Shaping Scouting in South East Scotland

Edinburgh Engagement Workshop

September saw members from across the Region taking advantage of the opportunity to share their priorities for Scouting in South East Scotland and ideas for how the Region can best support its adult volunteers. Three events were held in Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian which allowed adult volunteers to meet others from across the Region as well as take part in a number of different activities designed to identify key areas of focus for Scouting in South East Scotland.

Midlothian Engagement Workshop

The Regional Leadership Team and the Regional Executive are very grateful to all those members who took time to contribute to these events, the output of which will feed into the work currently going on to agree the future priorities and structure of South East Scotland Region.

Whilst initially scheduled to only run through September, it has been agreed to add two further events to ensure that as many people as possible can contribute. The two additional events are:

In order to organise catering, if you plan to attend one of the events please register using the links above or contact Martin Elliot, Deputy Regional Commissioner at

Shape Scouting in South East Scotland

South East Scotland provides Scouting for more than 7,000 young people and this wouldn’t be possible without your help!

As they look at how to take the Region forward, the Regional Leadership Team and Regional Executive would like to hear your opinions and fresh ideas about how the Region can best support its 2,300 volunteers.

We will be holding a series of events and would like to invite all adult members, in uniformed or non-uniformed roles, to attend one of them to meet other leaders from across the Region and help to shape our strategy and structure going forward.

The events will be held across the Region on the  following dates:

We plan to run these events across the Region and hope to confirm the remaining venues in the coming days.

In order to organise catering, if you plan to attend one of the events please register using the links above or contact Martin Elliot, Deputy Regional Commissioner at

Free Red Cross courses

Free Red Cross courses

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross deliver workshops in Everyday First Aid and Refugee Awareness as part of our ‘Crisis Education’ remit. This is a new service and so far it has been hugely popular with youth groups in Edinburgh and Dundee.  (Message from Sarah McCrory)

The workshops are fully-funded by us, therefore we are seeking to develop our partnerships within communities to equip young people with valuable, life-saving skills. It is also our ambition to ensure that all young people are informed about first aid as our research has shown that this is an issue in communities, with 59% of pre-hospital deaths potentially being prevented by basic first aid training. This workshop could be used to support the current first aid training within Scouts.

Everyday First Aid

Our Everyday First Aid workshops increase confidence and empower young people, and also support health and wellbeing. During these workshops, young people will learn valuable first aid skills, for example, responding to someone who is unconscious and breathing/not breathing, choking, bleeding heavily and burns etc. The workshops support young people in assessing risk and understanding the impact of risk-taking behaviour. We address common barriers to providing help and we encourage young people to take control in an emergency.  Our aim is to ensure that young people develop confidence and willingness to act, therefore our education is easy to learn and easy to remember. Participants will be awarded with a British Red Cross certificate of learning for taking part in this course.

The workshop would most likely equate to Level 2 on the Scouting  Emergency Aid Staged Activity Badge scale, however, we also cover elements from Level 3. An example of these would be:

  • Unconscious and breathing
  • Unconscious and not breathing (through hands-only CPR)
  • Bleeding heavily
  • Burns
  • Choking

We primarily focus on the ‘everyday’ approach to first aid, e.g. what to do when we don’t have resources such as a first aid kit available. Our ambition is to make life-saving skills accessible to all young people, so therefore our methods are easy to learn and easy to remember.

We will also focus on the ‘Bystander Effect’ and examine barriers that would stop people from helping in a crisis, as young people who have received first aid training will not always use it due to a variety of reasons. These workshops could be used to support the first aid learning with Scouts.

Refugee Awareness

The aim of the Refugee Awareness workshops is to reduce stigma and discrimination in communities. We inform young people on reasons why people migrate and need to leave their homes, promoting an awareness of international issues and global citizenship.  Common misconceptions held about refugees and migrants are addressed through activities and quizzes. In these workshops, young people learn the difference between terms such as ‘asylum seeker’, ‘refugee’, and ‘migrant’. Through games, participants will also look at reasons why people leave their homes and share their own opinions on what they might do or feel about similar situations, encouraging empathy and challenging young people to look at issues from a different perspective. Our aim is to encourage young people to be more confident in welcoming people from different countries, and also to apply this understanding in their communities.

