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Christmas Newsletter

24 December 2014

 

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clive  GSL at xmas

Clive Mason – Group Scout Leader

Seasons Greetings from the GSL!

 

 

 

 

Well it’s not long until the fat man comes down the chimney, and before anyone says it, I’m not talking about me!

I thought it timely to wish all members and supporters of 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group, a very happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. It’s also an opportunity to update you all on what’s ahead for the Group in 2015.

In particular, I’d like to welcome to the Group, all those new members, parents & carers we have been working with over the past few weeks. But more of that further on…

2014 has been another great Scouting year. Our ever enthusiastic leaders have continued to provide diverse programmes delivering fun, friendship, challenge and everyday adventure for our young people…and adult volunteers! In addition, of particular note has been the strengthening of our community ties by finally establishing the war memorial in the town square. My enduring thanks and respect for all that were involved in bringing the project to fruition and in particular, Kath Robinson (Beaver Scout Leader)for her tenacity and enduring dedication to the cause. Those that attended the inauguration and/or remembrance ceremonies can’t fail to have been moved. I for one am immensely proud to lead a Group with such a respected profile in the town.

The year ahead…neckie

As we head into 2015, we look forward to some big changes and challenges as the Group increases the number of sections.

Many of you will know that as a result of funding by the Pears Foundation, we have been working with the Scout Association Regional Development Service (RDS) to increase the Group capacity. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes with the majority of those young people on our 200 strong waiting list together with their parents/carers.

As a result, at the beginning of January we will be opening an additional two Beaver Colonies and another Cub Pack (based at Holy Trinity School). Our Group will then consist of 4 Beaver Colonies, 3 Cub Packs, 2 Scout Troops and our partnered Explorer Scout Unit (Trident ESU). Serving approximately 250 young people, this will make it one of the largest Groups not only in the District, but also the County and the UK. As the year progresses, we will be reviewing how things are going and there is a possibility we will look at opening an additional Scout Troop as well (we have to give the younger members something to move onto!).

We are also considering developing a specialist water activities section which will provide activities across all the age ranges which are often harder to locally organise and participate in.

neckieBJAM 2015…

The Group have already registered our attendance at the Brunel District Jamboree over the May Spring Bank holiday weekend. This is a fantastic opportunity (once every 4 years) for all our sections to attend a major Scouting event as a Scouting family…literally on our doorstep up the road at Woodhouse Park Almondsbury.

If you haven’t already responded to the invitation on MyScout, please do so ASAP. NB All new members in the new sections will be separately invited in the New Year.

Fundraising…neckie

Just a quick word about fundraising. Without the continuing support of our fundraising team and their initiatives, we would struggle to financially maintain the Group. Please check out our fundraising page  and in particular, our ‘fundraising’ portal . By utilising this simple portal when you shop online, you will raise Group donations from the retailers (over 2700 of them) without it costing you a penny extra! This really is a licence to print money and the more we can encourage people to utilise it the better!fundraising

If you have any ideas for fundraising or perhaps would like to join our fundraising team, please use the contact form at the bottom of our fundraising page.

In addition, if you’re a UK tax payer, please ensure that you are ‘Gift Aid’ registered with the Group. This is another way we can make money for the Group at no expense to yourselves. It is worth many hundreds of pounds a year to us. If you are not registered, please contact us using the contact form on our fundraising page.

neckie2018 Strategy…

 

As a Group, I am proud to say that we are well on our way to supporting the Scout Association 2018 Vision.

Scouting in 2018 will:

  • Make a positive impact in our communities
  • Prepare young people to be active citizens
  • Embrace and contribute to social change

Scouting in 2018 will be:

  • Shaped by young people in partnership with adults
  • Enjoyed by more young people and more adult volunteers
  • As diverse as the communities in which we live

Members of Scouting in 2018 will feel:

  • Empowered
  • Valued
  • Proud

Much of this has already been achieved and we are working on those areas which still need developing. I am confident that by the end of 2015, we will have everything in place to take the Group forward and provide a benchmark in supporting the wider Scouting family.

Our volunteers…neckie

Of course none of this would be possible without the continuing recruitment of new adult volunteers, and the dedication and support of our existing ones. Nor must we forget our Young Leaders who are a vital part of our leadership teams and are rightly regarded as such.

Regrettably we will be losing two of our most experienced volunteers at the end of the year. Antony March (BSL Mondays) and John Navas (CSL Mondays) are standing down after several years of dedicated and enthusiastic leadership. Antony will be taking a break from Scouting (or that’s how we see it!) and following a house move, John will be continuing Scouting in Thornbury. May I take this opportunity to personally thank them for all that they have achieved whilst with us…they will be sorely missed.

As part of the expansion plans, not only are we recruiting new adult volunteers to run the new sections, but we are also in discussions for some of these to bolster the leadership teams we already have. In addition, several will be joining the Executive Committee. Nick Nelson took up the role of Group Chair at the last AGM. Since then, he has rejuvenated the administrative support elements of the Group and has been working so hard that I’m finding it difficult to keep up with him!
Great job Nick…and it’s only 6 meetings a year…! :0)

We are always on the lookout for additional support. If you feel you could contribute in any way, large or small to help us out, please let us know by either approaching your section leader or by contacting us. All the adults in the Group are volunteers and undoubtedly like you, lead busy lives. However, volunteering with us is easy, fun and flexible – how much time you give is completely up to you.

neckieRecognition…

As is often said, we don’t pay our supporters…as they’re priceless, and whilst most don’t have the time, they do have a heart!

One of the Associations goals (and mine!) is to recognise the dedication of our volunteers and where appropriate/possible, ensure that this is publicised. If you feel that one of the volunteers (whether a leader or a supporter) within the Group deserves special recognition, please do let me know.  There are various ways in Scouting that this can be done.

In addition, you may like to nominate them for the annual South Gloucestershire Chair’s Community Awards which recognises local ‘community heroes’ – people who have made a real difference to their community.
There is still time to submit nominations for the 2015 awards  (deadline Friday 9th January 2015 – Click Here!)

Finally…neckie

Thank you for choosing our Group for your child to join in the adventure of Scouting. If you would like to discuss anything further, or have any concerns or queries, then please do get in touch. Also, keep an eye on our website for up to date Group news and information. http://bradley-stoke-scouts.org.uk/

Have a very happy Christmas and a great New Year!

clives signature

Clive Mason
Group Scout Leader

bssxmas