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District News and Update

posted 11 Sept 2010, 14:33 by Jonathan Chicken
Hello Everyone,

Welcome back to a new season of Scouting. It’s been quite a year so far for our district and the coming weeks and months promise to be both challenging and rewarding. Scouting continues to thrive locally as programmes continue to develop and new opportunities appear. I hope you're back, renewed and refreshed and ready to continue the valuable work we do each week supporting and leading local adventures.This update seems packed, so please take some time to read and digest all that's going on in the coming weeks.

Jonathan Chicken
District Commissioner

Top of the news of course is to welcome a number of people into new roles:

Sharon Farnie and Alison Steed are now in role as Beaver Scout Leaders at 1st Washington, and have already made an impact on programme and numbers in the section and have even made the local press!!!

Paula Lydiatt, Donna Hall and Linzi Milley take on roles as Explorer Scout Leaders in the district (see later article); particular welcome to Donna who is newly appointed into this challenging role.

Kirsty Mason-Carr and Geoff Wilkinson are newly appointed at 3rd Washington, taking on roles in Cubs and Beavers respectively.

Paul Lukeman has been appointed at 1st Eppleton as Cub Scout Leader.

Sarah Burns and Rosie Quinn will shortly take on scout leader roles at 1st St. Robert of Newminster Scout Group which opens soon (read more later)

Lesley Smith has accepted the role of District Training Adviser. Lesley is new to this role and will be supporting a number of adults through their induction and training.

Meanwhile Helen Allan has accepted the new role of Group Chair at 1st Herrington, and Matthew Richardson is new to role as Fatfield’s Group Treasurer.

Around the District

Beavers in the district enjoyed a new event, a sports evening , in July at Oxclose School.

Cubs in the district are reminiscing about their successful Cub Camp Pirate in July and already planning their first new event of the Autumn, a visit to Adventure Valley on 25th September. Is your pack going?

Scouts in the district attended the District Fun Night at Moor House in July....over 150 scouts took part in the legendary prize draw at the end.

Around the Groups

1st Herrington have just returned from their successful Canada Trip.

1st Eppleton have launched new style programmes for Cubs and Scouts.

1st Houghton reopened their HQ after the summer’s redecoration.

3rd Washington cut the ribbon on their new box-trailer and took it to Summer Camp in the Scottish Borders.

1st Fatfield took over 80 members of their group to Moor House for their annual Group Weekend.

1st Washington featured in the Washington Star after Beavers won the County Banner Competition at the Picnic.


1st St. Robert of Newminster (our newest Scout Group) made plans for their launch event to Year 7 Scouts later this month.

Sincere thanks to the adults from the district who supported the Scouting Mobile Display at Sunderland Airshow...we’ve seen a marked increase in Want to Join requests since. We’re hopeful that two adults will join fully following successful recruitment at the event.

It is with sadness that we note the passing of Celia McNeil, a former Cub Scout Leader of over 15 years at 1st Fatfield Scout Group. Celia died suddenly on 5th September. Her funeral is to be held on Monday 13th, 12:00 midday at Sunderland Crematorium.

Moving On
Sue Freeburn
has recently transferred to a new role in Durham City District, working with a Cub Scout Pack. We thank Sue for her work in Houghton-le-Spring and wish her well in her new role.

It’s All Change at South Explorers

Following a review of our Explorer Scout Provision there are a few changes to announce. South Explorer Scouts are on the move to a new base at Herrington and a new leadership team. From September 1st, Paula Lydiatt, Donna Hall, Linzi Milley and Adam Rawlings will take up the reins on one of the district units. Explorer scouting remains a shared provision in the district with young people able to choose to attend one of the two adventure-programme units or the Young Leader Unit. A launch night of the new-look provision takes place on Thursday 23rd September at Fatfield HQ. Graeme and Brenda decided earlier in the year that it was time for a change of role and both are remain active in our District and County (both continue in role as Contingent Leaders for the WSJ in 2011 and Brenda has taken up position as CSL at 1st Fatfield’s new Wednesday Cub Pack). Sue Free burn has transferred to a new role with Cubs in Durham City. I’d like to thank Graeme, Brenda and Sue for the work they’ve done with Explorer Scouting in Houghton-le-Spring.

Read more about explorer Scout Provision in the district and the options open to young people here.

Appointment Processes Underway

Newly appointed adults will certainly be familiar with the role Jane McIntyre plays as Appointments Secretary in the district. This Autumn our appointments advisory group get back underway meeting with all new prospective adults.  If you’re not familiar with the appointments process, please read this document to ensure you’re up to speed...and for those taking part don’t forget the process is a valuable one, ensuring we get appointments right!

