Regional Staffing Review

With reference to previous updates in this Newsletter regarding a Regional staffing review, we are delighted to announce that the review has completed.

This review has been conducted over the summer months and has been led by the Regional Chair’s committee and has involved a number of people to help explore what the best solution for the Region should be.  A number of operating principles were established to ensure that the proposed solution could be sustainable and affordable meeting the needs of the Region as reflected in our 2018-23 strategy.  Further needs were gathered from discussion and consultation through a number of sources including meeting with SHQ and also from the most recent engagement sessions that have been held.  We have also been fortunate to have had John Bruce, Regional Secretary, in an interim manager role and his daily interaction with staff, members of the Region and customers of Bonaly has all added to the process of identifying what we believe is right for South East Region.

The Regional Executive have therefore approved that the vacant Regional Operations Manager post is not filled, and that instead two key appointments are made:

  • Centre Manager
    a permanent full-time appointment, with overall accountability for the management and operation of Bonaly Outdoor Centre; also responsible for provision of centralised facilities management across the Region’s estate, and of financial and administrative support – to the SESRSC Trustees, and to the Regional Commissioner’s leadership team
  • Scouting Support Officer
    a full-time appointment, funded for an initial period of 2 years, with responsibility for providing practical advice and support to the Regional Commissioner’s leadership team, and to volunteers delivering Scouting across the Region; likely a home-worker, with significant out-of-hours work.

These new appointments will enable proper focus to be placed on both the longer term management and development of Bonaly Outdoor Centre but also provide necessary separate resource to support the “game of scouting” that has been somewhat neglected in the recent past.  The agreed 2 year funding for the Scouting Support Officer role will allow for a period of evaluation of impact before committing to an extension of funding but also give time to implement a refreshed business plan for Bonaly under the management of the new Centre Manager.

To manage the effective implementation of both roles, the Scouting Support Officer role will be advertised in November 2018 with the Centre Manager being advertised in December 2018.  It is intended that both positions will be filled by end of February 2019. Both roles will be advertised through the Regional Newsletter as well as targeted external recruitment websites.

Finally, our thanks go to everyone who has contributed to this review.

John Cannon, Regional Chair

Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner

 

Bonaly Adventure School Autumn 2018

Did you know that Bonaly offers an Adventure School for young people through the school holidays?  The Adventure School at Bonaly Outdoor Centre is like no other – where else can they get to be like Bear Grylls and take part in a range of exciting activities, learning new physical skills such as archery or our high ropes course and soft skills such as interacting with others and decision making whilst making new friends?!

This is open to any child aged 6-12 years.  The October 2018 programme runs from Monday 15 October to Friday 19 October 2018.

Update on Bonaly

Update on Bonaly

Update on interim staffing arrangements from John Cannon, Regional Chair

Hello everyone,

Following on from my previous update regarding interim staffing arrangements at Bonaly and our intent to review the way we provide support across the Region, I can now provide a further update on progress since that note. Firstly with regard to interim staffing arrangements. As indicated, we have advertised and interviewed for an interim Centre Manger for a period of six months and have had the support of John Bruce, Regional Secretary helping the staff team in his voluntary capacity over the last few weeks.  We are very  grateful to Yvonne Yule, who has also been volunteering and giving her time to support the activities of the office. Yvonne has previously worked in the Regional office so has been able to provide necessary experienced support in these past few weeks. The existing staff team have been very accommodating and have changed their working patterns and taken on additional duties, demonstrating great team work and commitment to work through this busy period. I am very grateful to everyone who has come forward and offered/given support in these past few weeks. A real example of Scouting values in action!

With all of the above in mind we have decided to take the following actions for the next six months.

Given the successes of the above, John Bruce has agreed to take on the interim Centre Manager role on a part time basis alongside his voluntary position as Regional Secretary. John will join the staff team 3 days a week to continue with the good work he has been doing.  Further, Barry Johnston has agreed to broaden the scope of his role in the interim and will act as Site Manager, taking responsibility for the duty wardens and improving the overall customer experience.   Neil will continue to be responsible for Activities and will be taking some shared paternity leave for a period of 6 weeks during the summer.  Arrangements have been made to cover Neil’s duties during this time.

This interim period will give John, Barry and Neil the opportunity to form a new Management team and I am looking forward to seeing how this team operates alongside Lynne, Blanche, the wardens and all the volunteers who give their time so willingly for the benefit of everyone who visits Bonaly.

Turning briefly to the longer term, The Regional Executive Committee have given their full support to us taking due time to consider what our Regional staffing should be. In addition, we we have agreed that we should also include a period of consultation to hear your views on how we might provide support and activities in the future.  As a consequence, Graeme Robertson and Martin Elliot have agreed to design this approach and will be communicating with you all in the next few weeks to let you know how you can get involved. Finally, thanks again for your support and patience, as we develop our plans for the future.

