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Meet Our Team…

We have over 1,000 adult volunteers within our County, making Scouting possible for over 4,000 young people between 6 – 25 every day! Below are our County team who are responsible for Scouting within Somerset.
Elizabeth Henderson
County Commissioner

My Scouting began in 1985, when I joined a Venture Scout Unit in Greater London North, with my friends from Guides.

The opportunities, challenges and adventure that we experienced meant that I found myself, five years later, parading at Windsor as the 4th Southgate’s first female Queen’s Scout. I was also invited to a national presentation ceremony which was held at the Castle Hotel in Taunton. Little did I know then that my life’s journey would eventually bring me to live in Somerset and that my Scouting ‘career’ would include being appointed as the County Commissioner. Since 1988 I have held appointments in every section except for Cubs, but most of my time has been with the Scout or Explorer Scout section. I regularly deliver adult and Young Leader training and have enjoyed my roles with the County Programme Team over the last 9 years.

I work full time as a Consultant Speech & Language Therapist and manage a team of Therapists in a special needs school in Bath.

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Janet Hall
Deputy County Commissioner - Adult Support

Hello, I’m Janet – your County Training Manager and Deputy County Commissioner (Adult Support).  I have been connected with Scouting and Guiding since 1956, so consequently I have a wide experience of Scouting in a variety of roles from ACSL through to Deputy County Commissioner.  I have also worked professionally for 13 years as a Field Commissioner. and then Field Development Officer for Scout HQ in the Counties of Avon, Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.  I have wide experience in mentoring, coaching  and conflict resolution and I have specialised in developing, delivering and managing training.

I have a passion for Scouting and how it changes young lives forever.  I also have a passion for music of all types, both listening and playing.  I am an explorer at heart and long to visit new places worldwide.  Although I no longer have a role with Young People I do enjoy sharing Scouting Skills with my 5 Grandchildren.

My aim is to see all adults fully trained and able to fulfil and enjoy their role.  I believe training is all about helping adults to carry out their role better, and for those adults working with and guiding young people, delivering the highest quality programme they can

 

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Tricia Sedgbeer
Deputy County Commissioner - Programme

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Vacancy
Deputy County Commissioner - Growth and Development

Could you support the County Commissioner in encouraging growth across the County? We are looking for an inspiring leader who will understand, embrace and lead achievement of the county plan to achieve our growth goals. The post holder will work closely with District Commissioners and relevant Growth facilitators to encourage, support and deliver growth in all Districts within Somerset through targeted projects and initiatives. They’ll need to have a good understanding of strategies and tools to achieve growth and understand the importance of the quality of programme delivery and its impact on growth.

If you are enthusiastic and able to build positive and active working relationships with local managers and leaders, please get in touch vacancies@somersetscouts.org.uk

Read more Apply now
Vacancy
Assistant County Commissioner - Beavers Apply now
Claire Hallett
Assistant County Commissioner - Cubs

Hi – My name is Claire Hallett & I am the Assistant County Commissioner for Cub Scouts and have been involved in the section for 20 years.

I am a member of the County Training Team and enjoy supporting other sections on events.

Professionally I am a Higher Level teaching Assistant, at Castle Cary Primary School, often working with special needs children.

I am Cubs through & through, running my own pack and have really enjoyed our celebrations for CUBS 100 – watching the excitement of our youngsters as they discover the wider world & challenge themselves. The ideas from Cubs are always uninhibited and one of our challenges is to embrace the “youth-shaped” focus and to see where it takes us!

In my “other” spare time, I am an Assistant Ranger Guide Leader.

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Vacancy
Assistant County Commissioner - Scouts

 

 

Read more Apply now
Pete Sampson
Assistant County Commissioner - 14 to 25

I was a Cub, Scout, Venture Scout and Venture Scout Leader some time ago now.  Move forward a few years and I came back as a Hillwalking Advisor.  I was ‘encouraged’ to become a leader and I find myself here now, in the role as ACC(14-25) which means I support all members in that age range and the adult roles that work with them.  I do support the top awards in both sections and the Youlg Leaders Award Scheme.

