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Martin Elliot

Lead Volunteer for South East Scotland

Recognising Your Achievements

As we come towards the end of another Scouting year and a well-earned summer break, it is important to take time to reflect on the successes of the past year.

South East Scotland Region is in a strong position. We have continued to rebuild following the challenges of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis and have been able to grow new provisions, particularly in the new Squirrel Scout section, and to provide amazing experiences to nearly 7,000 young people. 

I am immensely proud to lead such a dedicated, enthusiastic, and supportive region and recognise that none of this would be possible without the hard work of all our members – young people and volunteers. Therefore, I have been delighted over the last month to be able to recognise and celebrate some of the members across our region.

In May, I was thrilled to present a Commissioner’s Commendation to George Beattie, the first Beaver Scout at the 44th Braid Scout Group to achieve all of the Beaver Activity and Challenge Badges plus at least level 1 in all of the staged award badges. This is an incredible achievement, and it was clear the positive effect that Scouting has had for George. 

I have also had the opportunity to celebrate young people who are helping to lead our sections as Explorer Scout Young Leaders. I was privileged to present two Young Leader Belts recently. Well done to Luca at the 35th Braid and Jess at the 60th Braid for earning this top award, recognising the huge amount of work that they have done supporting their groups. 

Recognising achievements helps build self-esteem and confidence among our young people. Scouts, who are celebrated for their accomplishments, gain a sense of pride in their abilities and contributions. This confidence often extends beyond Scouting activities, positively impacting their academic performance, social interactions, and future endeavours. 

But it isn’t just our young people whose achievements it is important to acknowledge. Recognising our volunteers is equally important, validating their huge efforts and expertise, and hopefully helping to keep them as part of our amazing organisation.

Today, I want to recognise a member of our Regional team, John Buchanan and celebrate a most remarkable level of commitment to young people through the DofE Award as John completes fifty years as a volunteer running the DofE Award. 

John wears many DofE hats—as a leader with young people, a manager supporting our volunteers, providing DofE in our Explorer Units and Network sections, and providing guidance and encouragement to young people to overcome obstacles to completing their Award. Expeditions are a key part of the Award, and again, John is at the heart of this, both behind the scenes in managing and planning, as well as acting as an assessor.

I hope you will join me in expressing our huge gratitude to John for his outstanding passion, commitment, and experience over so many years, and the huge part that he has played in helping so many of our Explorers and Network members achieve Top Awards in Scouting.

I was also pleased to see several volunteers recognised for their contribution to Scouting in the region and beyond at the first Scouts Scotland Awards event since COVID. We also continue to see many volunteers across the region being awarded Good Service Awards. However, we do recognise that we can still do more to recognise the invaluable role that our volunteers play, and Mike Treanor is looking at volunteer recognition as part of his role as Volunteer Development Lead. You can also help to recognise volunteers by submitting nominations for Good Service Awards. To find out how, please speak to your local District Awards team or to John Bruce, Regional Awards Lead.

Finally, I would like to wish you all an enjoyable summer break. While I know many are involved in camps and other events such as the Blair Atholl Jamborette, I hope that you have time to switch off from Scouting. 

Thank you for the contribution that you have made and continue to make to our region.