This month, my focus is on Pride which is relevant because we both have a lot to be proud of in South East Scotland Region and also because we are preparing for Pride month and our first attendance at Pride Edinburgh – read on for more details.
I have to start with pride in the work that Kirstie has done for the Region during her time as Scouting Support Officer. As some of you will be aware Kirstie will be moving onto pastures new this month and her last working day as SSO will be Wednesday 10th May. Since she joined us in July 2021, Kirstie has worked tirelessly to support volunteers across the Region as we worked to recover and rebuild after COVID.
Kirstie has brought innovative ideas to the role and has introduced new ways to improve our volunteer recruitment and to raise the profile of Scouting within South East Scotland and I know from the feedback that I have received that her efforts have been much appreciated by many volunteers and young people across the Region.
The very successful Army activity day which we held last year is just one of the projects that Kirstie led on and I know I, like all who took part, will remember it for a long time to come.
On behalf of the wider membership of South East Scotland Scouts would like to thank Kirstie for all that you have done for the Region and wish you every success in your new adventure.
I was also proud to receive a card from Carl Hankinson, UK Chief Commissioner, congratulating the Region on our recent census results which showed a 3.3% growth in our membership. The strong growth that we have seen across the Region is a testament to the hard work that so many of you have done to keep on Scouting through the pandemic and to help us to rebuild.
Along with volunteers from across the UK I was proud to attend the recent Windsor Day of Celebration and Achievement and in particular to celebrate the achievements of 3 of our young people – Lewis Bright and Iain Turpie, who were recognised for their Queen’s and King’s Scout Awards as well as Jacob Wood who was recognised for his role in Operation Feather for the Queen’s Lying in State.
Finally, I am delighted that South East Scotland Scouts will be taking part in the Pride Edinburgh March on Saturday 24th June 2023 alongside Girlguiding Edinburgh and Girlguiding Midlothian. If you and/or your section would like to be part of our “Scouting Proud” group who are walking with the parade please let me know.
Attending Pride is a fantastic way of engaging young people and adult volunteers in supporting inclusion and helps to show Scouts is open to all, regardless of gender identity or sexuality.
We will meet in Holyrood Park ahead of the parade and join it at the start point (expected to be the Scottish Parliament) before we walk with the parade through Edinburgh City Centre.
We will also have a stall at the Pride Community Fair in Teviot Row House so if you would be willing to help at that please let me know.
Myself and the the other members of the Scout and Guide organising Team are looking forward to joining with many of you to celebrate the diversity and inclusiveness that are central to what Scouting truly is.
Yours in Scouting