Time to Talk and Show our Gratitude – RC’s Update

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2nd February was Time to Talk Day – the nation’s biggest mental health conversation. This day is important as it raises awareness of the power of conversation and connection to help our mental health.  Throughout the week I shared small ways that we can connect and start conversations.

One of the ways that was suggested was to take time to thank someone – as research shows that writing a note of thanks to someone has an immediate positive effect on wellbeing and connectedness both for the sender and the recipient. 

This brought to mind a recent conversation that I had with my former Assistant DC who, when I was a Beaver Scout Leader, was a huge support and help to me and without whose encouragement and guidance I am not sure I would still be involved in Scouting. When I shared this with her she was surprised as she hadn’t realised how much of an effect she had had on my Scouting journey. For me it was nice to be able to share how important she was and to thank her for all that she did to support my development as a leader.

As volunteers we will connect with many people in Scouting – including young people and volunteers – and sometimes we will have little or no sight of what effect that we have on their lives. Research such as this study by Edinburgh University have shown the benefits of Scouting to our members long after they are part of the organisation and so I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of you for the tremendous work that you do to support Scouting in South East Scotland and to help provide Skills for Life to young people across the Region. 

As we mark Time to Talk Day, why not take the opportunity to thank someone who has had a positive effect on your life – maybe a fellow volunteer or someone who helped give you opportunities as a young person. They may have no idea of the effect that they have had and a thank you from you may be a lovely surprise.  


Thank You to Mark

One person I would like to particularly thank is Mark Hesketh, who this month steps down as District Commissioner for Craigalmond District after 8 years in the role. Mark has provided strong leadership to the District through some difficult times and has seen a number of exciting developments including the first Squirrel section in the district and a new Explorer Unit at Longcraig Scout Centre. 

Mark has worked hard to build a strong district team in Craigalmond and to develop the District identity through supporting events such as the regular District Camping Competitions and Training Weekends as well as District wide events such as the Virtual Really Big Camps held in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID lockdowns. 
As well as being DC Mark has also held a number of other roles including as a member of the Regional Executive Committee where his Scouting and business experience were much valued as well as a Regional and Scottish Trainer, supporting volunteers to develop their practical and managerial skills. 
Personally, I have benefited hugely from Mark’s support and guidance both during my time as his Deputy DC but also since I took on the RC role. 
I was delighted to join Mark at the recent Burns Supper hosted by the 10th Craigalmond Group along with the Douglas Brown Explorers where his contributions to Scouting in the District were recognised with the presentation of a special Tent Peg Award. 

I would also like to thank Jo Mitchell who will be taking on the DC role for Craigalmond District and I look forward to working with her and the rest of the District Leadership Team to continue the success of Scouting in the district. 

Mark Hesketh receives a Tent Peg Award from the 10th Craigalmond Scouts

Happy 15th Anniversary

This year marks 15 years since South East Region was formed from the former Borders, City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian Areas. We plan to mark this anniversary in a number of ways this year as well as use it as an opportunity to recognise the many volunteers past and present who have supported Scouting in the Region during that time. Look out for more details on these events in future newsletters. 

Yours in Scouting

Martin Elliot
Regional Commissioner