 

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Renira Rutherford
Assistant County Commissioner - International

My name is Renira Rutherford and I am the Assistant County Commissioner (International). I have spent most of my working life in the travel industry in the UK & overseas and have visited many countries and experienced a wide variety of diverse cultures.

Scouting-wise I have worked with both Scouts and Explorer Scouts in East Somerset and been involved in as many Scout International trips as possible! – These include  leadership roles with Explorer Belts in Madagascar (2013) & Uzbekistan (2017), World Scout Jamboree – Sweden (2011), Essex International Jamboree (2012), Wings (2014) and Haarlem Jamborette (2015).  Currently I also assist the training team with the delivery of Module 19.

My vision for Somerset is that every member in the County is able to experience the International Dimension of Scouting, at some level, be it with a project, close contact or a trip overseas. I believe that understanding the global aspects of the world we live in is an essential part of who we can be

Read more Contact Renira
Tony Dyson
Assistant County Commissioner - Activites

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Stephen Sharp
Assistant County Commissioner - Water Activities Contact Stephen
Sharon Parkman
Assistant County Commissioner - Growth and Development

I used to be a Brownie, Guide and a Venture Scout. I achieved my Queen’s Guide Award in 1982, before becoming a Venture Scout Leader and then a Cub Scout Leader. One of my highlights was being a Guard of honour when the Queen came to visit Bristol. I represented Somerset on the International Service Team at the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden 2011 and have volunteered at several international jamborees including WINGS 2014. I have made lots of friends all over the world from these experiences and met Bear Grylls. Professionally I work in an international boarding school and in my spare time I love travelling and photography.

 

Read more Contact Sharon
Nat Ashford
County Youth Commissioner

Hi, I’m Natalie the current Youth Commissioner for Somerset!

With parents who were leaders I have been Scouting my whole life and love having the opportunity to give something back. I also currently run an Explorer Unit and am District Network Commissioner for East Somerset.

Outside of Scouting I work with homeless 16-25yr olds across Mendip, supporting and encouraging them on a pathway to independent living. I run a small online yarn craft business and attend many local fairs as a result. I’m also a keen caver where I help run national and international events, as well as get wet and muddy!

As Youth Commissioner I would like to see young people working with adults to create better Scouting for everyone. My experiences were shaped by my leaders who took on board and acted on our ideas, which is an opportunity I would like every young person to have.

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Rob Cash
County Media Manager

I joined the Scouting movement when I was a beaver and have progressed through all the sections into a leader role. During my time in Scouting I have been a leader with Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts and my current role is Somerset County Media Manager.

I have a few highlights I can reflect on during my time within scouting. I achieved the Queen Scout award and met the Queen during the national parade at Windsor. I have been involved in International events within the UK in both Essex and Kent. I was also very lucky to be selected to take 36 young people to Japan in 2015 for the 23rd World Scout Jamboree.

One of my key roles within the World Scout Jamboree unit was Media and Communications. I have taken part in Media training days and was responsible for sharing the story of our journey before, during and after Japan. The feedback was great and I really enjoyed capturing the fun, challenge and adventure the young people had. This led me to take the County Media role where I can continue using the skills I learnt, to share the great things we do in Somerset.

Outside of Scouting I run my own business selling German manufactured kitchens and I am based in Bristol.

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John Lewis
BIG CAMP 2018 Camp Chief

Hello, my name is John Lewis, and I am the County Camp Chief 2018

I joined the movement as a youth member more years ago than I care to remember and have never left! Over the years, as an adult I have held many roles to fit around studies / work / family commitments, at section, group, district & county level. Additionally I have Scouted in the USA and also carried out a role on a national committee.

Professionally, I am a Chartered Accountant and currently work as Company Secretary for a public company that specialises in advising, supporting and providing finance for employee owned businesses.

My vision is the provision of Scouting to every young person and our programme is crucial towards that aim. Our Explorer Scouts & Network are the leaders of the future and we need to ensure that they receive the support, training and mentoring that they deserve.

