Even volcanic ash has a silver lining


I spent most of last week working from the office in Gilwell which gave plenty of opportunity to catch up with various people and chase progress on some of our many varied projects. The media interest continued with several more radio interviews and some interesting comments in a couple of the newspapers.

On Tuesday I had a conference call with Sheridan, UK Adviser for Diversity and David who chairs our Faith & Beliefs team to catch up on their work. On Wednesday, it was off to the grandeur of the Guildhall for a reception hosted by the City of London to celebrate Guiding’s Centenary. More chatting and a chance to catch up with a very large number of Guides, and lots of friendly banter of course.

Co-incidentally, Alan, Derek and I met with Liz, Chief Guide and Denise their CEO on Wednesday for one of our regular meetings to discuss many areas of common interest which this time included Youth United, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and adult volunteering amongst others.

In the evening I caught up with Phil, one of our Trustees and James who was until recently a Trustee. Both are professionally involved with universities in different ways and seemed ideal people to discuss our current approach to engaging with students, what we could achieve and how we might go about it.

On Friday, Julie joined me and we made our way to Windsor for the weekend. We bumped into Eleanor, Chief Commissioner of Scotland, checking in so took the opportunity for a leisurely lunch besides the Thames! I left the ladies to do some shoe and handbag shopping they said (never to be recommended) whilst I caught up with some work.

More relaxation in the evening when we joined a few of the team for a performance of The Chicago Blues Brothers who were onstage at the Windsor Theatre. All in all, a good start to what was going to be a great weekend.

An early start on Saturday to travel to BP House for a meeting of the Operations sub-committee where the main agenda items included our diversity action plan, youth involvement progress and our review of the teams supporting programme delivery and adult support. Chance also to have coffee afterwards with Dan, Chair of the s/c and Steve, Director of Programme and Development to discuss progress on some of our shared action plans etc.

Back to Windsor and a bit of a safari supper as I start dinner with members of my team and other HQ ‘bods’ who are in town and then dash up the High Street to join the young people leading the service and members of the colour party for dessert. A chance also to thank the organisers. Moving around the town of Windsor and hotel lounges is always slow this weekend as there are so many Scouts around to chat to and catch up with and this was no exception.

I woke on Sunday to glorious sunshine (just to show I’m an early riser) and although the rain came in by 7 am and was persistent it cleared before the days' events got underway. 

Oh, and the silver lining; the chance to spend a whole week in the offices at Gilwell of course...

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