be continuing to run modules over the summer months so keep an eye on the Regional training calendar and social media for upcoming opportunities.

It is important to note that we there have been a number of important achievements already this year:

  • compliance for Safety and Safeguarding mandatory ongoing training now at 97% from 91% at the start of the year – really close to hitting the national target of 98%
  • 255 leaders from across the Region completing the new module 10A First Response Online Theory module
  • most wood badge modules available virtually with many running at full capacity with waiting lists
  • additional workshops provided to focus on:
    • risk assessments
    • premises safety
    • supporting adult training
    • training advisers

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the Region’s training provision, in particular Mary, as ARC, and Diane Winnard who did so much work supporting the new First Aid training as well as the Regional Trainers who have put a lot of work into providing engaging training opportunities for all volunteers.

We are not resting on our laurels though and Mary and I are looking at how we can continue to improve the training provision within the Region and expand the non-wood badge training provided e.g. Mental Health training so keep an eye on Regional communications in the coming months for updates. We also always welcome feedback on the Region’s training provision so please feel free to contact either Mary or me.


Whilst we are gradually seeing Scouting within the Region returning to normal this still doesn’t feel like a normal end of term. However, I hope that all of you are able to take some time over the coming months to rest and recharge batteries. The work that you have done to support Scouting within the Region over the past 12 months has been amazing and is hugely appreciated by me and by the young people who have been able to enjoy opportunities for Scouting in challenging times.

I would like to add my personal thanks to two members of the Regional team who are stepping back from their roles at the end of this term. Simon Cocker, is moving to North Yorkshire so will be stepping down as Deputy Regional Commissioner and Mike Treanor is retiring as the Region’s Scouting Support Officer. Both have been key to the Region’s success in recent years and provided important leadership to Scouting in South East Scotland. For me personally, they have both been a huge support as I have taken on the RC role and I know that their influence will continue to be felt by the Region long after they step down.

I will be taking my own advice so there won’t be an update in July but the Regional Communications team will be working hard to keep you up to date on what is happening across the Region so keep an eye on our communication channels.

Best wishes,


Martin Elliot
Regional Commissioner
Email: rc@sesscouts.org.uk

Scottish Charity Registration: SC010563