County Commissioner, Matthew reflects on 2018
As we approach the final few days of the year it is customary to look back at the achievements and challenges of the last twelve months.
Wow – what a year it has been, we are so busy as a movement delivering our core offering, young people having amazing developmental programmes, on top of a whole host of additional activities and work of change to the way we do things.
I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported our goals, worked with us and challenged constructively during the year, I have enjoyed so many things this year and have witnessed some truly inspirational young people and adults demonstrating Scouting having an impact in Norfolk.
I’ve put together an A-Z of 2018 for Norfolk Scouts to reflect on just some of what has been ongoing on, it’s by no way an exhaustive list but does really show how much we have achieved as a team.
Thank you so much for everything you do, I hope that you get to have a break to recharge the batteries ready for an exciting 2019 in Norfolk.
Matthew Burrell, County Commissioner (Norfolk)
A is for Awards
On St George’s Day, the Chief Scout recognised the outstanding service and dedication of 18 Norfolk volunteers.
The recipients received their awards at an informal gathering with loved ones and friends in Swaffham, so that they had their awards ready to attend the national service at Windsor.
B is for BPA
Over 120 Explorer Scouts took part in the overnight incident hike on a route set around the South West Norfolk area starting and finishing in Thompson.
C is for County Plan
Our County Plan has a number of actions that we are going to complete over the next few years to contribute to Scouting’s strategy and provide Skills for Life for more Norfolk Young People.
We have highlighted six areas where we will focus our work:
D is for Dave
We welcomed Dave Human to our County Team as District Commissioner for South West Norfolk, returning to Scouting after a few years.
Dave has been working really, succesfully hard building the District Team and supporting the future development of Scouting in the South West.
E is for Education
After an initial trial we welcomed over 50 young people into a Beaver Colony and Cub Pack at Yoxford and Peasenhall School.
These satellite sections of the 1st Fressingfield Scout Group meet on a Friday afternoon supported by local volunteers.
F is for Find a place
The County and Districts have been working hard to help support young people and adults find a place to scout or volunteer.
Changes to the welcome process in Northern Norwich are showing positive signs of greater adult retention.
Sadly our County research shows that many parents do not ever get a call back from a Want to Join enquiry, even if the news is not positive we should have the good manners to return a call or pass it to the next group.
However, it’s not all gloom in November alone, the County Growth Workstream helped seven adults into new Scouting roles!
G is for GDPR
In May the United Kingdom adopted our new Data Protection Regulations into law. Generally the outcome from GDPR should be positive with a much greater respect given to individual privacy.
The legislation meant for some changes locally and for all members to take part in some mandatory online training.
There has been some great work by Trustees and Managers across Norfolk to support this activity. I would name them all…. but I have not asked their permission!
H is for Hare
This summer Norwich once again played host to a set of sculptures to raise awareness and funds for the Break charity.
This time it was Hares, and again Norfolk Scouts created a challenge that incorporated the trail to earn a badge. Again during the Summer evenings many groups of Scouts and their families could be found in Norwich. A great piece of Community Impact and a super way to raise our profile.
Sales of the badge raised an incredible £3,256 for Break. Read More
I is for Instagram
…and Twitter, and Facebook etc.
Having appointed Glenn as our Media Manager, he is building out a small team to manage our messages to the public via social media, our website and the general press.
This is an important part of the Perception element of our County Plan and helps develop an understand of the great times young people (and importantly volunteers) have.
J is for Jessopp Road
During 2018 a band of hard working volunteers have been forging ahead with a redevelopment of a unique city centre Scouting location.
With support from the Norwich Area Scout Trust and other community grants the future is looking bright for Jessopp Road.
K is for Kanban
Kanban is a ticket and board system for tracking progress on tasks.
The County Senior Management Team have been using this to monitor progress on key activities during 2018.
Jobs on the cable trunking have been completed! – it’s a been a busy year!!
L is for Logo
In May, Scouting revealed a new Corporate Logo, a contemporised version of the fleur de lis.
Some of you loved it immediately, for others it was a grower.
However the new logo and branding seems to be adopting fairly quickly across Norfolk. There is no rush, the old logo can still be used until May 2021.
M is for Matt Hyde
In September, Chief Executive of the Scout Association, Matt Hyde attended our Annual General Meeting to introduce Scouting’s new journey and our vision to delivery Skills for Life.
N is for NORJAM
Once again, August saw the Norfolk Showground transform into a Scouting and Guiding village with over 6,000 young people and adults, from around the world, coming together to celebrate the best of everything our organisations can offer.
A fantastic week that has created many experiences, friends and memories.
O is for Online safety
During 2018 we welcomed Trudy to the County Team as our second Safeguarding Awareness Coordinator.
Trudy has become qualified to deliver the CEOP ‘Thinkuknow’ Online Safety awareness to adults and Young People. Read More.
P is for Peer Leadership
2018 saw the County Programme Team complete our new Sixer and Seconder training package and a trial run in Central Norfolk. The training has been held several times with really positive outcomes.
In January we are running a ‘Train the Trainer’ so more Cub Leaders can run these events.
In May, North East Norfolk ran a BLLAST day. BLLAST stands for Beaver Lodge Leaders and Assistants Trophy . This was a great way to introduce the older Beavers to some more traditionally Cub activities and provided some super teamwork challenges to get them excited about moving on.
Q is for Queen’s Scouts Awards
At year end seven young people from Norfolk have achieved their Queen’s Scout Award, congratulations everyone, this is the culmination of lots of a hard work and dedication.
We hope everyone enjoys Windsor and look forward to more and more Top Awards and Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards in 2019.
R is for Remembrance
At NORJAM, Norfolk Scouts and the Royal British Legion became affiliated, this means that we have agreed to work together to promote each charities goals and objectives.
In November, Scouts across Norfolk took part in well over 100 Remembrance activities to demonstrate that young people do care about the sacrifices made by previous generations.
S is for Shipdham
We welcomed several new young people to Scouting in 2018 as the 1st Shipdham (Thomas Bullock) Scout Group officially started.
Based in the local school, the group brings Scouting back to the village after an absence of many years.
T is for TRUST
TRUST was our first ever Trustee Conference, held in November to coincide with Trustees’ Week.
We were overwhelmed with the interest with 150 members of Group and District Executive Committees getting involved.
U is for UK Chief Commissioner
Tim Kidd, our UK Chief Commissioner visited Norfolk in January to be part of our County Conference when almost 90 people from the County Team and every District helped create our vision for the next few years.
V is for Very Cold
In October, nearly 60 Scouts from North West Norfolk learned survival skills on a bitterly cold and wet weekend at the amazing Wolferton Campsite, near Sandringham.
W is for World Scout Jamboree
Unit 18 is our combined World Scout Jamboree unit with Suffolk Scouts, over the course of 2018 they have been building relationships, planning and fundraising for their life changing adventure next Summer.
Next Summer they are going to have the experiences of a lifetime, and they have all certainly worked for it.
X is for Poland
Did you know that there is no letter X in the Polish alphabet?
We’ve started planning for our Norfolk contingent to the European Jamboree in Gdansk, Poland in 2020. During the last quarter of 2018 we have selected the adult leaders and received the applications of nearly 50 young people who want to attend.
Watch this space!
Y is for Youth Shaped
February was Youth Shape month and the Youth Commissioners across Norfolk were challenged to achieve 1,000 hours of youth shaped activities in February.
The challenge was truly accepted with County Youth Commissioner, Dom Belcher estimating in excess of 3,000 hours happening at Groups, Districts and County.
Z is for Zoom
We want to zoom to our goal of having an impact in the lives of 7,250 young people each week by 2023.
2018 showed a great start to our goal when our annual Census showed that our membership of 6 to 18 year olds had grown by 3% during 2017.
Fingers crossed for next month’s Census!