A week of highs and lows, thankfully more highs!


Little did I know when I wrote on Thursday about the frustrations of the media coverage about knives, that we would have a repeat on the subject of the Vetting and Barring proposals Friday morning! If only the media would occasionally be more interested in the real facts rather than taking small elements out of context!

Anyway, the good news is that things got much better. On Friday evening your Trustees hosted our fellow trustees and senior volunteers of Girl Guiding UK to a dinner to celebrate their Centenary. We also gave them a forest; well an acre of woodland to be honest, near their centre at Waddow Hall. Between us we offer fun and adventure to over 1 million young people, through 160,000+ volunteers – a powerful testament to their and our successes don’t you think?

Saturday saw our Annual General Meeting followed by our first ever ‘Question Time’ style open session.It was good to see around 120 members of Council present for the day and then a further 50 members took up the open invitation to attend (where were you all?). The AGM marked some significant changes with the culmination of several years of work regarding our national governance.

The appointment of Professor Sir Alan Craft as Chairman along with 3 other Trustees followed an advertisement in the Sunday Times and use of an external recruitment firm (a large number of applicants confirms the high regard in which Scouting is held I believe).

We also saw a Trustee from each of the Wales and Northern Ireland electoral colleges (England and Scotland are already covered before you put pen to paper!) and the election of 3 youth representatives. Many thanks and congratulations to all. With the Chief Commissioners and International Commissioner leaving the Trustee Board, reducing it’s overall size from 25 to 19, just under half of the Board are new.

Question Time was interesting and hopefully something we can build on, perhaps at a more local level – would value your thoughts if this is of interest? In all 7 questions were asked in the time provide and covered topics as varied as is Scouting open for people with a disability, our fundaments, National Activity Centre strategy,Explorer Scouts in groups and our equal opportunities policy.

Saturday evening saw a meeting of my team, this comprises the 4 Country Chief Commissioners, UK Commissioners for Programme and Adult Support, International Commissioner and Director of Programme and Development.Like all good team meetings I hope, we managed to strike the balance between having some fun, camaraderie and peer support along with considering issues raised by members through various meetings at all levels as well as reviewing our business objectives and considering what more can be done to support leaders and the delivery of our programme etc.

On Sunday I chaired the Search Group meeting looking at candidates for the roles of Chief Commissioner of England and UK Commissioner of Programme which were advertised a few months ago and for which we were able to interview a number of very good candidates.Time to catch up with a few phone calls and emails before dashing back to Gatwick Airport for the flight home, albeit briefly, and for the beginning of another week.

Let’s just hope that it is a little bit quieter on the external front than last week.

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