Chief Commissioner's Blog | Wales and Westminster
Wayne’s busy week began with a dinner for youth sector professionals and cross-party parliamentarians and ended at a meeting with inspiring Scouts in North Wales.
Youth sector and parliamentary networking
On Monday evening, we attended the annual youth sector dinner, held as part of a conference for the professional youth workers body, the Confederation of Heads of Young People’s Services. We were pleased to host the recently appointed Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, along with chief executives of several charity partners.
We took the opportunity to discuss with the Minister areas of mutual interest and it was particularly pleasing to note that his son had enjoyed being a Cub in Reading. It was also good to develop relationships with professional youth workers who have not always had a positive view of the voluntary sector (although their perspective is changing). The dinner had a very wide cross-party support with the Shadow Minister and others attending.
Back in Wales
On Friday and Saturday Julie and I were delighted to head back to Wales, this time North Wales. We joined their second largest Area, Clwyd, for their adult event Motiv8 2014. But first, we took the opportunity to meet up with Jill Gloster, recently retired Chief Commissioner of Wales, and her husband Richard.
Such occasions are always great fun, and we had the opportunity to do a little walking in North West Wales. I’m conscious that when we finish particular roles in Scouting we are not always very good in our busy lives at keeping in touch socially and being able to pick the brains of our former colleagues.
Innovation in training
I love events such as Motiv8 where I always enjoy passionately sharing our vision for Scouting, discussing our plans on how we might achieve it and answering questions from the audience. In addition, it was great to sit in on the various workshops and discussion groups where, as so often is the case, I continue to learn new things and pick up some great ideas to share with colleagues.
For example, Clwyd’s plans for updating its adult training are particularly exciting. They will be involving young adults as presenters in the training and using technology to address some of the challenges presented by the area’s geography.
Motiv8 also focused on making Scouting in the Area more 'youth-shaped.' I was reminded of the question and answer session that Jim Hopkins, Gareth Watson, Hannah Kentish and I had hosted during the Wales AGM a few weeks earlier. Although Jim and Gareth escaped part way through to lead their AGM, Hannah and I had a full hour with members of the Welsh Youth Council.
They asked a very thoughtful and wide-ranging set of questions covering everything from their personal experiences of Scouting to uniform, our inclusivity, the Welsh language and so much more. They were a very inspiring group of young people.
We left Wales again feeling excited about the future of Scouting.