So has it been another good year?
Scout Hall. Plans for the replacement hall are progressing under the continuing expert oversight of Brian. He has relentlessly pursued funding sources with some disappointments despite huge efforts but also some notable successes. To date, including funds held before fundraising began, we have reached about two-thirds of our target in realised or promised grants. He will report on further details in the following committee meeting.
During last year and the very early part of this year the hall continued to enjoy a good level of usage with some new users coming forward and some replacing lapsed users. However, things changed greatly in the earlier part of this year for all organisations as Covid-19 began to spread its effect. As an organisation we have closely adhered to all government and HQ guidelines in regard to safety and usage of our facilities. All meeting and events have been put on hold till further notice and our hall currently has zero usage.
We can assume that the hiring organisations will not be in a position to offer payment of their hire and it is likely that we will have to write off most or all of those fees but, because we “own” our own premises, we have benefitted from a modest government grant that is in place to ensure the survival of voluntary organisations. At the request of county, the committee agreed to donate a portion of this to county in order for them to continue to organise on a county basis as they are not in receipt of a similar grant.
Current membership total is ~60 but this is likely to be much effected by disruption by Covid.
Beavers 24 17
Cubs 11 13
Scouts 23 12
Explorers 8 18
Despite all this disruption our intrepid leaders have continued to lead by example and have set up “virtual”, “Zoom” weekly meetings with respective sections. Reports are that these meetings are well received, appreciated and well attended. Again and as ever, when many other adults are taking a break or taking the opportunity to take things a bit easier at home, our leaders are all stepping up to the mark and taking on extra work to support and lead our young people.
Budworth. The usual summer adjournment of scout activities to the Mere at Budworth was as popular as ever last year and was again very well attended. However, it is very unlikely that this facility will be useable this summer.
Camp. A very successful camp was held at Beaudesert Activity Centre in Staffordshire. There was a good attendance from all sections and the group was joined for part of the camp by a contingent of cubs from Hartford group. The event was also well supported by parents. The two cub packs worked and played together very well and the joint venture was deemed a great success by all participants.
Each section took part in a wide range of self-organised and on-site activities giving children opportunity to gain badges, widen experience and have a great deal of fun.
Remembrance Sunday. Again last year the group held an event at Forest Camp at which there was a very good turnout of children and some parents. Yvonne again ran a well-pitched, commemorative event to mark the annual event.
Fundraising. We were able to hold our planned Burns’ night at the end of January, but the committee took the decision to cancel both the March and Autumn quizzes in order not to conflict with any national or local safety precautions that were and continue to be recommended.
Leaders. Again, we must not fail to acknowledge the huge amount of work by our leaders and assistants not only in attendance at scheduled meeting nights on week after week but also in the time they must commit to planning, maintaining their training and certification and generally ensuring that everything “happens”.
As mentioned above, the leaders have again gone that extra mile to involve young members in virtual on-line meetings to offer exercised and challenges and maintain contact with them and their families.
Beaver Scout Leader – Cyndy Lloyd
Section Assistants – Julia Hughes, Andrew Moore
Explorer Scout Young Leader – Tilly Russell
Explorer Scout – DoE – Suzannah Pickering
Sue Marsden (ABSL) retired at the end of last year.
Section helper – Hayley Woodward
Cubs Scout Leader – Vacant. Currently being filled by GSL Rob Lloyd with support from BSL
Assistant Cub Scout leader – Lynne Baird
Section Assistant – Vicky Rushton
Section Assistant Prov. – Joshua Quinn
Explorer Scout Young Leader – Naomi Rushton
Explorer Scout – DoE – April Scott
Scout Leader – Geoff Hornby
Assistant Scout Leaders – Robert Baird and Kathryn Alexander. Yvonne Williams (Sailing)
Section Assistant – Chris Fishlock
Skills instructor – James Williams
Explorer Scout Leader – Cyndy Lloyd
Assistant Explorer Scout Leader – Richard Lloyd
Assistant Explorer Scout Leader – Sharon Lomax (previously Quinn)
Section Assistant – Ellie Dunn
Prov. Section Assistant due to lockdown – Ben Armstrong
We are fortunate to have such a band of willing, skilful and dedicated volunteers. As every year, on behalf of the Group and of the young people of the village and surrounding areas, I thank each of them for their continuing hard work, commitment and support and welcome any new and younger members to become involved in this worthwhile and rewarding form of volunteering.
We are also additionally grateful to Brian for his special contributions to the committee and to the work of the Group and to Sarah who is doing a great job as secretary keeping our records and much else in order.
Yes, this past year has been another good year for the group though collectively and for individuals the challenges have been great. My final comment is as it has been for a number of years now – we do still need new younger volunteers to assist, lead and direct the group.
20 May 2020