Durham City District
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Free Dinner - 12th Jan

The District Explorers will be cooking for everyone on Saturday 12th Jan 19.00 for 19.30 start at Elvet Church.

If you would like to attend please let me know by the 5th Jan along with any dietary needs.

The invitation is extended to partners, Executive members, Occasional helpers, etc.

Please bring your own drinks (non alcoholic since we're in a Methodist Chapel) and the dress code is smart casual. These is no charge but donations after the meal will of course be accepted!

Look forward to seeing you there.

Bear Grylls

Module 3 Training

The next Module 3 training will be running on the 31st January 19.15 for 19.30 start at Fram Scout Hut. Please let me know if you want to book a place.

Also, don't forget the M1 course running on the 24th Jan...

District Special Needs Advisor

It would be very beneficial for the District to appoint a Special Needs Advisor who would provide support for groups working with Children with particular needs. This really needs to be someone with a strong background in this area. If you know someone who you think might be able to take on this role please let me know.

Leader Survey

You may have received an email asking you to partake in a Leader retention survey. If not here it is:

The research is using Durham Scout County as a representative sample of the national picture.

Retention of leaders is an important issue both within Durham Scout County and nationally with the Scout Association. If retention of leaders can be improved, more young people can benefit from the experiences that Scouting has to offer.

Below is a link to an online questionnaire which has been designed to help the Scout Association better understand what influences people to leave the organisation. It will take about 15 -20 minutes to complete and it is completely anonymous. Please be honest with your responses. If you have any questions relating the questionnaire, please contact retention@durhamscouts.org.uk


The survey will be open for the rest of the year, closing at 23:59 on the 31st of December.

As a small thank you for completing the questionnaire and supporting this research, a prize of a £25 donation will be made on behalf of one of the respondents to their nominated Scout Group. (Some easy festive fundraising!) If you wish to be entered in to this draw, there is an option at the end to enter a contact email address. Your email address will not be used for any purpose relating to the data in the questionnaire, only to contact you if you are the lucky winner.

National Website Change

The new national ‘get involved’ web pages will allow prospective Scouts to enter their postcode or town and find contact details for their nearest Scout Group. Enquiries will continue to be dealt with either at District or County/Region/Area level. We are not changing who deals with enquiries – but we are allowing interested parties to get in touch directly without having to come through UK Headquarters.

Reminder - Module 1 Training

Ian and Sue will be running the District Module 1 training on Thursday 24th Jan 19.00 for 19.15 start in the upstairs room at Fram. If you need to attend this training please drop me an email to book a place.

1st Responder First Aid Course - 20th Jan

There will be a First Responder 1 day minimal first aid course running at the Fram Scout Hut on Sunday 20th January.
This course only costs £10 per person (which I would hope the groups will pay) and meets the minimal first aid requirements laid down by the Scout Association for all Leaders. The course is insufficient for those leading some of the more adventurous activities.

If you would like a space please let me know by the 5th January so I can arrange accordingly.

You will need to bring your own lunch.

Food Hygine Course - instructor wanted

We would like to run a food hygiene course focusing on the challenges of catering while on camp.

If anyone knows someone who might be willing to help deliver such training at some point next year please let me know.

A Food Technology Teacher who also goes camping would be ideal.


Ken Robertson has successfully reviewed his Group Scout Leader appointment at 5th Durham for another 3 years.

Gift aid

In the 2001 budget the government announced the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme to give a 'Gift Aid style payment to charities', without the need to maintain all the records that are required for Gift Aid. It is intended to be additional to not to replace Gift Aid. The new scheme is intended to operate from 6 April 2013, the same date as their new on-line filing system is introduced.

The key points to note are:
- the claim from each charity will be capped at £5,000 of small donations, received each year
- individual donations must be in cash for £20 or less
- there is no need to record who made the donation
- the money repaid is not a refund of tax paid, but is simply referred to as a top up.

You must be claiming through Gift Aid to be eligible to claim 'top up'.

There will be a requirement that for every £2 on which a top-up payment is claimed, a Gift Aid claim must be made on donations amounting to at least £1.
The claims will be on the existing forms.

