NEWS Good Service Awards


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Congratulations South East Scotland Region!

Jo Whiting
Eoin Neil

Good Service Awards 

As Scouts we have Awards to recognise the amazing work our adult volunteers do and achieve. There are different Good Service Awards to celebrate and recognise volunteers throughout their time in Scouting.  

We believe it’s good to share good news! And we wish to recognise incredible news and service across South East Scotland Scouts. So we are really excited to announce some Good Service 2021 news!

We’re delighted to share that twice as many of our adult volunteers received Good Service Awards in 2021 compared to 2020. From 39 to more than 94 awards.

Whilst we’ve not been able to present many awards in the way we’d have wished, we offer massive congratulations to everyone who has had their fantastic achievements recognised in this way. And we look forward to presenting many more awards throughout 2022. 

Tim Seabrook
Hilary Cartwright

We want to thank all our superstar volunteers for your contribution to South East Scotland Scouts, your District, Group and Section. We recognise your achievements and personal efforts. The Good Service Awards are one way of doing this. And they apply to Leaders working directly with young people as well as our highly supportive ‘behind the scenes’ teams.
Saying Thank You

“I do not do this for any recognition”. This may be something you commonly hear from people that volunteer with Scouting, but that does not mean we should not offer it.

Recognition for a job well done takes a variety of forms from a simple thank you, to recording the fact in minutes, ensuring parents know and acknowledging it by inviting them to participate in new challenges. These are the every‐day things that do mean something to most of us. These Awards help us formally recognise the work of our adult volunteers by presenting them with a special thank you certificate. Efforts do not go unnoticed!


Two awards we’d like to highlight are:

Chief Scout’s Commendation for Good Service:
This is awarded in respect of not less than 5 years good service, which stands out. It should be regarded as the chief Scout’s recognition of the very real contribution made to Scouts by the member concerned. In 2021, we issued 53, up from 21 in 2020.
Commissioner’s Commendation
This is a local award by a Commissioner to recognise youth members, volunteers and non-members for their contribution to Scouts. During the pandemic many have made an extra effort to support individuals and communities in different ways. We recognise the superb work done by members both within Scouts and the community before, during and after the pandemic. In 2021, we issued 21, up from 1 in 2020.
New Regional Advisory Awards Group.
The new Regional Advisory Awards Group is able to support and provide guidance to local Scouting with award applications and nominations to grow our recognition of good service delivered by adult leaders and supporters throughout the Region. Contact the team if you have a question.
New Regional Advisory Group

New Regional Advisory Group

South East Scotland Scouts have an excellent history of using Scouting Awards to recognise good service delivered by adult leaders and supporters throughout the Region. It is the responsibility of the Regional Commissioner, Martin Elliot, to ensure that applications are managed and approved in a timely and consistent manner. Martin has therefore established the Regional Awards Advisory Group to provide advice and help manage this process.  The members are Bill Ramsay (Deputy District Commissioner in Edinburgh North East, John Bruce (Vice President of South East Scotland Scouts) and a Youth Member from Borders District. This group of people bring together a wide range of experience, outlook and enthusiasm.   

The team will provide support and guidance for the wide range of awards available. In addition to Good Service, they will give advice on nominations for the Cornwell Scout Badge, Acts of Gallantry and Meritorious Conduct. You can contact the team using our secure email account 

Timetable for Submission

The timetable for submission of awards for good service is set out below and all nomination forms for Regional approval should also be sent to 

Chief Scout’s Commendation and Award for Merit applications

The quarterly deadlines for submission of award decisions for Chief Scout’s Commendation and Award for Merit applications, which can be approved at District level, are the same as the quarterly UK deadlines of:
31 March (past),
30 June,
30 September, 
31 December. 

Nominations for these awards for those in Regional roles should be submitted to the Awards Advisory Group 3 weeks before the above deadlines. 

Bar to Award for Merit applications:

Bar to Award for Merit applications are endorsed at Regional level. The quarterly deadlines for submission of these citations to the South East Scotland Scouts Region Awards Advisory Committee are:

10 March (past),
10 June,
10 September,
10 December.

This will ensure that they can be considered prior to the quarterly UK deadlines.  If the nominee holds their primary appointment in a Group/District, applications must have approval of relevant District Commissioner prior to submission to the South East Scotland Scouts Region Awards Advisory Committee. 

Silver Acorn, Bar to Silver Acorn and Silver Wolf applications:

Silver Acorn, Bar to Silver Acorn and Silver Wolf applications need to be submitted to the South East Scotland Scouts Region Awards Advisory Committee before being submitted to the Scottish Awards Advisory Committee. The quarterly deadlines for submission of applications for these awards to the South East Scotland Scouts Region Awards Advisory Committee are:

10 February (past),
10 May,
10 August,
10 November.

This will ensure that they can be considered prior to the quarterly Scottish deadlines of 01 March, 01 June, 01 September, and 01 December.  If the nominee holds their primary appointment in a Group/District, applications must have approval of relevant District Commissioner prior to submission to the South East Scotland Scouts Region Awards Advisory Committee. 