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Abi Dare
BIG CAMP 2018 Youth Camp Chief

Hi, I’m Abi and I’m the Youth Camp Chief for BIG CAMP 2018. I have been involved in Scouting for over nine years now and I am excited to take on the new role. This role involves me promoting BIG CAMP as much as possible before the event, as well as meeting young people during the event to discuss Scouting and Youth Shaping.

I want to meet as many young people as possible before and during the event to gain their fresh perspective on what they believe ‘Youth Shaping’ is about and to find out some ideas on what they want their BIG CAMP experience to be like. The aim is to try and make the camp as Youth Shaped as possible, with lots of input from the young people. I think my biggest challenge will be trying to meet everyone, but I am aiming to meet as many people during this experience and find out more as I progress.

I applied for this role through my love of Scouting. I wanted to be able to take a bigger responsibility for involving young people in the camp. I have worked with different sections at some point in my Scouting career and I wanted to make sure that each section has something that is appropriate to their age there.

The aim of the BIG CAMP 2018 is to make it: fun, with all the exciting activities planned, environmental, implementing recycling into the running of it; memorable, having people talk about it for years to come; and finally Youth Shaped, getting the young people involved throughout the whole experience.

Read more Contact Abi
Andrew Sedgbeer
Quartermaster

 

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Adrian Ashford
Chairman

My name of Adrian – Chairman of the Somerset Scouts Executive Committee, the County trustees. Scouting has been a major part of my life from Cubs at the age of 8. My adult roles have included;- Cub Scout Leader, Group Scout Leader and Group Chairman.

My employment is engineering based, now managing the timely delivery of high volumes of orders for a range of Broadband Suppliers.

In recent years, my time away from work has been filled converting an Old Stone Barn into two Holiday Cottages which I now manage, I also manage a small farm and I am currently developing an Events Toilets and specialist toilet servicing business for ‘Glam’ Campers.

These projects have given me a great insight into Property management and compliance with a wide range of rules and regulations whilst delivering exceptional customer service.

My vision for Somerset Scouts is to promote interesting programmes and activities whilst protecting those adults, who provide them, and the young people who participate in them; ensuring compliance with all the rules and regulations impacting them, especially POR and those of the Charity Commission. Clarifying myths around activity rules and insurance, and encouraging young people to take an active role in the decision making at all levels.

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Colina Hine
Secretary

Hello my name is Colina and I joined Scouting many years ago when my eldest sons Cub Pack was going to close due to lack of leaders.

After a few months of helping I was encouraged to go into uniform as an assistant cub scout leader. Six months later the Akela left and I had no option but to take over the role of Akela. Those were wonderful times and since then I have held several other roles Assistant District Commissioner for Cub Scouts in Sedgemoor then District Commissioner, upon retiring from this role I joined the Scout Adult Support Unit. I was then asked to take on the role of Deputy County Commissioner (Development). The role I now hold is County Secretary but I am still an active member of the Moors & Coastal SAS and help out when groups require another pair of hands.

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Cheryl Summers
Treasurer Contact Cheryl
Alan Henderson
Local Training Manager

I’m Alan and I currently have a number of roles within the County to do with Training.

As a Local Training Manager , responsible for “Area Orange” and am also an active Training Adviser. As part of the County Training Team, my responsibilities include being a Course Director, Presenter and also a Trainer for the new Management Training. I also support County events as part of the Programme Team.

I work as an internal risk auditor for the Commercial part of Lloyds Banking Group and any spare time that I have, I like listening to music, playing golf, pottering in the garden or at our field or getting away to new or previously enjoyed places.

As a “career scout” from my time as a Cub, my proudest moment was being part of the Cenotaph Guard of Honour on Remembrance Day when I was a Queen’s Scout in North London. Representing the movement at such a highly prestigious event was a great thrill and honour.

