A Year is A Long Time in Youth Involvement

First meeting of the Regional Youth Advisory Group, November 2017

As the year ends and we all start looking forward to putting up our Christmas trees, I thought it would be good to let you know what a wonderful year it has been for Youth Involvement. I wanted first to say thank you to Martin Browne, as he has stepped back from being Assistant Regional Commissioner to focus on his new role as District Commissioner for Midlothian. I am truly thankful for all the support and guidance he gave me.

We are always looking for motivated young people who want to make a difference and meet other Explorer and Network members, so if you think of young people who have that spark and desire to get involved and make change please do drop us an email at yi.adam@sesscouts.org.uk .

In the last year Youth Involvement has achieved

  • A Region that has achieved its Foundation Youth Approved Award (c’mon bronze)
  • Input and guidance to the future of Bonaly and Longcraig and how we can focus around what the young people want
  • A social media strategy where we can connect more with young people and engage them
  • Amazing Programmes, amazing trips, amazing camps and all the other amazing opportunities that Scouting offers our young people. They, working with you, have made the experiences great

Martin Browne receives Region's Youth Approved Foundation Award

Finally, I would like to welcome Lauren Davies and Euan McFadzean on to the team as Acting Assistant Regional Commissioners for Youth Involvement. Last year was fantastic and we have big plans for a new year ahead.

Adam Bennett      Assistant Regional Commissioner (Youth Involvement)

Could you Suggest South East Scotland’s Regional Ambassador – and be in with a chance of a £25 prize?

Tim Peake

We can’t all be like UK Scout Ambassador Tim Peake, but there are people in our Region who could do a great job of raising Scouting’s profile in South East Scotland.

Could you win a prize for suggesting the name of someone who would be happy to become our Regional Ambassador? You don’t need to approach them – we will do that. Just send us the name of someone whom you think could promote Scouting in our Region.

And if they agree to be a Regional Ambassador, then you will receive £25. We have two prizes of £25, given to us by an anonymous donor, on offer for one young person and one adult volunteer. So why not start thinking now and then please email me at rc@sesscouts.org.uk

Scout Ambassadors are committed to raising awareness of Scouting’s invaluable work, helping young people develop skills for life. They help raise our profile, extend our reach and gain influence.

Best known for spending 186 days on the International Space Station (ISS), ESA Astronaut Major Tim Peake is also a former Cub Scout and an advocate of the power of Scouting to help young people develop skills for life.

“Scouting set me on the right path at a young age because I loved the outdoors and I loved adventure. It gave me the opportunity to discover new interests, explore new boundaries and build the confidence to achieve new goals.”

Closing date for suggestions is 1st December 2018.

Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner

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


Applications Open for the National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band Course 2019

National Scout & Guide Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band

Applications for the 2019 National Scout & Guide Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band (NSGSO and NSGCB) course are now open. The course and concerts are based in Stourbridge, West Midlands and runs from Sunday 28 July – Sunday 4 August 2019.

Last year 142 young people attended – a record year again. The course is hosted by Birmingham Scout County in conjunction with Girlguiding Birmingham.

The NSGSO and NSGCB Ensembles

The Orchestra is now in its 44th year, and after the success of forming the Concert Band three years ago it will again run alongside the Orchestra. The NSGCB were re-branded last year with their own identity. However both groups are based together and although they have separate rehearsals and concerts they come together for a massed finale item and all accommodation and social activities. So there is a choice of 2 ensembles to apply for. There is slightly different criteria and instrument choices for each – please see below and also our website for specific information.


The NSGSO and NSGCB Course

The NSGSO and NSGCB meet every year for a fantastic week’s course of music and social activities led by 2 conductors and 12 professional tutors, and hosted by 8 staff members. Members are housed in single and small dormitories with common areas and rehearsal venues for all; all food is provided. During the week the Concert Band will perform 2 concerts in the community and also their main Saturday lunch time concert on 3rd August. They will also have the opportunity to take part in two concerts with the Orchestra as guest artistes. For the Orchestra the week will culminate in two evening concerts in Birmingham on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd August with the Concert Band as guest artists. Both the Orchestra and the Concert Band will also play a joint piece together at the Friday and Saturday evening concerts. To see for yourself what the course involves watch the NSGSO Promotional Video

To apply for the 2019 NSGSO or NSGCB Course and to find out lots more detail go to apply.nsgso.com

For the Orchestra all applicants must be:

– A Member of the The Scout Association or Girlguiding.
– Aged 13-25 by 31 August 2019
– Proficient player of a least one orchestral instrument (Grade 5 or above)

Please note: String players who are Grade 4 may be accepted under certain circumstances.

For the Concert Band all applicants must be:

– A Member of the The Scout Association or Girlguiding.
– Aged 12-25 by 31 August 2019
– Proficient player of a least one concert band instrument (Grade 4 or above)

Details of all instruments are on the website at apply.nsgso.com

Please note: Applicants between the ages of 26-30 will be considered in the event that a section is under-subscribed.

Further Information 

The cost of the course is £510, payable in four instalments. The course cost includes full board, accommodation, rehearsals and workshops with a professional conductor and sectional tutors, uniform for new members, transportation during the week and social activities. You just need to transport yourself to Stourbridge and after that everything else is paid for. We can pick you up from Stourbridge station or Birmingham airport.

For help with funding applicants should contact their group first, then district and then region. Applicants can of course do their own fundraising for this event. We can help you with contact details if you would like to email. A small amount of money is available in grants from NSGSO/NSGCB.

For anyone wishing to use this course for their DofE, QSA or QGA residential then this year must be the first time that they have attended.

Applicants will hear before the New Year if they have been successful.

Please email jill@nsgso.com with any queries that you have.

The closing date is midnight on Saturday 15th December

Deadline Approaching for Mandatory GDPR Training


Following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May 2018, Scout HQ introduced a new mandatory training module on the subject.

While new volunteers have this module automatically added to the Getting Started set of modules they need to complete, existing leaders need to have the module added to their Compass record manually by either their training adviser or Assistant District Commissioner (Adult Training). Please take the time to check whether your Compass record is up to date for this module and any other training.

The GDPR module is only available as online training (https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/4800) and it does not take long to complete (20-30mins).  The completion certificate produced should be sent to your Training Advisor or ADC (Adult Training) so that they can validate the module on your Compass record.

Thank you very much if you have already completed this module and had your training record updated.  However, if you have still to do this module, it needs to be completed by 31 December 2018.

Leslie Sell Charitable Trust

Leslie Sell Charitable Trust

The Leslie Sell Charitable Trust provides financial assistance to the Scouting and Guiding movement through small grants to Groups in the UK to help with the cost of making repairs, or purchasing sundry items of equipment. It also assists groups and individuals for UK or overseas trips.

Applications can be made any time. However, the Trustees are unable to consider applications for trips submitted within three months of the departure date.

The Leslie Sell Charitable Trust was set up in May 1969 by the late Leslie Sell to provide financial assistance to the Scouting and Guiding movement. This independent Trust Fund accepts applications from Group and Individual members of the Scout or Guide movement within the UK and Northern Ireland for trips or projects which are being undertaken within the movement.

More information is available from The Leslie Sell Charitable Trust: