Welcome message from the new CC

Cricket May 2022

So, the day is here when I take over from Andrew as the County Commissioner for Birmingham. I wanted to thank all of you who have taken the time to speak to me or send me messages congratulating me on the new role. Its been lovely to read them all and humbling to see the depth of support. I believe we have a fantastic group of adult volunteers working across Birmingham and it really is a privilege to be able to work with you to help provide great Scouting programmes.

I would like to thank Andrew for all he has done in the last 8 years as CC. The County has seen many changes over that time and Andrew passes on the baton to me with the County in an excellent situation. We are in a strong and stable financial position, we are seeing our youth member numbers grow, and we are one of the leading counties in the region in terms of ensuring our leaders are up to date with important safety and safeguarding training. And of course, we saw an inspirational and innovative response by leaders from across Groups, Districts and the County when Scouting went virtual during the Covid lockdown. Personally, Andrew has been extremely supportive of me and has given me a great start to the role with a detailed handover process. Andrew – we wish you all the very best for your new role working with the national team on volunteer development.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been involved in Scouting since I was a Cub at the 232nd Scout group in the old South East District (now Cole Valley South). After Venture Scouts I became a leader at the 232nd before taking on a hill walking advisor/assessor role and then ACC Explorers and DCC Programme. In the coming months I aim to get out to District meetings to meet even more of you and to reconnect with those I already know.

In the last 3 months, I have spent lots of time reflecting on the County, meeting with people to discuss our strengths and the great opportunities we provide to our members. I have also been able to contemplate the future and how we can continue to grow the movement across the city and ensure we can give more opportunities for young people to experience what Scouting provides. There are exciting times to come.

The continued implementation of the national ‘Skills for Life’ Strategy will see in its next phase, greater support for volunteers in the movement, both existing and new. We will see changes to the appointments process and training to ensure our leaders are best equipped to take on their roles. With that in mind, I’m really pleased to announce that Nick Thomas will be taking on the role of County Transformation lead alongside his Spitfire DC role. Nick will be working closely with me, the County team and the other DCs to understand, plan and deliver these changes. We’ll be getting more information from HQ about this over the autumn so look out for communications on this and ways to help support the changes.

I’ll leave you with my best wishes for your summer programme. Summer provides opportunities to get out and do those things that are at the heart of Scouting – outdoor adventure, spending times with friends and having fun. Stay safe and enjoy an awesome summer of Scouting and I’ll see you all in the autumn.

Steve Thomas

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