Durham City District
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Fram Beavers raise funds for guide dogs

After doing their Disability Awareness Badge Fram Beavers decided to raise funds for Guide Dog Puppy Training and asked the Fram Monday Beavers to take a sponsor form and choose what they would do to raise funds for Guide Dogs, as part of Friendship Challenge. 11 Beavers returned forms and money raised which totalled £189.41.

Gerry Taylor visited our meeting with his dog 'Echo' and his wife Anne who came to the Beaver Christmas Party and collected the money. Activities ranged from room tidying to walking. Well done to those Beavers who supported the idea, did so well and made us proud of their efforts. Gerry was delighted on behalf of Guide Dogs.

Healthwatch County Durham

I work for Healthwatch County Durham as a Community Engagement Worker. We are the consumer champion for health and social care services; we collect the views of people in County Durham about their local health and social services. We then feed this information back to the local Health and Wellbeing Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups. One of our priority areas over the next 2 years is Children and Young People. I have accessed a number of schools, colleges and youth groups to collect the views of young people and find out what their experience has been of local services.

Would it be possible to meet with local Beavers, Cubs and Scout groups to let them know about Healthwatch and collect their views in order to ‘speak up’ on behalf of young people?

Many thanks

Belinda Tweed

DESC Position

So far I have had one expression of interest in the DESC position. If anyone else is interested in the DESC role please speak to me ASAP.

We still need a volunteer for the ADC Beaver position - if you know someone who might be interested please let me know.

Program's reminder

Please remember to send through a copy of your sections program to me and the relevant ADC as soon as it is complete.

Christingle Congratuatlions

Thank you to the faith team for pulling together a great Christingle service. The collection for The Children's Society raised £74.84.

Congratulations to Mark Robinson (5 years), Michael Hide (5 years), Noel Snowdon (10 year), John Gibson (40 years), and to
Adam Dawe and Will Coombs on completing their wood badge.


I believe the compass youth upload system is now fully operational. I will be using the upload system myself over the Christmas break and will aim to provide support for Groups after this.

At this time we still can't easily move a leader who has been put with the wrong section - but hopefully this feature will be available soon. If anyone is having major problems because their role on Compass is incorrect please let me know and I'll change it manually.

Please remember if you add a new adult to Compass to let Mike know since the automatic notification system still has some issues. GSLs are also responsible for collecting references where needed and passing them onto Mike for the Appointments Team.

Awards 2015 - Be Super Proud

Awards 2015 - Durham Town Hall - 19th September

I am pleased to announce that our awards and celebration event will again be held at Durham Town Hall on the 19th September 2015 and that nominations are now open!

Information about the day, the nominations process and indicative timings can be found on our website at www.durhamscouts.org.uk/awards2015.

All recipients of eligible awards, plus their guests and a leader, will be invited to this prestigious event and will have the opportunity to meet other award recipients and special guests and for their award to be acknowledged. Anyone who receives an eligible award between the 21st July 2014 and the 20th July 2015 will be invited.

There will be six sessions throughout the day, each focusing on a different award. Parents with two or more children receiving awards should be aware that their children may be allocated to different sessions during the day.

In order to allow us to invite eligible recipients to the event, we need your help throughout the year in identifying recipients from your district, section or group. You can do this online at the link above. Please tell us about any recipients throughout the year rather than waiting until the deadline, as it will allow us to plan accordingly.

All invites and tickets for Awards 2015 will be sent by email. Once you have nominated someone, you will be given access to a secure area of our website where you can see whether or not they have replied to our invite. You can also download a PDF copy of their invite.

I look forward to welcoming many of your members to Awards 2015. If you have any questions, please get in touch.


Ian Hammond
Assistant County Commissioner (Events)

Has anyone seen this man?

Geoffrey Gordon Explorer Cup 2015 - 27th-29th March

It's back... The 2015 Geoffrey Gordon Cup will be held on the 27th-29th March at Thornthwaite Campsite, North Yorkshire

Take rural North Yorkshire, a load of Explorers and tons of exhilarating activities and you've got yourself the Geoffrey Gordon Cup! We’re returning to one of our favourite locations, with some brand new activities and we’re challenging Explorers from around the North East to take part. It’s a mix of a massive incident hike and an huge orienteering challenge.

Teams of between 4-7 Explorer Scouts start their challenge on the Saturday with a route of around 18km completing all the challenges which face them – in the past we've done everything from canoeing, a 7m spider mountain, high rope challenges to a 16 foot giant see-saw in the trees! There are points available for every activity that you take part in. Our event on Sunday takes a different twist and features lots of different activities in the local area. You’ll need to be fast and plan well to pick up all the points!

The cost to enter this year’s event will be £25 per Explorer to cover the cost of accommodation, activities, event support and some food. The deadline for booking is the 28th February 2015. Book early to avoid disappointment - we unfortunately have had to turn away teams in the past!

For more information and to book your team visit the website at www.durhamscouts.org.uk/ggc.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at ggc@durhamscouts.org.uk.


Climb When Ready 2015

Climb When Ready (the County Climbing Competition) will take place on the 7th March 2015 at the Simonside Climbing Wall:

Improve your climbing skills
Have fun with 100 other climbers
Chance to win a District or County Trophy
Music, Video and Live Scoring with a great atmosphere!

We're inviting Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Network members from across the County to join in- its a great opportunity to improve their climbing skills and put themselves to the test against other climbers! The focus is on fun climbing, not just a competition, so we are encouraging all ages and abilities to join in. There will be music, video and live scoring creating a great atmosphere.

There will be three sessions during the day, starting at 10am for Cubs, 1:30pm for Scouts and 5pm for Explorers/Network. Each group can enter up to 5 climbers per section (Cubs or Scouts). There is no limit to how many Explorer Scouts or Network Members can join in. The cost of entry is £4 per person, with entry to the centre, five climbs, all their equipment and a certificate.

Booking is now open until the 15th February 2015. For more information and to book, please visit www.durhamscouts.org.uk/climbwhenready/


Faith Meeting

The next Faith Team Meeting is on the 13th Jan at Elsa and Richard's House. Everyone is welcome.

County Safeguarding Update

The Dec 2014 County Safeguarding update can be found

Training Records

I can confirm that training records can now be updated on Compass - at this stage they still have to be updated by either Su or Myself. Please login and check your training records.
If TAs have any training records which have't been recorded on Compass please email completed forms through to training@durhamcityscouts.org.uk and we'll get the records updated.

The next stage will involve identifying leaders with training needs - I haven't tried that yet!

New food labelling laws

HQ have provided the following information about the new food labelling laws. Camp catering is not affected.

Having looked at information from the Food Standards Agency, the new laws on labelling of food is for businesses which produce food to sell. As consumers of that food, it's good to know what to look out for, and as you say the Leaders running camps will need to know from the young people/parents any dietary requirements. Those who are then preparing the food can refer to the packaging to check the ingredients if needed.

The only time when this may affect Scouting is if a Group sells food to the public, such as a BBQ at a summer fete. My understanding of the rules means that the Group can place a sign directing people to the person who they can ask about the ingredients and these must be made available when requested.


Thank you to the GSLs and others who gave up their Tuesday evening last week to learn more about Compass. My understanding is the youth upload process is now operational (although personally I won't be attempting any youth uploading for at least a week).

The main thing for now is for every leader in the district to login and check their details and role are correct (see below) - if they're not please drop me an email and I'll get it fixed.

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