Good Service Awards explained:

At South East Scotland Scouts we want to thank all our volunteers for their contribution to the Scouts. Find out more about Good Service award criteria. Please refer to the above timetable in advance. These awards are typically used for members and associate members who have consistently given service over and above that which is expected within their role. Learn more about the Good Service Awards HERE.

Top Awards for Explorers and Network

Logo of South East Scotland Scouts 2018


First published in November 2017 and updated September 2021.

Information on all the awards is available below, and on the Scouts Scotland site. You are welcome to contact the Region to discuss the best way to support individuals or groups. It is worth noting that the Mencap Gateway Award is available for people (of any age) with a learning disability and that it can be done along with DofE.

DofE Bronze

DofE Bronze award badgeDofE Bronze can be the main part of CSA Platinum, and leads on to DofE Silver.

CSA Platinum

Chief Scout's Award PlatinumThe Chief Scout’s Platinum Award leads on to CSA Diamond.

DofE Silver

DofE Silver award badgeDofE Silver can be the main part of CSA Diamond.

CSA Diamond

Chief Scouts Diamond AwardThe Chief Scout’s Diamond Award leads on to the Queen’s Scout Award.

DofE Gold

DofE Gold Award badgeDofE Gold is the highest level of DofE and can be the main part of the Queen’s Scout Award.


Queen's Scout Award badge The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest in Scouting.

Explorer Belt

Badge of the Explorer Belt award The Explorer Belt is an expedition abroad for Explorers and Network aged 16-25.


Badge of the Scouts of the World award The Scouts of the World Award is for members of Network, working individually.

Get advice on awards

Chief Scout’s Award, Queen’s Scout Award and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is complementary to the Chief Scout’s Awards and the Queen’s Scout Award, and both sets of awards fit perfectly within the Explorer Scout programme.

Scouting and DofE

The Adventure Begins: Explore and Achieve with the Scout Association and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award

The Adventure Begins

Two awards at the same time

The requirements of the two sets of awards are very similar: for example, an Explorer who completes DofE Bronze has only a few extra requirements to complete Chief Scout’s Platinum. The best explanation is given in The Adventure Begins. Many Explorers count being a Young Leader for the Volunteering section of DofE. All Explorers, including Young Leaders, are encouraged to do both DofE and the Scouting awards.  Those who do DofE at school can ask their Explorer Leader to use it towards the equivalent Scouting award.  Network members who are Leaders can count this for Volunteering or Service.


Expeditions are part of most of the Awards and there is a lot of advice available.  Much of it provided by DofE but it is relevant to any expedition. See our Expedition Information page. All expeditions must be carried out in keeping with the requirements of The Scout Association, including Activity Permits and Nights Away; for Explorers this may involve the issuing of an Event Passport.

Scouting Awards

Information about CSA and QSA for Explorers, Network, Leaders and Commissioners

Reach the Top!

The Queen’s Scout Award

Queen's Scout Award logo

The Queen’s Scout Award

Please note that you must register for QSA to start, and have a mentor in place to help you.  If you are an Explorer, your leader is likely to do this.  Those over 18 should contact their District or the Region for help.

QSA and DofE Gold

DofE Gold Award badgeQueen's Scout Award badge

It should be remembered that candidates have until they are 25 to complete DofE Gold and The Queen’s Scout Award, so they should not give up if they have not completed them when they leave Explorers.  Any Network member can do the awards.

The other Awards

The Explorer Belt – an international experience

Badge of the Explorer Belt award The Explorer Belt is not just for Explorers!  In fact it can be done by Explorers aged 16 and over, by Network members and by members of Girlguiding aged 16 and over.

The Explorer Belt is a challenge of a lifetime. It is a chance to take part in a ten day expedition that brings you a real understanding of a different country, its culture and way of life. You will develop this understanding by travelling through your chosen country, working as part of a small team to complete a series of projects and most importantly by meeting local people. It is an experience and an achievement that you will remember for the rest of your life.

For full information and to register, see Explorer Belt on Scouts UK.

SOWA – Scouts of the World Award

Just for Network!

Scouts of the World Badge SOWA is an individual award, and the project can be completed at home or abroad.  It does not require an expedition. Here is a summary of what is required:

  • Be a member of Scout Network.
  • Attend a residential weekend Scouts of the World Discovery, based on the three themes: development, environment and peace.
  • With the support of your mentor, finalise your plans for your voluntary project based on the theme from your discovery weekend.
  • Undertake Scouts of the World voluntary service, either in the UK or abroad, lasting a minimum of 80 hours, recording and evaluating your experiences in the participant handbook.
  • Undertake a presentation locally.