Both workshops help young people to develop self-awareness and respect for others, and promote personal and social development. They are delivered in an informal and interactive style and are planned around the needs of individual groups, lasting approximately 60 – 90 minutes.  There can be up to 30 people in a group, and the workshops are aimed at age range 10 – 19.

If you feel that your young people would benefit from either workshop, feel free to contact me by email or phone.

Sarah McCrory
Youth Education Coordinator (Edinburgh and Dundee)
West Point House, 69 N Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 8JY

Census 2016

We’re really pleased to announce that South East Scotland Region has grown once again this year, for the 7th consecutive time.  Regional membership now stands at 6,956 young people and 1,500 adult volunteers.

Continue Reading Census 2016

Bethany Big Scout and Guide Sleepout 2016

Bethany Big Scout and Guide Sleepout 2016

Scouts and Guides from Edinburgh and the Lothians took part in the Bethany Big Scout and Guide Sleepout on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th March 2016.

The event saw over 220 young people sleeping rough in the grounds of the iconic George Heriot’s school in central Edinburgh, giving them a small taste of how it would feel to be homeless.  The young people were supported by a team of over 70 adult volunteers from South East Scotland Scouts, Girlguiding Edinburgh and the Bethany Christian Trust.

Diane Marshall, Deputy Regional Commissioner with South East Scotland Scouts told us “Scouting and Guiding gives young people a positive start in life. Life is a journey and as we take each step its a huge learning curve. We are all lucky to have a warm bed to go to at night we take for granted the simple things such as nutritious food and a toothbrush and toothpaste to brush our teeth the sleepout has given us a small insight into homelessness and how vulnerable and challenging it makes everyday life.”

Sleep out 2016 - Night

Scouts and Guides take refuge in sleeping bags and cardboard outside at George Heriot’s School

Bethany Christian Trust organised for their Care Van to visit the event, which served soup and bread to the attendees of the event helping them to understand how it might feel to queue for food without which they might have gone to bed cold and hungry.

“The Care Van is one of Bethany Christian Trust’s emergency services, providing support for homeless people in Edinburgh.  Some nights the van can provide food, hot drinks, advice and support to up to 60 people.  It really is an essential service for many people in Edinburgh” said Laurie Frank from Bethany Christian Trust.

As part of the event young people were asked to fundraise in support of Bethany Christian Trust, with a value of £7,500 being raised by the time of the event.  Both Scouting and Guiding are hoping to attract some additional funding over the next few weeks as more people hear about the event.

The event was inspired by a smaller sleepout organised by a local Scout Group last year.  Hamish is a 12 year old Scout and attended the recent sleepout as well as the event last year and said it was “An extremely fun night. It was great to have more people than last year, but we needed more cardboard. The soup and hot chocolate really raised the spirits for everyone who was suffering from the cold. It was amazing to raise such a large amount of money for Bethany”.

The funding raised by the event will be used by Bethany to support the services in Edinburgh and across Scotland, including their Winter Care Shelter, which provides shelter, safety, hot food and support for those who would otherwise be sleeping rough on the streets of Edinburgh.  The funding raised so far is enough for over 200 overnight bed spaces at the shelter.

Lily, a 10 year old Guide thought “The Sleep Out was fun but I know now how lucky we are! Plus the soup was really nice and I think that homeless people are lucky to have Bethany. I loved looking at the stars and I actually had a good sleep. It was good experience and I think that I learnt that we are lucky to have what we have… but I still like a good warm bed!”

Sleepout 2016 - Daytime

The full team of sleepout participants and volunteers after the event

Anne Mackintosh, the Girlguiding Edinburgh coordinator for the sleepout, who took to sleeping rough herself at the event, said “The ground was very hard and cold to sleep on even although we had the luxury of warm sleeping bags, camping mats and survival bags which most homeless people don’t have. Working together with Scouting and the Bethany Christian Trust has given the Guides and Scouts a fantastic opportunity to have a lot of fun, to challenge themselves to sleep rough in a safe environment and to make a positive difference in their community by raising money for Bethany Christian Trust and raising awareness of the work they do with homeless and vulnerable people across Scotland.”

Donations can still be made at