Chief Commissioner's Blog | Our amazing year!

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As the end of the year draws near, Wayne reflects on the last 12 months...

Challenges and successes

It didn’t exactly take a great crystal ball, but looking back on my New Year’s message from 12 months ago I wasn’t far wrong when I observed that the biggest of our challenges would be the successful delivery of Compass. I’ll return to this, however, with the activities of the past month foremost in our minds it is perhaps easy to overlook some of the amazing successes we have had over the past year.

We successfully launched our Strategic Plan 2014-18, Scouting For All; probably the only time an organisation such as ours has had the launch of a business plan trending on Twitter!  This, for me, reflects the fact that we listened carefully and ensured that the ambition set out met with the unanimous approval of our members.

This proved to be the case as we begin delivering key elements of our four objectives with tremendous support, particularly for the appointment of our first ever UK Youth Commissioner, Hannah Kentish, and her deputies Jagz and Jay. 

Better prepared

We have seen just this week following the support of HRH Duchess of Cambridge the growing support for our Better Prepared campaign to ensure that young people in the more deprived areas of the UK enjoy scouting too. In addition to helping our objectives for growth, these areas naturally help us to ensure that Scouting is more inclusive and reflective of our communities.

And 2015 promises to get off to an even more exciting start with the introduction of our refreshed youth programme, quickly followed by the announcement of our community impact partners selected by a panel of predominantly young people from over 90 leading organisations that applied to become partners with us.

Confident for the future

I appreciate that very many of us have been spending a large amount of our time ensuring the successful introduction of Compass, which, as I have highlighted, has the potential to significantly transform local administration for the better.  There is no denying that elements of the introduction have proved a challenge, most notably the difficulties in transferring data from the old membership system to Compass, compounded by the additional time the system was out of action and our slowness in appreciating the significance of the process change around DBS checks. That said I am increasingly reassured by the positive feedback being received once the system has been set up – in particular around the youth data – and continue to be confident for the future.

When the going gets tough

In the words of Billy Ocean, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ and for me the challenges of the past few weeks have demonstrated just how strong and successful a team we have across all areas of the Movement – from local to national level and between staff and volunteers – all of whom are working together to ensure that we really are helping young people everywhere be better prepared.

As we approach the end of another amazing year, may I take the opportunity to thank you, your families and supporters for all you do and to wish you all the very best for the coming year.

In the closing words of Beaver Scout, Noah, ‘thank you for helping us; you make Scouting brilliant too.’

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