15 Apr


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Linda and Shirley serving soup during night hike
Linda (left) and Shirley (right) serving soup on night hike

Friday 15 April is my last day as County Commissioner for Solihull Scouts. I stepped into the role just over 6 years ago little knowing what was to come! At my interview, I said that my objective was to ensure that adult volunteers and young people alike could enjoy their Scouting with opportunities to develop their skills and to feel supported. 

When I look back over these last 6 years, I feel that we have come a long way towards achieving that objective and I hope that you do too. The range of activities we deliver is impressive for such a small County. We’ve implemented digital tools which have been ahead of some of HQ’s initiatives. And we’ve grown closer together – sharing resources, knowledge and providing mutual support.

I believe that the key to our success as a County has been teamwork. I’ve been lucky enough to volunteer alongside absolutely amazing people who’ve provided me with so much support and encouragement, and who give so much time to Scouting in Solihull. There are too many people for me to mention everyone by name here, but I thank you all. 

Because of this teamwork, we have been able to face the challenges that the last 6 years have thrown at us. And there have certainly been challenges – not least of which has been the pandemic. The resilience and the ingenuity shown to keep Scouting going over the last two years has been truly inspirational.

As I finish my role now, I can be honest with you that there are things I would like to have achieved, with hindsight there are things I wish I’d done differently. I like to think we’re on a journey though that started with the CC’s who came before me and will continue with Mat. There are exciting times ahead with transformational changes planned by HQ to the way that we undertake some aspects of our roles to make it easier for us as volunteers whilst maintaining our core reason for doing what we do – providing young people with skills and opportunities. It’s a good point in that journey for me to hand over the role ready for this next phase.

It’s an end of an era for me on a personal level too as Keith and I will shortly be moving away to Hampshire (and no doubt finding new roles there!). We’re both going to miss the Balsall Common and Solihull Scouting friends we’ve made over many years. I’ll be back for County Camp though and am looking forward to keeping up to date with everything that is going on in Solihull via social media. 

So as I finish, I’d like to thank you for everything you do for Scouting in Solihull, thank you for the support you have given me and best wishes for the future.

Shirley Brookes
Solihull County Commissioner – 2016 to 2022