UK Youth Commissioners
The UK Youth Commissioner works directly with the UK Chief Commissioner, Chief Executive and Chairman to ensure that The Scout Association’s decisions and planning are shaped by young people.
In addition to responsibility for our overall strategy, the UK Youth Commissioner will lead a National Youth Council and other projects to achieve our vision of youth shaped Scouting and Scouting for all. The UK Youth Commissioner is supported by two deputies.
UK Youth Commissioner - Hannah Kentish
Hannah Kentish, was appointed as the first UK Youth Commissioner in October 2014 at the age of 21.
Hannah joined Scouting at the age of 10. She went on to support the Cub and Explorer sections and led an event to explore what young people want out of Scouting, with an aim to ensure they play an integral role in decision-making for Scouting in South East London. At 18, Hannah started leading the Explorer Scout section in Greater London South East as their Assistant County Commissioner, and has since organised an Explorer Belt expedition to Kenya for young people aged 16-25.
Hannah is the co-founder and trustee of a charity in Kenya, supporting disadvantaged children in rural areas by increasing their opportunity to get involved in non-formal education. Hannah is in her final year of studying Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons) at the University of Hertfordshire, focussing on health and childhood obesity. Having worked with a leading children’s weight management provider during her placement year, Hannah supported the management of residential and weekly weight management programmes for overweight and obese young people and their families.
In a gap year, Hannah also worked for the Cabinet Office and Number 10 Downing Street on a volunteer recognition scheme, thanking outstanding volunteers across the UK for the positive impact they have on their local communities. In her spare time she also like to go climbing, scuba diving and exploring different countries; with Oceana and Antarctica being the only continents Hannah has yet to travel to!
Deputy UK Youth Commissioner - Frankie Smith
23-year-old Frankie joined Scouting as a Beaver at the age of six, and went through the sections with 3rd Hastings Scout Group and Phoenix Explorer Scout Unit. At 18 started his adult leadership training, and continued to volunteer as an Assistant Scout Leader whilst studying Mathematics at the University of Sussex.
Frankie joined East Sussex’s County team in 2015 and became their first ever County Youth Commissioner, making the role his own and helping to shape Scouting for young people in the area - work he found rewarding and very much enjoyed.
Frankie is currently working towards his Queen’s Scout Award, and has previously travelled to Kenya to support Scouting projects overseas. He is also a member of the Summit 17 planning team.
Outside Scouting, Frankie is training to be an auditor at a large accounting firm in London. He swims regularly, and has used his skills in mathematics to teach young people in an outreach programme in The Netherlands.
Emily joined Scouting when she was 13 and has since achieved her Queen’s Scout Award, Explorer Belt and Scouts of the World Award. Progressing from her role as a Young Leader, Emily completed her adult leadership training and became a Beaver Scout Leader in North London at the age of 18.
Emily is part of the Scout Grants Committee that supports projects that promote growth, inclusion and development. She also sits on the Risk Committee.
She was previously an external representative for the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, supporting young people’s rights on issues ranging from education to the environment.
As a Law student, Emily volunteered for the Lawyers Without Borders charity to support human rights in the Middle East. She also played a leading role in a local social mobility project that helped young people broaden their skills before applying for university.
She is currently working towards qualifying as a solicitor in London. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, sailing and hiking, and recently went on a six-week expedition to the Arctic Circle!
Assistant UK Youth Commissioner for Leadership - James Clarke
James started his Scouting journey aged six at Beavers in West Sussex and continued through to Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Network. He is now County Youth Commissioner for West Sussex and Scout Leader for a group in North London, where he is currently studying.
A recent graduate, James studied BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. His next challenge is to complete a PGCE in secondary drama education, whilst also using drama techniques to deliver training sessions to companies.
He's passionate about performance and theatre, and regularly appears in the Worthing Gang Show.
James has attended two World Scout Jamborees and plenty of other international experiences. He loves the opportunities and leadership skills Scouting has offered him.
Find out more about James by following him on Twitter.
Assistant UK Youth Commissioner for Programme - Jack White
Jack is from South Shields and is currently working towards his Queen’s Scout Award.
He first joined Scouting as a Beaver and has been involved with the 7th South Shields Scout Group since the age of 14, first as a Young Leader and now as an Assistant Cub Scout Leader. He has enjoyed helping it grow and leading on the refurbishment of its hut.
Jack sits on the Finance Sub-Committee and is a member of the International Rep Pool. A big advocate of Scouting’s international opportunities; Jack attended the 22nd World Scout Jamboree in Sweden, the UN Climate Conference in Peru in 2014 and 2017, and in July 2017, Jack will return to Peru to complete his Explorer Belt Expedition. He hopes to inspire more young people in Scouting to work towards their top awards.
Jack is on his second gap year but plans to start a degree in September 2017. He currently works for a small charity in Newcastle and in his free time enjoys politics, running and cycling.
Find out more about Jack by following him on Twitter.
Assistant UK Youth Commissioner for Management - Stu Bennett
Stu joined Scouting as a Beaver and progressed through all Scouting sections to become a Young Leader.
At the age of 16 he joined the organising team for an international camp to Kandersteg. At 18 he took on the role of Media Development Manager for his District, promoting Scouting, managing communications and building key partnerships with local companies and organisations.
During his time as an Explorer he was a youth rep for the District Executive and took an active role in Explorer Scout Forums. He has also volunteered as a Scout section assistant and Explorer Leader and last year was awarded his Queen’s Scout Award in Windsor.
Stu has sat on the management team for numerous large-scale events in Northumberland, including the biannual county camp for 2500 participants.
Stu previously took on a shared role to become Northumberland’s first ever County Youth Commissioner, ensuring young people have a voice and shape their everyday Scouting, a role he has thoroughly enjoyed.
Stu graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in Computer Science and now works as an IT Delivery Consultant. He is also a senior volunteer for a community theatre in his local village.
Stu has gained so much from Scouting. He is delighted to be able to give something back and help embed Youth Shaped approach in everything we do.
Find out more about Stu by following him on Twitter.