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At the recent Regional AGM, I reflected on some of our Regional successes in 2023 and how we are progressing against our Regional Strategy. As we approach the end of the year I wanted to share a few of my personal highlights from 2023 in South East Scotland Scouts. 

Happy Birthday to Us

2023 marked 15 years since the formation of South East Scotland Scouts Region and it was wonderful to join with volunteers from across the Region to mark it at a special event at the EICC. As well as hearing about just a few of the many successes that we have seen in the Region over the last 15 years and paying tribute to the late Margery Naylor we had the opportunity to gather together in person and catch up with friends old and new – which has been a rare opportunity is recent years!

Pride at Pride

I have made no secret of the importance that inclusion in Scouting is a priority for me so to take part in Edinburgh Pride with volunteers and young people form across the Region – and further afield – and our friends in GirlGuiding was an experience that I will never forget. 

Scouting should be a place where all of us – volunteers and young people – can be our authentic selves. I recognise that we still have work to do on that and I am excited to see what 2024 holds with our new Inclusion Team led by Alison Robertson. 

Jamie's Journey

One of the reasons that I have been in Scouting for more than 30 years is that I feel part of an incredible community and this was never more so than during Jamie’s Journey in August. 

Visiting all 88 Scout Groups brought me into contact with volunteers and young people from across the Region and I was delighted that so many were able to join me for part of the journey and to receive their Jamie’s Journey Badge. 

The event raised more than £2300, split equally between the charity Love From Jamie and the Region. 

Jamie’s Journey was just one example of how sections supported our Community Impact strategic aim. We celebrated some of these at our recent AGM. If you missed it you can watch it here:

Recognising Volunteers and Young People

The success of our Region is down to the hard work of our Volunteers and Young People so it was brilliant to have the opportunity to recognise so many with awards this year. 

Leading the Way on Improving the Volunteer Experience

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you can’t have missed the fact that changes are coming to the Volunteer Experience and South East Region have been leading the way as an Early Adopter. 

I am excited for the positive impact that these changes will bring and look forward to seeing more young people enjoying opportunities to gain Skills for Life with well supported volunteers. 

As we prepare for the Christmas holidays, I hope that you will all be able to enjoy some well earned downtime. I would like to thank all of you for your hard work supporting Scouting in South East Scotland and look forward to continuing to work with you all in 2024.