To mark the 365th day as County Commissioner I’ve had the absolute delight to present Solihull’s first ever Chief Scout Acorn Awards to our Squirrels from Marston Green as well as over 50 other Chief Scout Awards to our Beavers and Cubs from across the County with the Mayor of Solihull.
There have been so many highlights to my first year as County Commissioner and so many reasons to be proud of everything we have achieved and everything that is in the pipeline for the next year, it is so important to take every opportunity to listen to everything that’s going on and find out how we can continue to support you deliver scouting to all of our members across Solihull.
We’ve seen another great year of growth in Solihull, this year celebrating 7% growth across all sections which is something to be proud about for all of us. While we’re still not quite back to pre-pandemic levels, we are well on the way and I am sure we’ll smash it at some point this year extending our reach to more young people than we ever have before.
We’ve been growing our team and I’m really pleased to share with you that Chris Bladon has joined the Programme Team looking after Scouts and has already met with both Assistant District Commissioners (Scouts) to find out how he can best support them with their work in the Districts, I’m excited to see this section really thrive under Chris’ leadership and experience – Welcome to the team!
In only a few weeks the Country will be all eyes on London as we witness the Coronation of King Charles III, where Scouting will be placed on the National stage and be a major focus during The Big Help Out. While we are not organising anything as a County we encourage you to engage with your local communities and see if there are opportunities to welcome more adults and volunteers to your groups, I know there is nothing you need more right now than more volunteers and The Big Help Out is the perfect opportunity! More information is available from HQ here: https://www.scouts.org.uk/national-events/coronation/the-big-help-out/
The County Trustees are also involved with looking at how we can make Scouting easier for volunteers in Solihull and part of that is a closer look at the option of a paid member of staff. So many of our volunteers spend so much time on administration – whether that be with DBS checks, new appointments, awards, risk assessments, events, trips, building management … the list is endless. We are interested to speak to individuals who are self employed that may be looking for a paid opportunity to support the County Administration for one day a week, or the equivalent hours throughout the week. We’re taking a really flexible approach to this, if you feel like you have something to offer, please do reach out to me with a CV and let’s start that discussion.
As we touched on change at the recent All Leaders Meeting in January, things are starting to take shape and we can start to see what work we need to complete to be ready for the new membership system, the new learning system and the new way we welcome new members. Please keep an eye on your inboxes over the next month to make sure you’re doing your bit to help us out, we can only continue to achieve great things if we do it together!
Every time I speak to people I get the same question “How is it? The County Commissioner thing? I bet it’s a nightmare”. No. It really is the best volunteer role I’ve had. Today I’ve had a conversation with a Beaver who heard me talking about going to Windsor next week for the annual King/Queen Scout Award Review, the Beaver told me that they’d been to Windsor and that they were jealous I was allowed to go inside the castle, because it was huge! Young people absorb so much and learn even when you think they’re not paying attention. The more opportunities we can give them, the more they will learn, they’re learning new life skills every single time we give them access to Scouting and that is why it is the best role ever, empowering our leadership teams to give every young person access to the best start in life we possibly can!