Moving on together
Catching up with Scouting in London (and England)
Before travelling up to Cheshire, I took the opportunity to catch up with Mark Tarry, Deputy Chief Commissioner for England and later Dean Jefferies, Regional Commissioner for London.
It was good to learn of the many successes we are having in getting Scouting into some of the more challenging areas of London, and a particular well done to everybody in Greater London North where the county as a whole has grown by over 7%. You can read more about how they did this from my blog when I joined them in January.
Working together in Cheshire
Graham Phillips, County Commissioner for Cheshire has beaten me to it with his own blog about the great weekend I had in Cheshire, very much focused around the theme of working together.
As I attended my first St George’s Day service of the weekend, and listened to the words of the popular hymn 'One more step along the world I go', I couldn’t help but think with each verse how much it reflected the journey we have been on and continue to be on as our Movement goes from strength to strength.
Improving the experience of 'newbies'
We took the opportunity to meet with a group of new leaders and those completing their leader training. It has become increasingly clear to me that the welcome we give 'newbies' needs to improve significantly.
I know that leaders are very busy, and often just relieved to get help, but it would be great to hear from those of you who successfully keep your new volunteers beyond the first few months, and indeed from those of you that are experiencing this firsthand. What are your secrets to success?
Ringing in the new
We later joined just about all 2,000 members of Mersey Weaver District at Widnes Vikings Rugby stadium for their inaugural St George’s Day Celebrations. The District was formed earlier this year as a result of the merger of North West Cheshire and Widnes Districts to ensure the better sharing of resources, best practice and to provide better and more efficient support for the groups. With an evenly spread 10.2% increase in membership during the transition year it is clear that the project has been very successful. Well done to DC John Duley and team.
A quick exit got us to Warrington for the end of a joint St George’s Day celebration, with the two districts in Warrington (East and West) coming together for their annual parade and service. Another exceptionally well-attended afternoon and a further example of the benefits of two neighbourly districts working together.
On both occasions it was great to celebrate the achievements of young people, presenting Queen's Scout Awards and Gold DofEs as well as presenting adults with their Good Service awards.