Each year I look back with nothing but pride at what we’ve achieved together. This year, I truly believe we’ve more to be proud of than ever.
Cheshire Scouts recorded a further 5% growth in membership this year, with over 450 young people and 90 adult leaders joining our 12,500-strong movement.
Just two years ago, Squirrels – the section for 4-6 year olds – was launched, and this year we’ve opened another 12 Squirrels Dreys across the County, giving us a total of 22, with another two opening in the New Year.
We’ve secured funding to support our ambitious Inclusive Growth Plan, recruiting two full-time Local Growth Officers to help us open more than 40 new sections in under-represented communities over the next two years.
We were awarded Charity of the Year 2023 by The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge for Chamboree – our international Scout and Guide Jamboree.
Our annual Cheshire Hike event in April was a sell-out, with over 700 Scouts and Explorers taking part. Whilst 275 Cub Scouts slept under the GAIA Earth Artwork at Chester Cathedral. We opened our Skills Day out to Young Leaders, with over 120 taking part.
We had our first ever Cheshire ‘King’s Scouts on Parade’ at Windsor this St. George’s Day. Over 560 Scouts and Explorers were awarded top awards at our Celebrating Success event this autumn, including 60 Explorer Belts, 130 YouShape Awards. The High Sheriff of Cheshire also made special awards to our Explorer Belt and World Scout Jamboree adult leadership teams in celebration of our global summer.
Over 100 Cheshire Scouts and leaders had an unforgettable experience out in South Korea for the 25th World Scout Jamboree. Despite the hurdles, our Scouts broadened their horizons and showed incredible adaptability, while exploring the cultural heritage of South Korea during the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In addition, our Explorer Belt contingent of 60 Explorer Scouts and Scout Network members had an amazing two-week European international expedition this Summer, with teams traveling across Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
We held two successful Community Impact Days at Tatton Park for under-represented communities, and children in foster care, as well as 24 ‘Big Help Out’ events across our 9 Districts for the King’s Coronation.
I am really excited to have appointed Dan Skinner as the next as Youth Lead for Cheshire Scouts, a role designed to ensure young people are empowered to share their ideas and have a meaningful voice, getting them involved and engaged in our decision making.
Dan said, “I can’t wait to get out and meet as many young people as I can, and get them engaged in everything we do. Young people have brilliant ideas and talent that can drive Scouting forward and drive growth. Let’s inspire and support our youth – to shape their own adventure!”.
Scouts is a team game, and everyone plays their part. Thank you for all you do, making Scouts open to all, supporting our young people, and most of all, looking out for each other.
I hope you and your family have a happy and peaceful Christmas, and wish you a New Year full of fresh opportunities, as we continue to transform our volunteering experience and help more young people gain the skills they need to shine bright.
County Lead Volunteer