Never spent so much time in broom cupboards!
National broadcasting conjures up an image of glamour, but Wayne’s week, dominated by a media interested in our Fundamentals consultation, suggested that reality is often very different.
Getting about a bit
I’ve undertaken eight flights this week, done the rounds of the BBC’s old and new studios in London (and Newcastle) – two 6.00am pickups (and a bus ride!) courtesy of the BBC – and spent lots of time in broom cupboards talking to myself and a stack of equipment to do 17 live radio and TV interviews.
Along with the work of Matt Mills, Gail Scott-Spicer, Derek Twine, the media team and others, it’s been worth it as the initial response to our consultation has been great. If you haven’t already, please do take time to complete the questionnaire and help shape our policy in this important area.
Derek Twine and I took advantage of being in Edinburgh for our periodic meeting of Chief Commissioners, Chairs and senior staff from Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales. We caught up with Craig Turpie, Chair of the European Scout committee to keep him up to date with our strategy in the UK and to discuss what WOSM is up to.
Scouting Insurance Guernsey
Derek continued on to Guernsey via Gatwick with me as we had a regular Board meeting with Scout Insurance Guernsey Ltd (our wholly-owned captive insurance company that absorbs some of our insurance risks, ultimately significantly reducing the net cost of our cover). We also explored whether there is an opportunity to cut our premiums for property and equipment insurance next year. Watch this space.
An apt ending
I wrapped up my week with a busy weekend in Newcastle, meeting the chief officer volunteers of St John Ambulance and later a great group of SJA volunteers from their NE region in connection with their Rank Review project that I am helping with.
I then caught up with Peter Nicol, former Deputy Chief Scout and now DC of Newcastle and CC Northumberland Designate. I met up with the County Appointment Committee before hosting a ‘thank you’ reception as part of a national project to see how we can ensure all Groups have an effective GSL and that they are properly supported.
I rounded off my week rather aptly with a lovely carol service led by Glen – the very unconventional County Chaplain for Northumberland with an impressive Christmas joke repertoire – and a fab nativity tableau from the young people of Newcastle district.