As we start the New Year we wanted to take this opportunity to again thank you for everything that you continue to do for all of our young people and for your communities and also look forward, with hope, to the year ahead.

Currently Scouting across Scotland, including for South East Scotland Scouts, is at Red Readiness level which means online delivery only. We know that programme planning for online delivery is challenging, but there are some excellent resources available to help you here:

The Red Readiness level will be reassessed as soon as the Scottish Government reviews the situation for schools and we will continue to make sure that you are kept up to date with the current status. For those of you who were planning a return to face-to-face Scouting, you can continue to press ahead with getting risk assessments approved for when we revert to amber or yellow, so you will be ready when restrictions are eased. As we have emphasised throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no pressure to do more than you feel able to and please do reach out to your Group Scout Leader, District team or the Regional team if you require any support.

January is Census time and this year is going to be different to normal. Given the different ways that we have had to operate over the past year, it is important that we understand who is still a member, whether they are currently active or are likely to return. One thing that isn’t different is the importance that all Groups and Districts recognise the need for promptly entering all required Census data and we are grateful for your continued support with this task.

Whilst 2020 was a very challenging year, there were still many highlights. One of them was the innovative new ways people found to continue Scouting, in particular the Virtual Camps run by both the Region and by individual Districts and Groups. It was great to see so many of our young people (and adult volunteers) taking part, undertaking the various challenges and sharing their experiences and photos on social media.  Given the positive feedback, we are planning another SES Virtual Camp to coincide with the Easter Weekend – look out for more details soon.

It’s great to see lots of initiatives being planned for later in the year when hopefully we are back to being able to meet face to face. Examples of this are:

  • 149 Explorers planning their Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions,
  • Scouting Top Awards being signed up for
  • Bonaly Scout Centre open for bookings.

Once again, we want to thank all of you who do so much, week in and week out, to support our young people and make South East Scotland Scouts what it is – a place where we are proud to say we provide young people at all levels with fun, adventure and skills for life.

We look forward to a much happier 2021.

Simon Cocker and Martin Elliot, Acting Regional Commissioners

Scottish Charity Registration: SC010563