16 Apr


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I’m Mat and I’m the newly appointed County Commissioner for Solihull Scouts. I will be known to many of you across the county for my involvement in some of our large county events like Operation Chameleon and County Camp but I can’t wait to get out and make friends I’ve not yet had the privilege of meeting!

I have been through all sections of the movement in Solihull and owe credit to the leaders who came before me for their passion and dedication which has led to some of the most amazing experiences of my life so far for which I will be forever grateful. Scouting has taken me to some incredible places across the globe and helped me make friends from all of those places, many of which I still talk to on a daily basis and have been a personal and emotional support to me over the last couple of tough years. But how does that help me in my new role?

My passion for supporting our young people and ensuring that every one of them has access to these opportunities, skills and activities is unrivalled and now is my chance to show my appreciation for Scouting in Solihull by seeing the next phase of growth, development and transformation over the term of my appointment.

We are in a really exciting time as we start to rebuild and transform the national Skills For Life strategy in to a real world plan and next month I will be attending Basecamp in Manchester which brings together County Commissioners and their teams together from across the UK for a two day programme of discussion and development.

For me, locally, my immediate drive will be to ensure that this summer, every section has the opportunity to return to Scouting as we know and love. I will be working with my team to make sure that any barriers or hurdles are removed and that our vision for Solihull Scouts is relevant, diverse and youth shaped.

When I am not Scouting I am usually found running my own production company, looking after all things technical at events (Conferences, Festivals, Exhibitions, Gigs etc) which sees me working a whole range of crazy hours in all corners of the country and sometimes even the world! There are so many similarities between both my Scouting and professional life and if you’re ever curious…spark up the campfire and I will share!

It goes without saying that I cannot support an entire county on my own and I look forward to catching up with members of the County Team over the next few weeks to put more meat on the bones of our county plan. I invite anyone to reach out to me with their thoughts and ideas about what can be done and how we can help. The best way to contact me will be via email at mat.spencer@solihullscouts.org.uk – due to my work I may not respond straight away and I may respond in the dead of night and thankfully the flexible volunteering approach to Scouting allows for that however I respectfully ask that you do not chase me for a response through my personal social media channels. I aim to always be available on email and if that isn’t the case, I will make sure there is a plan in place to continue the support in my absence.

I will make sure that opportunities to meet with me or invite me (or a member of the County Team) to any section meetings, presentations or camps is easy. I will also make sure that my communications with you are clear and regular. To make all of this easier please head to solihullscouts.org.uk/cc or click on the link in the footer of any of my emails! Like most over the last couple of years I have dearly missed the opportunity to wake up under canvas, cooking the breakfast and feel the excitement of the days programme ahead – so please do take advantage of that availability…a County Commissioner can still help washing up or run a wide game!

I cannot introduce myself to the county without sharing my thanks to Shirley and her team for their leadership over the last 6 years. I have worked closely with Shirley in a number of roles over that period and there has been no time when things weren’t growing or developing, even over the last couple of years. We have completed a successful handover and I can confidently say that the county is in a great shape and that is down to the unrivalled level of support of Shirley and her continued passion for Scouting. I wish her all the best with her move and whilst it is a shame to see her leaving Solihull, we all know that Hampshire Scouts will have open arms and a seat at the table for her.

Me at the 2013 World Scout Moot in Canada with Emily & Gee 🙂