Durham City District
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Awards 2016 Spare Tickets

I'm in the process of sending out the tickets for Awards 2016 recipients, guests and their leaders. I'm pleased that we are able to offer a number of additional tickets this year, for 6 of the 8 sessions.

If you or anyone in your district would like a ticket, please visit https://www.durhamscouts.org.uk/events/awards-2016/.


Mandatory Suspension on DBS Expiry

Details of the mandatory suspension process if a Scout DBS is not renewed or is half completed are starting to emerge. Please do not ignore or put off getting your DBS's upto date. If you need help please ask NOW.

County Communications

We are working to implement a new County communications strategy. This monthly e-mail is part of that strategy and this will usually be issued towards the end of the month. I have also started a County Commissioner’s Blog which is available via the County Commissioner Twitter account (@DurhamScoutsCC) and this will also be integrated into the County website in due course.

County Newsletter
September will see the first revamped ‘Durham ePost’ circulated. This will be published every quarter on 10th September (Autumn), 10th December (Winter), 10th March (Spring) and 10th June (Summer) and is intended for wide circulation to all our membership. It will be produced in PDF format for circulation via e-mail (see below) and for download from the County website. Please have a think now about the best way to circulate this to all Groups/Sections/Leaders in your District (over time we hope that everyone will opt-in to receive copies directly, but in the short-to-medium term we will need to rely on Districts to help distribute)

County Team members who have not provided their content for the Autumn edition please do so before the end of August.

New County E-Mail Lists
We have also set up new County E-mail lists, which will allow us to circulate information to targeted audiences. These lists will be strictly ‘opt in’ and people can choose which e-mails they receive and they can also opt out at any time. E-mails will all be consistently formatted using Scout Association branding (similar to this e-mail).

We estimate that approximately half of our membership never receive information about County events and opportunities for our young people using the current ‘cascade’ communications system so it is important that we encourage our members (and parents) to sign up to receive news and information directly from the Scout County (we already have some people signing up via social media).

Note that we currently have lists for:

· Parents of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts (Explorer Scouts may sign up directly, as can Scout Network members)
· Commissioners / Leaders / Helpers etc working in the Beaver, Cub, Scout, Explorer Scout and Scout Network sections
· Adult Training
· Adventurous Activities
· News
· Durham ePost

Subscription management has already been integrated in the County Facebook Page and will be integrated into the County Website in the coming weeks / months, but for now people can sign up via the MailChimp general subscription page at http://eepurl.com/caLJjD - so please circulate this information locally and encourage people to sign up.

We hope that these changes to communications will help all of our parents/youth members be better informed about events and opportunities in the County and will help all of our volunteers know what’s going on in their Scout County. We are however always open to suggestions on how communications can be improved and feedback is welcome from all quarters.

County Calendar for 2017

A copy of the latest County Calender can be found
HERE. If anyone will like to volunteer to add the key dates to the District website calendar please let me know.

Durham Scout County - Growth Champions 2016

Both Durham City and Durham County have been identified as Growth Champions this year - so well done to everyone.

There are a couple of points that we need to work on:

- Every District should have a 'Growth Champion'. It doesn’t have to be an 'ADC' role, but someone should have ownership of growth and development in each District

- Effectively managing waiting lists is important. Coordinating within Districts and between Groups is important. If we could clear our waiting list of 600 across the County we would meet our Vision 2018 growth target. However you coordinate this, please ensure that no young people are left on waiting lists when there are suitable places available elsewhere in the District.

Adult Training

Modules 7 and 13/21 – Saturday 10 September 2016

Durham Scout County’s Training Team will be delivering Modules 13 and 21 (Growing the Section / Movement (Leaders and Managers/Supporters)) of the Adult Training Scheme on Saturday 10 September from 9:30 am at the headquarters of 2nd Wheatley Hill Scout Group.

We will also be delivering Module 7 - Scouting For All on the same date from 1:00 pm at the same venue

Modules 13 and 21 will be delivered as a joint module catering for those working towards a Section Leader Wood Badge and those looking to achieve a Manager Wood Badge.

If you wish to undertake either Module 7, the joint Module 13/21 or both training sessions and can commit to the date, applications need to be made by 9:30 am on Saturday 27 August via www.durhamscouts.org.uk/mytools.

