Making our Strategy Happen – RC’s Update

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Our first Regional All-member Webinar in October not only gave me an opportunity to present our updated Regional Strategy but also for me to thank all our volunteers for the amazing work that you have all done to support our aim of providing Skills for Life to young people in our Region. 

I am always pleased to be able to share the strong position that Scouting is in in South East Scotland and it is only due to the contribution all of you have made that we are able to be so ambitious in the aims that we have set in our strategy. 

If you weren’t able to join the webinar or want to rewatch any of it, a recording is available along with our updated strategy document on the new Strategy section of our Regional website.

I and the Regional Leadership Team have received a lot of feedback on the updated strategy and whilst many are excited about the opportunities that we have in South East Scotland Region the feedback has also made clear that some of you recognise that your Sections, Groups or Districts still need to focus on recovery and rebuilding after COVID. Therefore I want to reiterate my message from the webinar that our primary focus remains on providing support following COVID as we recognise that many Groups and Districts have lost members and volunteers. 

Martin with Lord Provost Robert Aldridge and GirlGuiding Edinburgh County Commissioner Lindsey Devlin at Edinburgh Gang Show 2022

However, we have also had some volunteers keen to understand more about what the Strategy means for them locally and what practical support is available. Over the next few months we will be releasing a series of tools and resources to help those who wish to start looking at creating or updating local development plans. The first of these are a series of Development Workshops for Groups and Districts that wish to create and/or update their local Plans. The first workshops will run from 10am – 1pm on Saturday 10th December, at Greenside Parish Church, and Sunday 22nd January, venue TBC.

The workshops will feature a number of tools to help you identify and prioritise your local development needs. We will also share how the Region as well as Scouts Scotland and UK Scouts can support you in achieving them. The workshops are open to all Groups and Districts across the Region but will be limited to 6 Groups/Districts per workshop with 3-6 representatives from across the leadership team and the executive committee. If you are interested in taking part in these please speak to your Group Scout Leader or District Commissioner. GSLs and DCs can contact me directly to register or for further information.

As I spoke about last month, at the heart of our plans within our Strategy are the Values of Scouting – integrity, care, respect, belief and cooperation. The last few years have been tough but as members of Scouting we should continue to be guided by these core values in all that we do.  


RC Martin presenting Michael Walker, Regional ASU manager with his Silver Acorn
RC Martin congratulating the new Gang on their amazing performance at the Edinburgh Gang Show 2022

One group that have been putting the Values of Scouting into practice has been the Edinburgh Gang Show. It has been great to have the show back after 2 years enforced absence due to COVID with a new Gang and a new venue at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh. Despite the dual challenges of starting back after a long break and the move to the new theatre, the young people and adult volunteers involved have risen to the challenge admirably and I was privileged to be able to join them during their rehearsals and then to see the end product on stage and it is fair to say that the Gang Show isn’t just back, but it is back with a bang! Well done to all involved in making this happen. 

On a personal note, I was delighted to be able to join the Gang for the traditional Red Necky presentation, which this year saw 88 new cast members receive their Necky, and to hear from current and former cast members about what the red necky means to them. This made it all the more special when I, along with GirlGuiding Edinburgh County Commissioner Lindsey Devlin, received my own red necky at the Gang Show – a definite highlight from my time as RC. 

The Gang Show is also a brilliant example of Scouting and GirlGuiding working in partnership. I was also pleased to be able to join with volunteers from GirlGuiding Edinburgh for their annual gathering last month and to hear about the exciting things happening within the County. Given the many things that we have in common I am keen to take every opportunity to work collaboratively with our friends in Guiding, putting our Scouting value of cooperation into practice on important issues such as meeting places and I look forward to continuing our strong relationship not just with Edinburgh County but Midlothian, East Lothian and Borders Counties as well. 

As ever I am keen to hear your feedback on what we are doing across the Region so if you have an idea or a question please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Yours in Scouting

Martin Elliot
Regional Commissioner