District Update – May 2021

As the District gradually starts to get back to some form of normal scouting, we have started looking at the way forward and how we can support groups, units and the wider District right now and in the future.

District Appointments Updates and Vacancies

We have decided to create two new Deputy District Commissioner Roles to strengthen the team.

The first role is Deputy District Commissioner – Training and 13-19 Plan, to which I am pleased to announce that Naomi Hughes has been appointed to. In addition to being the County Training Manager, Naomi has been part of the District for many years, and most recently as District Explorer Scout Commissioner, her combined experience of Training and Explorers makes her the ideal candidate for this role, supporting Training and Compliance across the District and taking the lead on our 13 – 19 Plan (more about this below).

The second role is Deputy District Commissioner – Programme. This role will be responsible for overseeing the effective delivery of District sectional events, working with Assistant District Commissioners and Section Leaders, and also supporting new leaders and groups across the District with programme ideas and skills. If you would like to find out more about this role or to apply please see the role details on our Vacancies page.

Sean Mulligan will continue in his role as Deputy District Commissioner – Perception, focussing on Media and Communications, Youth Led Programme and Adult Awards.

Christina Ponting will continue in her role as Deputy District Commissioner – People, working with our Appointments Advisory Committee and District Team on our review of the Adult Journey.

We are also looking to strengthen our District Youth Team, by recruiting some additional Deputy District Youth Commissioners to work alongside our District Youth Commissioner, Jack, and our current DDYC’s Hannah and Sophie. If you, or someone you know, is aged 16 – 25 and would like to find out more or apply for the role, please see the role details on our Vacancies Page.

If you would like to find out more information or would like to organise an informal chat please get in touch with Sean.

We also have other roles available on our Vacancies Page including Assistant District Commissioners for Cubs, Scouts and Activities, and District Explorer Scout Commissioner.

Strategy Update

As a District Team we are currently focussing on developing 3 key strategic areas.

13 – 19 Plan

The 13 – 19 plan will focus on the transition of Scouts to Explorer and then Explorers to Network and New Leaders. We will also review programme and other opportunities available to members in this age bracket, including our Duke of Edinburgh Award offering.

Adult Journey

The Adult Journey will continue the work we have done in identifying how we can improve the adult journey from recruitment, appointments, training, support and recognition.

Programme and Group Support

Review how we currently organise and run District events for sections and wider District events, develop programme support for new leaders and groups, or leaders who need help in updating or varying their programme. Identifying and providing solutions to skills shortages. Supporting groups with recruitment of adults and young people.

Thank you

It has been great to see so many groups starting to get back to face to face scouting where they can and other groups continuing to offer virtual programme where necessary. As more restrictions are eased, hopefully we will see an even bigger step towards normality. Thank you to everyone for all the efforts over the past 12 months.

Thank you also to everyone who has recently completed their mandatory training. Keeping everyone safe and making sure everyone is up to date with their required training is our priority.

It also amazing that we now have 4 Hedgehog Nests up and running in the District at 2nd Howdon, 5th Tynemouth and more recently 1st Wallsend and 1st Meadow Well. Remember we are one of only a few Districts who have the opportunity to open Hedgehogs Nests at the moment, but that will change soon, with big announcements coming soon about the Early Years Programme. There is lots of support available to get your Nest up and running, so if you are interested in starting up a Nest or joining a Nest then please contact Phil and Tracy at and they will be more than happy to talk you through the opportunities.

If you want to get involved in anything mentioned above, have any comments or would just like to have a conversation then please do not hesitate to contact any one of us (

Thank you

Darren, Peter, Sean, Christina and Naomi.

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