There have recently been some important changes to adult appointments. The Association reviews its safeguarding arrangements constantly and, following a formal internal review and external advice from the NSPCC, it was decided that training in safeguarding matters should be an ongoing requirement – as it is with first aid. The issues facing leaders in keeping young people safe are changing all the time and it is essential that we provide maximum support by having updated training. Leaders due an appointment review must have a current safeguarding certificate as well as first aid.
To renew a safeguarding certificate, leaders can complete the NSPCC’s Keeping Children Safe course online (cost to groups £4.50) or by attending a Safeguarding Update face to face. The first such face-to-face session will take place at 1st Herrington HQ on Wednesday 22nd September at 7.00pm – 9.00pm. Book a place here. If you’ve not completed the NSPCC course within the last 5 years then this update is for you.

Developing Scouting: A Regional Development Officer

In the past 12 months our district has enjoyed unprecedented growth. Groups are growing; two groups have added new sections whilst others have increased capacity particularly in the Beaver Section. In Autumn 2010, a pioneering after-school provision for 11-12 year olds will begin in a local school. A district membership manager places young people and as a result we've seen real reductions in our waiting lists. As our local presence becomes greater, demand for scouting has never been higher. Twelve new adults require significant support and practical training; new sections require resources and new ideas.

To continue to move and grow both in number and quality, we must invest in the support given to our volunteers at all levels. With Durham City District, we are embarking on an ambitious project to employ our own Regional Development Officer possibly as soon as January 2011. This is very important and big step for our Executive to take.

Read more and take part in our consultation.

Scouts at St. Robert of Newminster School

This month our newest scouting development opens at St. Robert of Newminster School in Washington. Following a successful pilot in Autumn 2009, the school’s very own after-school Scout Troop will open to members. Led by two teachers at the school; Sarah Burns, (also ASL at 3rd Washington) and Rosie Quinn (new to Scouting) the section will provide a new approach to scouting and extend the opportunities we offer to 20 young people in Year 7. We will be celebrating the opening of the new group later in the Autumn and inviting the wider scouting family along to find out more.

District Programme

The district programme is now published online. And is available to download. Many of our events have been renewed and refreshed.
Look out for our regular communication meetings and section meetings held on the last Thursday of every other month around the district. An adults from every section should aim to attend. The first one is at 3rd Washington on Thursday 30th September starting at 7.45pm, the next on Thursday 25th November 7.30pm at 1st Eppleton HQ (parking in Market Street Car Park).

Jamboree Ball @ Ramside Hotel: 16 October

This year, our district will not be hosting a formal ball, instead supporting the County Jamboree Ball at the Ramside. Tables and seats are still available.

Read more here

Interested? Initially contact Jonathan.

Supporting WSJ Fundraising

It's important that we continue to support the 7 young people and 4 adults from our district who are attending the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden next year. Groups and sections are asked that if they are fundraising (i.e. bag packing etc) - could a few Jambo scouts tag on and raise some funds themselves? If so, please contact Jonathan or Graeme. Thanks!

France 2010 Reunion
A reunion event will be held on Saturday 25th September 7.30pm – 9.00pm at Fatfield HQ. There’s a Barbecue, camp fire, games and some music. A chance to meet up with the abroad crew once again.

France 2011 Launch Event

Our 2011 European Trip takes place 27th May – 4th June in Morillon in the French Alps. The launch event takes place on Thursday 7th October at St. Andrews Church in Washington 7.45 – 8.30pm. More information will be published and circulated soon.

Checking your Details to Stay In Touch

Do you get Scouting+ emails? Do you get Scouting Magazine? Adults with a full appointment  should have a membership card also. Our only system for recording contact information is now the national online membership system. Please check your personal details by logging in here. If you’ve never been on before, click the register now link top right and create an account. Your membership number (needed for registration) can be found on your membership card, on the address label of your scouting magazine or by contacting Jane McIntyre our Appointments Secretary.

The C Word

Our Christmas Nights out have always been a popular night with leaders in the district This year we’re off to Sunderland Greyhound Stadium on Saturday 4th December for a ‘night at the dogs’. £10 price includes : Admission, 3 Drinks tokens and a Hot Turkey Sandwich!!! If you’d like to go, please add your name to this list as soon as possible. We have provisionally booked 50 places so spread the word!!! (Event is for over 18’s only).

SGS’s Website.

Training Opportunities

First Aid: First Response Course (For those without a current certificate)
 Saturday 2nd October 9.30am – 4.00pm @ 1st Fatfield HQ.  £5.00 Course Fee
(Please bring a packed lunch) (10 places)  Book Here

First Aid: First Response Renewal
Saturday 25th September 9.30am – 1.00pm @ 1st Fatfield HQ. (15 places) £5.00 Course Fe Book Here

Safeguarding Mandatory Update
Wednesday 22nd September 7.30 – 9.00pm @ 1st Herrington HQ (30 places). Free. Book Here

Module 1
Monday 11th October 7.00pm – 9.00pm @ 1st Washington HQ (20 places). Free. Book Here