We say goodbye and thanks to Graham Coulson, and hello and welcome to Martin Elliot, our new Deputy Regional Commissioner for Adults.
At the end of December, Graham Coulson, a founder member of the South East Scotland Region team is stepping down. When the Region came into being on 1 April 2008 Graham was a key member and held the role of Assistant Region Commissioner (Development). At that time it could not be anticipated how key that role would be. Graham brought a wealth of experience of the wider development agenda gleaned from years in a number of development roles at UKHQ. The results are still being felt across the Region, which has grown in both adult volunteers and young people far beyond expectations but, probably more importantly, the culture of growth has been well embedded.
During the early turbulent years Graham had a steading hand on the tiller. In 2011 he accepted the role of Deputy Regional Commissioner and turned his focus to the youth programme, which is clearly an area which sits very comfortably with him. Despite his variety of roles and the many opportunities Scouting has afforded him over more years that he would want to admit to, his most important role is that of Cub Scout Leader in Selkirk. A little known fact is that Graham found himself in the ‘dock’ at Selkirk Sheriff Court charged with breaking and entering as well as theft! The local police are pleased to report that Graham was pursuing one of his other talents and playing the role of Goldilocks! He is still a free man!
It is hard to believe the amount of talent that is contained in the six-foot frame of Graham! He is a talented panto performer, a very effective trainer, a development guru, a diversity ambassador, a good negotiator and most importantly a CSL. However, some would argue that these talents are of limited impact when set beside Graham’s culinary skills – Coulson’s scones, tea loaves, pots of soup, delicious mains and puds to dream of are a legacy we have all benefitted from.
In recognising Graham’s huge contribution to this Region and thanking him for his time and the use of his many talents we should remember that Eleanor, Graham’s wife and Michelle, his lovely daughter, have made a considerable contribution to his success. When thinking of Graham we can only quote from the Gang Show song ‘We have a lot to be thankful for’.
I am delighted to welcome Martin Elliot as our new Deputy Regional Commissioner, Adults. He will be responsible for Adult Training, Development, and Communications, among many other responsibilities. I am confident that he will be a great asset to the Regional Leadership Team and we all wish him the very best in this role.
Martin joins the Regional team from his current role as Deputy District Commissioner in Craigalmond District. He took on this role in May 2015, having started his scouting journey as a Beaver Scout with 42nd Pentland Scout Group in Currie 25 years ago, where he would later take on the role of Assistant Cub Scout Leader and latterly Beaver Scout Leader.
Martin continued his involvement with the Beaver section when in 2012, he became ADC Beavers in Craigalmond, supporting the colonies within the district as well as organising district-wide Beaver events including a successful trip for more than 200 Beavers to the National Museum of Flight. Whilst in this role, Martin worked with the District team to build and implement a District Development Plan and also helped to establish the District Training Weekend, which has become a regular event in the District Calendar. This interest in Development and Training led to his appointment in 2015 as Deputy District Commissioner, working with new DC Mark Hesketh and Deputy DC Graeme Robertson to provide leadership to the District.
Development and Training has continued to be a central part of Martin’s role and he has been involved in supporting Groups across the Region create and implement development plans as well as expanding the local training provision in Craigalmond, redesigning the Getting Started modular training and recently establishing Essential Information for Executive Committee Members Training. He has also been a part of the Regional Training Team, taking responsibility for developing and running the Delivering a Quality Programme and Programme Planning when they were updated with the new Programme in 2015.
Outside of Scouting, Martin works as an Actuary for Moody’s Analytics, which has taken him to many different countries providing support to their clients. Martin has been married to Fiona for 5 years and they share a passion for supporting youth organisations, with Fiona being the Guiding Division Commissioner for Harlaw division in Edinburgh.
Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner