Member Communication – September 2022

As we begin a new term of Scouting, we often take a moment to reflect and think about all that we have achieved over the 12 months. We also look forward to what new things we can offer our young people.

Before I begin, I would like to once again give a heartfelt thanks to Victoria who has been a beacon
of leadership for the District over the last 10 years. Her compassion and dedication has been
incomparable and everything she did was for the benefit of the young people. We as a District are in
a better place because of this. On behalf of the district…. THANK YOU!

Over the summer I’ve held meetings with members of the District team and it is clear to see that we
are in a strong place. However, there is always work to be done. As a District we are currently down
on membership numbers, but this is something I know we can turn around. This will in turn support
the County Strategy for growth.

Blackpool needs Scouts more than it ever has done and together we will make this happen.

I am in the process of arranging meetings with our local MPs and other key stakeholders to push the
message that we are the largest youth organisation in Blackpool. I want to shout about all the
amazing work that we do and I hope that with their support we will be able to raise our external
profile and get us noticed!

As we move forward, there will be some changes. I ask that we as a District embrace these changes
together with a positive attitude, knowing that they are being made in the best interests of our
young people. Ultimately the goal is to get more people to benefit from what Scouts has to offer.

I am always contactable via email or phone, but I would like to outline a process of how things are to
be dealt with. I have put together a new directory which I will email out in due course.

If you have a section issue, then please raise this with the relevant Assistant District Commissioner
for your section:

  • Beavers – Emma Hornby
  • Cubs – Stephen Chow
  • Scouts – Emma Harrison
  • Explorers – Joanna Hacking
  • Network – Liam Chow

If you have a group issue then please raise this with Joan Swan who is the Deputy District
Commissioner (Group Support)
. Joan has agreed to remain in post as a Deputy District
Commissioner and I’m delighted by this. Joan as you know was a GSL for a number of years, Deputy
County Commissioner as well as a Local and County Training Manager. Joan is well versed with
dealing with issues and providing support to our GSLs. There probably isn’t many things that she
hasn’t dealt with over the years!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Brian Paley, who has stepped down from his roles
of Appointments Chair and Secretary. He has worked within these roles for as long as I can
remember. Brian is the font of all knowledge when it comes to Compass, DBS and the Appointments
process and a massive asset to us. Thank you, Brian, for all that you have done. I am pleased to
announce that Darrell Shuck has agreed to take on the role of Appointments Chair and will look to
rework the appointments process as we transition with a new volunteer journey from HQ. Darrell
has a wealth of experience from his time spent on the appointments committee so has sound
knowledge of the current processes and how these can be adapted for the better.

Darrell has also agreed to take on the role of Deputy District Commissioner (Growth &
. This ties into his appointments role and he will be working with groups and County
on development projects across the District.

I am also pleased to announce that Paul Harris has agreed to take on the role of Deputy District
Commissioner (Programme)
. Paul has held a number of roles across the District and County. He has
been the Assistant County Commissioner for Cub Scouts, worked on the County Training team and
more recently the ACC for Scouting Skills and Nights Away Advisor. Programme has always been
where his passion lies. Paul will be working closely with groups and section ADC’s to see how we
can develop what we do in offering new experiences for our young people. He will be providing
support and ensuring that as leaders we are fully equipped to deliver the best possible Scouting we

Finally, thank you to each and everyone of you for everything you do. Please remember, there is
always support available and by working together, we really can make a positive impact! Here’s to a
bright future in Blackpool!

Best wishes,
Matt (District Commissioner)