Founders' Day and beyond

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Remembering our founders

We celebrated the birthday of our founder in a joint service with Girlguiding UK on Monday evening, as the chief guide and I, along with a few members, attended Evensong at Westminster Abbey before a short service and laying of flowers at the memorial in the abbey.

Developing our activity centres

I'd spent the afternoon with colleagues discussing our investment plans for the national activity centres, and particularly how we might increase the pace of our investment within the context of our wider finance strategy, (which includes replenishing the development grant funds for example). We left with colleagues agreeing to follow up on some specific areas ahead of consideration by the finance committee when it next meets on 10 March.

Making the most of help from the government

Talking of money, we had a conference call to consider our approach to the £10M+ that the DCLG is to make available to uniformed youth groups through Youth United. With many exciting developments already underway, we are clearly well placed to assist the government in meeting their target objectives.

I also met with the head of volunteering for St John’s to discuss a number of areas of mutual interest, but more of that another day.

Developing a better understanding

Resorting to Skype conference on Friday due to the fog, we met with Professor Simon Hacket, an expert in young people’s behavioural science as we considered our vetting policies, particularly in the areas of appeals in respect of disclosures relating to incidents when the applicant was a juvenile. Striking a balance between conflicting wishes to support individuals and protecting the movement’s reputation is something we keep under regular review.

Celebrating success in Suffolk

On Sunday I joined 70 explorer scout leaders and supporters in Suffolk for their second annual conference where they could try out different activities and discuss a variety of topics and issues. I also met with several leaders concerned that recent changes to our rules for paddle sports might make provision difficult, and had an opportunity to discuss these in further detail and to address their concerns.

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