Regards,
John Cannon, Regional Chair, South East Scotland Scouts

Bonaly Adventure School Autumn 2018

Bonaly Adventure School Autumn 2018

Did you know that Bonaly offers an Adventure School for young people through the school holidays?  The Adventure School at Bonaly Outdoor Centre is like no other – where else can they get to be like Bear Grylls and take part in a range of exciting activities, learning new physical skills such as archery or our high ropes course and soft skills such as interacting with others and decision making whilst making new friends?!

This is open to any child aged 6-12 years.  The October 2018 programme runs from Monday 15 October to Friday 19 October 2018.

Outdoor Centre Manager

Outdoor Centre Manager

Are you an experienced and enthusiastic Outdoor Centre Manager?

We need an experienced and enthusiastic Centre Manager for our Bonaly Outdoor Centre! Could you be the right person for us? Or do you know someone who could assist us develop the services we offer at the Centre? If so, please do get in touch with John Cannon, Regional Chair, South East Scotland Scouts, at chair@sesscouts.org.uk

We are recruiting an Interim Centre Manager for 6 months to manage our Bonaly Outdoor Centre as we are currently reviewing the way we provide support across the Region. This review will take some time to complete and the appointment of an interim manager at Bonaly is important as part of this process. You will be able to contribute to this initial phase of developing our services at the Centre.

About us

Across generations, Scouting has proved a powerful force for good, bringing communities together and contributing to society. But it always had one aim above all others: to prepare young people for the future. Central to our programme at South East Scotland Scouts are opportunities for outdoor learning and adventure. We believe that outdoor learning, adventurous experiences and residential programmes are essential to give young people opportunities to develop key capacities, such as confidence and resilience, as well as learn new skills, or simply develop a love for the Scottish outdoors.

The role

Overseeing the day-to-day operations of a small team, the Centre Manager will:

  • Ensure that all our users are given the best customer care, for example in booking and welcome
  • Effectively manage the services provided by Bonaly Centre and ensure services are delivered to the required safety and quality standards
  • Have a role in assisting the Regional Executive Committee and the Regional Leadership Team in supporting Scouting in the South East Region.
Hike tents at Bonaly in the Spring

Hike tents at Bonaly

This is an exciting stage in our development and we are seeking someone with the knowledge of running an outdoor centre and enthusiasm to help us improve the services we offer at Bonaly.

How to apply

Applications should be returned by email to John Cannon, Regional Chair, South East Scotland Region Scouts, at chair@sesscouts.org.uk. You can also arrange an opportunity with him to see round the Centre. For more information about the Centre, see https://sesscouts.org.uk/our-centres/bonaly

The closing date for return of applications is 12 noon on Mon 11 June 2018.  Interviews will be held at Bonaly Outdoor Centre, 71 Bonaly Rd, Edinburgh EH13 0PB, on Mon 18 June 2018. We will let you know by Wed 13 June if you are being requested to come for interview. Please note that if you have not heard from us within 5 days of the closing date, please assume that your application has been unsuccessful.

MSP Kezia flies high at Bonaly

MSP Kezia flies high at Bonaly

The South East Scotland Scouts Leadership team were very pleased to welcome Kezia Dugdale MSP to Bonaly Outdoor Centre at the end of April. Kezia was keen to learn more about the opportunities that Scouting provides to young people in the Lothians, which she represents in the Scottish Parliament.

After a welcome from Regional Commissioner Margery Naylor and Regional Chair John Cannon, Kezia was given a tour of Bonaly by Euan McFadzean, our Regional Youth Commissioner, and Adam Bennett, Assistant Regional Commissioner (Youth Involvement). During the tour, as well as showing her some of the activities that young people can do at Bonaly, they also told her about the wider opportunities that Scouting provides for young people to develop and some of the ways that the Scouting Programme allows them to do this, including through Challenges and Awards at all levels. Kezia was impressed by the wide range of activities on offer and very interested to learn about the positive impact that Scouting has on the lives of its members.

After a brief escape from the rain and an opportunity to chat to some of the Regional Leadership team over tea and coffee, Kezia then joined two local Scout groups for a shot on the High Challenge Course. Guided by Neil Kirk, Activities Manager for South East Scotland Scouts, Kezia successfully navigated the balance beam and Postman’s Walk before a brief visit to see a group at work in the Bushcraft village.

Having enjoyed her experience of Scouting at Bonaly, Kezia left with a commitment to take what she had learned (and her new Bonaly neckerchief) back to the Scottish Parliament with her and to work towards her Scouts Scotland Youth Advocacy Award, for MSPs who are committed to raising issues related to young people in the Scottish Parliament.

Special thanks to:

  • Diane Marshall, Deputy Regional Commissioner, who organised and ran the event
  • Neil Kirk for running the activities
  • Fiona Elliot, Division Commissioner with GirlGuiding Edinburgh, demonstrating the strong relationship between Scouting and Guiding in South East Scotland by volunteering to be photographer for the event