DCs’ Blog – 27 October 2018

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DC’s blog – 27 October 2018

Dear <<First Name>>,

Well we’ve both been incredibly busy and so apologies for the lack of blog – but we’ve now managed to pull one together; so better late than never!

Whilst writing, we’ve had a couple of conversations around codes of conduct for adult volunteers and would simply like to remind everyone of the yellow card which sets out our Code of Conduct alongside the Scout Law.

Steve Ball, Ian MacKenzie
DCs, Wiltshire North

In this blog:

  1. Training
  2. Appointments
  3. Minibus
  4. New Malmesbury Group – HELP
  5. Group Scout Leaders
  6. Good Service Awards
  7. St George’s Day
  8. Programme Quality
  9. Catching up with appointment reviews


The next District Training Day is on Saturday 24th November and the following modules are likely to be offered:

  • Module 16 – Introduction to Residential Experiences
  • Module 17 – Running Safe Activities
  • Module 10 – First Aid
  • Module 25(T) – Assessing Learning (Training Advisors)

More details from your Training Adviser or Guy, our County Local Training Manager (email ltm@wiltshirenorthscouts.org.uk).

The next County Training Weekend is on 17/18 November – details here.

There are a number of Groups who do not have a Training Adviser – could you do this or do you know someone who could?  We are particularly keen on finding Training Advisers to support 1st Chippenham, 3rd Chippenham, 1st Crudwell and 1st Stanton St Quintin.


We are still looking for a volunteer to act as District Appointments Secretary to support the work of the Appointments Committee.  This involves organising meetings of the Committee to meet with adult volunteers as well as seeking references for new volunteers.  Please contact us if you can help or know of anyone who might be able to.  Filling this role is critical to the smooth running of the Appointments Process and Panels.

In the meantime, in terms of new appointments where references are required, please can you email details of who to contact for the references to the Appointments Chairman as soon as you can (email appointmentschair@wiltshirenorthscouts.org.uk).  It is quite often lack of detail of who to contact or lack of response from referees which holds up people being invited to the Panel.


Hopefully you are all aware we now have a District minibus – more details here.

New Malmesbury Group

We are excited by the prospect of starting a new Group in both Malmesbury but need help!

We will be running taster sessions for Beavers in Malmesbury in January on a Tuesday evening from 6pm until 7pm.  The venue is booked and there is a large waiting list – can you help support these taster sessions?  If so, please do let us know.  There are ready-made, tried and tested programmes, so these sessions are relatively pain-free to run.

Group Scout Leaders

You will have seen an email from our District Chairman around the need for some new Group Scout Leaders across this District.  Please think about whether or not this is something you could do or know someone who we could approach and let us know.

Good Service Awards

Would you like to nominate an adult for a Good Service Award?   We would like to get more nominations and have set up a form on the website where anyone can make nominations.

Please can you think about who you would nominate and complete the form (even if you have previously nominated someone).

St George’s Day

Following feedback there will be no District St George’s Day event in 2019 – the preference was for Groups and Units to organise their own events.   Please think now about what you are going to do.

Programme Quality

How often do you take a step back and think about your section programmes? Are they still delivering quality scouting?  There is a tool available which can help you – click here for more details.  There is a variant for each section.

Catching up with appointment reviews

As volunteers in Scouting, it’s important that we have regular contact with our line managers, we discuss how things are going and what support we need to thrive and enjoy our roles.  At their best, those conversations are informal, frequent and a natural part of working together.

As a minimum, each individual should meet and formally review how things are going at least every 5 years.  It’s an opportunity to discuss plans for the future that suit Scouting and the individual and agree what to do next.  That might be continuing in the same role, trying something different or saying thank you and planning for a step away from Scouting.

At those formal review points, there’s a check on currency of important training – First Aid; Safeguarding and Safety and a decision to be made about whether to extend the person’s role; suggest a new role; or something else.

When the review has taken place, it’s important to submit a form to summarise the details of the discussion.  The District Appointments Committee will take a look at the recommendation from the review and advise us as DCs on renewal of appointments or other outcomes.

There are long-standing review forms, available on the Scout website, but we’re aware that the administration around completing these can be a barrier for some.  Feedback about the nights away notification form on our website has been good – so we’ve replicated the review form in the same way.  If you’d prefer to use the original form, that’s absolutely fine.

If you’d like a simpler, quicker way to report the details of the review, you can use the online review form.

We’ll soon start chasing up formal reviews which are due or, in some cases well overdue.  We hope that individuals and line managers will all see this as a good opportunity to discuss how things are going and plan for the future.