If you do not have an assigned Training Adviser, please record “No TA” in the relevant field.

Request for TV Stars

If any 18-25 year olds from Durham might be interested in taking part please let me know and I'll send you the full set of information.

This online documentary will be hosted by Daisy-May Hudson, a VICE director/producer whose films have looked at social justice, inequality, austerity and the housing crisis in the UK, and have been awarded a BAFTA last year. She will be hosting this series with two other young people aged 17-26.

The three of them will drive across the UK in a camper van to meet with and hear from young people trying to make a living outside of the usual metropolitan bubbles. The basic idea is that each episode will investigate what life is like for under 25s in each region of the country.



Quick reminder to make sure SANCTUARY goes in the diary (Scouts, Explorers and Leaders) - 12th November.


This year we're taking bookings online - but please try and register in good time to give us time to sort out any bugs along the way!

Risks from Pokemon Go

As you will all be aware from the local and national news there is a new game/app that can be downloaded directly to mobile phones called Pokemon Go and works via a phone's location service and sends you messages telling you where to go to 'find' a Pokemon, which is a virtual creature. The user then has to physically go to the location shown to 'collect' the Pokemon. It was launched in America and elsewhere a couple of weeks ago and although it has now been officially launched in the UK.
There are concerns that the game could present dangers to younger children and other vulnerable people as there are ways for users to 'lure' other users to certain areas (you may have seen some reports in the news regarding this). In light of the forthcoming school summer holidays can you all please remind children and vulnerable young people playing this game not to go anywhere alone as they may be placing themselves in a vulnerable situation.

The NSPCC have now released a guide for parents to keep children safer whilst playing on the app. This can be found at

Young Leader Training Dates

Hope you are having a relaxing summer. I just thought I would give you the dates for Young Leader training events for the next term which I would be grateful if you could distribute to your Explorers.

Module A
This is required for all YLs and will be next ran on Tuesday 20 September at Elvet, time tbc with Richard but hopefully 8:00-9:30. If those attending could confirm with me at benhodgkiss@btinternet.com

Modules B-J
The remainder of the modules (bar First Aid) will be delivered at an overnight camp on the 1-2 October and will cover everything from Programme Planning, Communication Skills, Games and Discipline. We are aiming to run this at Moor House. Again, could those wishing to attend please confirm with me at benhodgkiss@btinternet.com

Module K (First Aid)
There will be two opportunities for YLs to get their Module K during next term:
- An Outdoor First Aid course organised by Sian at 19th Durham over the weekend of the 17/18 September. This has a price of around £68 per head but is a very comprehensive course especially for those YLs who want to proceed into further Outdoor Leadership-type opportunities. Please email Sian directly (CC'd into this email if any YLs wish to attend and she will provide further details).
- A First Response Module K training, held in November. I am liaising with Kieran over a date but will get it to you ASAP.

If you have any further questions about YLs, whether training or otherwise, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I am away volunteering at Essex International Jamboree from tomorrow until the 7th so may be slightly slower than usual replying to emails.

Many thanks,

Ben Hodgkiss

First Response Course - 28th August

This emergency response course will give you a basic understanding of dealing with emergencies.

Primarily scenario based learning makes for a fun day !

Some Scenarios may be based outside, so please come dressed appropriately for the weather.

This course exceeds the requirements for adult first response & young leader first aid masterclass (level 5) (TSA)

Course title: Emergency Response

Course Date(s): 28th August 2016

Course Times: 08:45am-5pm (Finish Time Approx.)

Venue: Waterhouses Community Centre

Course Cost: £10 Per participant (£20 to Non-Scout Members)

Sign-Up Link:

Thanks, Kieren.

Module 25, Assessing Learning

County ahve arranged the following training for GSLs and Training Advisers. If you are a GSL and haven't completed this module please try and attend. Similarly if you would like to become a TA, now's your chance!

I have arranged to run Module 25, Assessing Learning parts 1 and 2 on:

Part 1 - Monday 12th September, 7:00-9:00 at Moor House; this is for GSLs and potential TAs

Part 2 - Tuesday 27th September, 7:00-9:30; this is for potential TAs.

Booking will be via the county web-site, but it would be helpful if you could give Ian Hammond a few days to add the info.

I will send separate emails to GSLs identified by you as requiring Mod 25, copying you in.

Please let me know if you have any queries.

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