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Fiona Bayles
Local Training Manager Contact Fiona
Dawn Wilson
District Commissioner - Moors and Coastal

I began scouting when looking for volunteer service opportunities in my local village for my DofE Bronze award and was lucky enough to start working with my local cub pack, I am pleased to say the habit stuck as my volunteering was easy and fun and eventually I took on the Akela role under the watchful eye of my GSL.

Since then I have had many adventures – I easily found myself getting involved with the activity teams and discovering a passion for walking and caving and helping at county events. It was an easy progression to Scout Leader and an opportunity to lead at the World Scout Jamboree in Chile. For some while I was part of the county executive and supported my district team with the scout programme and being one of the early nights away advisors.

Each year I was lucky enough to lead a sub camp team at the county scout jamboree which gave me a wonderful opportunity to meet and work with patrols and leaders from all over the county. Since 2014 I have been part of the DC team in East Somerset as well as continuing to work weekly with my Scout troop. I now have the exciting challenge of being the DC in Moors & Coastal and am looking forward to working and supporting groups in my home Scout district to grow and thrive.

Scouting has given me many truly amazing moments (both good and bad!), tears of laughter and joy, my scouting friendships long lasting and strong enough to keep me going through the darkest of times. Could I see myself ever not being a Scouter– No never, why would I not want to have moments of madness and a wonderful excuses to stay young and share adventures with my friends and scouts?

Read more Contact Dawn
James Divall
District Commissioner - East Somerset

Scouting for me began at birth, born into a Scouting family, I spent my first birthday and many after that following my family from camp to camp.

Scouting and especially camping has been a way of life for me, a passion that I have always loved and continue to love even into my adulthood. My true Scouting started as one of the first Beaver Scouts ever at Great Lyde Scout Group, Yeovil, my auntie June, manager of the District Scout Shop, got of one of the first Gray jumpers and I have not looked back since. I was a Cub, a Scout both at Great Lyde and had the honour of representing my County and Country at the world Jamboree in Holland as a youth member in 1995.

After Scouts I joined Martock Venture Scout Unit and then moved on to East Coker VSU where I continued my education and passion for Scouting attending the District, County, Regional and National Venture Scout Boards as well as getting stuck to every activity I could including my first Venture Scout trip to Kandersteg International Scout Centre, Switzerland.

Turning 18 was exciting not just for my youth membership engagement in Venture Scouts but it was my first step into Scouting as a leader, first as an ACSL at St.James’s and then later moving into an ASL role at Martock and Wessex Scout Groups in Yeovil District. University came and went but my Scouting continued in-between, trying a hand at the DESC role for Yeovil and AESL roles within the District.

The best times of my life was my youth membership in the Scout section, learning all that I knew from my Scout Leader at Great Lyde, so it was not long till I returned to the section that I loved most. I took over West Coker Scout Troop in 2009 and have continued there ever since, turning an initial troop of 7 into 42 strong with a fantastic team of volunteers to support me.

Alongside my troop night commitments I have been a Training Advisor for a number of years and in 2014 I took up the challenge of being part of Team DC for the new District of East Somerset. A real challenge but something that I have loved and continue to do with passion and a desire to deliver positive change and an exciting programme across our great District.

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Pam Gaines
District Commissioner - Blackdown

My involvement with Scouting started when my elder son joined Beavers in 1994. It did not seem long before I changed from being an Occasional Helper to Beaver Leader.

After that I became a Group Scout Leader regularly supporting the leader team with Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. Following my support of Young Leaders, I was appointed DESC before taking my current role as District Commissioner.

Read more Contact Pam
Vacancy
Media Team Member

Are you interested in Photography, Video Editing, Social Media, Radio, Web sites, Journalism etc. If yes then we want to hear from you. Somerset Scouts are looking to build a Media team so we can share our adventures to the widest audience.

The roles within the media team are available to Explorers, Network and Adults. Joining the media team will not only look good on your CV but can be used to complete badgework or awards. We have many roles available so If you are a wiz on the computer, with a camera or on social media please get in touch contact@somersetscouts.org.uk

Read more Apply now

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