This new scheme will be important to all who currently use Gift Aid and potentially to some who do not currently claim using Gift Aid. The Small Charitable Donations Bill 2012 is due to have its report stage and third reading in the House of Commons on 26 November 2012. Once the Bill has become law, HMRC will publish guidance for the new process. A claim could be made for donations received after 6 April 2013 which for most churches would mean your annual claim made after 6 April 2014.

Leaders Meal - 12th Jan 2013

We're still working on the details but plans are now in place for a District Leaders meal on the 12th Jan - hopefully the Explorers will be cooking - more details to follow soon.

Christingle Service

A range of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from across the District battled with complete traffic grid loc to attend the Christingle Service at St Cuthbert's Church. The mince pies and drinks arrived with perfect timing minutes after the service had finished. Thank you to everyone on the faith group for your efforts.

The left over Christingles were donated to a local school for children with special needs: 'you should have seen the faces of our children when they were given Christingles this morning. Faces wreathed in smiles and fascinated.'

The collection raised £55.25 for the Children's Society.

Appointments Meeting

Unfortunately Wednesday's appointments meeting wasn't destined to happen first with a change in venue and then complete traffic chaos. Apologies to everyone who we didn't manage to cancel in time to save them a journey. We're working on improving communication systems for these sorts of eventualities and we'll try and get another appointments meeting arranged ASAP.

Moor House Shop Xmas Opening Hours

Saturday 15th December - Open 10am until 4pm
Sunday 16th December - Open 12 noon until 4pm
Wednesday 19th December - Open 10am until 8pm
Saturday 22nd December - Wednesday 2nd January - Closed
Saturday 5th January - Open 10am until 4pm

New Appointments

Welcome to
Claire Llewelyn at 17th Durham (Coxhoe) as Assistant Cub Scout Leader
Anna Whalen at 4th Durham (Gilesgate) as Group Treasurer

and congratulations to:
Joanne and Keith Hollins at Belmont Church formally becoming Beaver Leader and Scout Leader respectively

Phone Numbers

Thank you to everyone who sent me their phone numbers (if you didn't get an email request your number is already on the system). There's still a few more to come which I will follow up in due course.

District Safety Advisor

Michael Doogan has kindly agreed to take on the role of District Safety Advisor. Within this role he will:

•Encourage a culture of safety
•Support safety training
•Offer advise on Head Quarters resources
•Offer advice on Scouting and other relevant rules and legislation
•Supporting groups with assessing their premises
•Encourage leaders to try new and exciting activities

If you have any questions for Michael you can contact him on safety@durhamcityscouts.org.uk

Training Meeting

The next District Training meeting is the 17th January - this is open to any leaders with an interest in the provision, delivery and validation of training in Durham City.


The District presently has three wonderful trainers (Kim, Sue and Iain) but it would be good to extend this to four to make sure the training provided in the District is sustainable. If you might be interested in helping provide this M1 and M3 training or know someone else who might please do let me know.

New Appointments

Congratulations to John Duggan (ASL at 19th), Jen Burrows (AESL at Fram Explorers), Helen Wilkinson (ASL at Belmont) and Maureen Boettcher (GSL at Coxhoe) for sucessfully meeting with the appointments committee last month.

Scouting Magazine

If you haven't received your December/January Scouting magazine please let me know and I'll try and figure out why!

Explorer Questionnaire

The District has re-opened the previous questionnaire sent round looking at Explorer provision in the District - if anyone didn't respond last time - now's your chance.
Explorer Questionnaire

Safeguarding Newsletter

I have been asked to circulate the December safeguarding newsletter which contains details on training, news, resources and a survey.

Monthly Newsletter

Sainsbury's bag pack

The groups who took part in the Sainsbury's bag pack this weekend raised £1211.34 - well done everyone.

Beaver Sleepover

District Sleepover was attended by 56 excited Beavers over the weekend. The theme this year was Space. Over the course of the weekend they made and flew flying saucers, made solar systems, bounced the planets on space hoppers, shot the stars, and blasted rockets into space. They went outside Orienteering , to search for planets and finally saw the stars in the Planetarium.
Thank You to our team of leaders over the weekend.
Janice Davidson ADC Beavers

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