For full information and to register, see SOWA on Scouts UK.

Supporting you to help more Young People achieve their Top Awards

Supporting you to help more Young People achieve their Top Awards

In 2019 we had 935 of our Young People from all sections achieve a Top Award*, which is a great achievement. This equated to 1 in 8 of our Young People. However, we believe we can do better (the average of the other Scottish Regions is 1 in 6) and an ambitious regional plan has been created to help us achieve that over the next couple of years.

We recognise that supporting young people to achieve their Top Awards is not an easy task and we are conscious there is a lot for all leaders to do, simply to return to face to face Scouting, when we are allowed, to ensure everyone is safe. However, we also need to make sure that our programmes are designed to encourage our Young People to return to Scouting too. Why? Well research that we have done does show there is a strong correlation between quality programmes, supporting achievement of badges including Top Awards and retention of young people, either when they are moving from section to section or, especially when they Explorers and in Network, so that they stay in Scouting. By Young People achieving their Top Awards, it gives them skills for life and experiences and lifetime memories that they may not be able to gain elsewhere. Every Top Awards badge achieved has a story behind it of what the recipient did to gain it, sacrifices they made, experiences gained, all underpinned hopefully by fun and adventure. After all, it’s what Scouting is all about!

Therefore, to support our Leaders in creating these programmes and also having the skills in delivering them, a Regional plan has been produced. Lots of support is being created namely training, access to online tools and content expedition support, peer support and organising celebration events. 

Your District Commissioners are ensuring that we are prioritising the actions for your District and we will signpost the support when it is created in future newsletters and on social media. If you wish to have a copy of the action plan or have any general comments on Top Awards and how we can help more Young People achieve them, please contact Simon Cocker ( or the relevant Assistant Regional Commissioner for your sections, (listed below), who are actively involved in delivering the plan.

Beavers, Cubs and Scouts – Neil Hogg –

Explorers – John Buchanan –

Network – Laura Gilman –

*Top Awards


Chief Scout Bronze


Chief Scout Silver


Chief Scout Gold



Chief Scout Platinum

Chief Scout Diamond

Duke of Edinburgh Bronze

Duke of Edinburgh Silver

Young Leader Belt

Explorer Belt

Explorers and/or Network               

Queen Scout Award

Duke of Edinburgh Gold


Scouts of the World Award

Simon Cocker
Deputy Regional Commissioner, Programme

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award leaders meet Earl of Forfar

The Earl of Forfar (who is better known as Prince Edward), met a group of our leaders at a reception in the City Chambers on 4 July for DofE leaders from across Edinburgh and the Lothians.  Simon Cocker of Meadows ESU, Sam Dickinson of Borestane ESU and Janet Paterson, DofE expedition organiser, represented Braid, Pentland and Craigalmond Districts respectively, along with John Buchanan, one of our two Regional Advisers for DofE.  We were accompanied by the new DofE Manager from SHQ, Calum Lorimer. 

At this very pleasant event we were able to report considerable success in organising DofE through Scouting in our Region: 56 young people have successfully completed their Bronze expedition this season and 18 Silvers and 14 Golds look forward to completing theirs.  The DofE awards dovetail closely with the Chief Scout’s Platinum and Diamond and with the Queen’s Scout Award.

Those of us present were very conscious that we were representing the many adults who contribute towards this success by helping with administration, training, supervision and assessment.  The best model is clearly that of cooperation within and across the Districts, as nobody can run DofE alone. 

Training and help are available and interested adults are encouraged to contact the Regional Adviser(s) for advice using Any offers of assistance will be most welcome. It is also worth reminding young adult leaders that they can complete or start the Gold Award, as they have until the age of 25 to do so.

John Buchanan
Assistant Regional Commissioner (Explorers)

Bronze Award expedition

Silver Award expedition

Gold Award expedition

Medal Joy for one of our Scout Leaders

Michael Stevenson an Assistant Beaver Leader at the 26th (Craigsbank) Craigalmond Scout Group, has just returned from the Special Olympics World Games held in Abu Dhabi as a member of the Special Olympics Great Britain team.

Michael competed in the Ten Pin Bowling competition winning a Silver medal in the Singles competition, finishing 7th in the Team event and 8th in the Doubles.  Michael has been a member of the Special Olympics Lothian Bowling Team for 3 years and has competed in Regional competitions and at the National Summer Games in Sheffield in 2017 winning a Silver Medal in the Doubles. Michael parents and brother attended the Games and are very proud of his achievements.

The World Games were attended by 7500 athletes from 200 countries competing in 24 sports over 7 days.

Special Olympics Lothians mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual (learning) disabilities – giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing skills, gifts and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.