Deben District Scouts


As I write, I am sitting indoors with sunshine streaming through an open window, in the energetic semi-silence of the countryside with no passing traffic, at any other time this quiet opportunity would feel completely idyllic.  I am aware many of you may be struggling with the changes that have become necessary, not least missing the weekly injection of youthful enthusiasm from our young members!

I hope this newsletter will bring you some cheer.  Although scouting may be far from some people’s minds at times like this, the overall state of the District is good and I would like to share this with you.

Happy Scouting

Julie, District Commissioner

Adventure continues

In case you haven’t heard already, the County website has good advice for continuing Scouting during the current crisis. Some Sections are managing to do this and naturally we celebrate where Scouting is able to continue in the face of adversity!

However I am aware many Leaders feel unable to volunteer in this new way for a variety of reasons.  I’d like to reassure you that’s fine too, these are unprecedented difficult times and we don’t expect everyone to suddenly have the time, skills and means to adjust to what will hopefully, in retrospect, seem only a short break in physical meetings.

Census results – young members

We have, 946 young members, this makes us the second largest District in the County in terms of youth membership!

New Sections

The project to open a new Scout Troop at 5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts was going very well until Covid-19 interupted taster sessions.  For information on how to start a new Section click here

New Leaders

The Appointments committee has 26 current applications for new Leaders.  Skype interviews are working well, so during Covid-19 the only part of the appointments process that cannot be completed is dbs.  For the application process click here

Census results – adults

We now have a 138 adults working in 47 Sections, which is an average of 3¾ Leaders per Section, whereas in 2018-19 we had less than 3 Leaders per Section. I hope this improvement is making a real difference to Section meetings!

Top awards

A special mention for Fynn Beavers at 1st Kesgrave, led by Mark Davey.  They achieved an outstanding 15 Chief Scout Bronzes, well done Fynn Beavers!

For more information on top awards, see click here


There is a new factsheet FS120015, please can all GSLs and Section Leaders click here to see how this affects you


There is an updated NAN, please can all Nights Away permit holders click here

District Team

We have several vacancies on the District Team and before Covid-19 we were going to set up a District Search Group to find suitable candidates from both inside and outside of Scouting.  I have offers of help from Headquarters and Mark, County Commissioner, and I have asked all Groups for at least one regular Leader to join this committee but so far nobody has volunteered.  Please consider this an opportunity for you to help shape our District’s future by helping recruit the best Managers and Supporters to take us forward. 

Exec committees

The census showed that Groups in Deben continue to struggle with finding enough Exec committees members other than Leaders. In addition, a recent report by County identified that many of our existing Exec members are missing GDPR and “essential information” induction training, or the refreshers for this, Safety and Safeguarding, and this needs to be addressed a matter or urgency.

Compass records

Please can everyone try and go on compass yourself to check your own contact details and training records.  This is something GSLs have been doing, and I have been assisting for the past 3 years by supplying termly updates to GSLs showing individuals who are coming up for training etc, and last term County started sending me reports of non-compliances, however this is creating many people extra work that should not be necessary.

It is every Leader’s and Exec members’ responsibility to ensure their own information is up to date and commit to their own training.  For guidance on how, click here

St Georges Day

May I encourage all Sections and Groups to join in the clap for carers on St Georges day, and also participate in Section and Group online meetings to celebrate St Georges Day where this is possible.  This year’s District event will be a very inclusive option, to ensure those who cannot join an online event for any reason can still do something a little special, see click here

Adult Awards

One of the loveliest aspects of St Georges Day is loud applause for our  adults, including all those who have gained special awards during the past year.

  • District
  • Craig Finch, Assistant Explorer Leader, Wood Badge
  • Richard Fielding, Training Adviser, 30 years Service
  • 1st Deben Valley
  • John Hughes, Assistant Scout Leader, 25 years Service
  • Angus Jones, Cub Leader, 5 yeards Service
  • 1st Framlingham
  • Mark Gravelius, Beaver Leader, 10 years Service
  • 1st Kesgrave
  • Ivan Dadswell, 40 years Service
  • Jo Saagi, Group Adviser, Award for Merit
  • Hayley Liddell, Cub Leader, Wood Badge
  • Alan Oliver, Exec member, 10 years Service
  • Julia Cooper, Beaer Leader, 5 years Service
  • Ist Grundisburgh
  • Zarah Decker, Beaver Leader, 5 years Service
  • 1st Leiston
  • Katie Berry, 10 years Service
  • 1st Martlesham
  • Chris Howard, Troop Assistant, 10 years Service
  • 1st Otley
  • Gerry Senior, Assistant Cub Leader, 10 years Service
  • James Evans Lombe, Group Treasurer, 5 years Service
  • 1st Rendlesham
  • Michelle Lovell, Beaver Leader, 5 years Service
  • Russell McKee, Assistant Scout Leader, 5 years Service
  • 1st Woodbridge
  • Amy Kenohan, Exec member, 5 years Service
  • Ben Harding, Troop Assistant, 5 years Service
  • 5th Woodbridge
  • Ollie Smith, Troop Assistant, Commissioner’s Commendation
  • Conrad Barnard, Assistant Cub Leader, 20 years Service
  • Maggie Ulph, Cub Leader, 20 years Service
  • Jacquie Tricker, Assistant Cub Leader, 15 years Service
  • Bradley Tooke,  Asistant Scout Leader, 5 years Service
  • Jonathan Douse, Group Treasurer, 5 years Service

Most awards were previously sent to GSLs / presented to individuals however some were kept for St Georges day.  These will be sent by post now, so they can be displayed with pride in the homes of those who have earned them!  Later after things have returned to normal, anyone who wishes to have their award presented in person at an event with young members (and I encourage this) will be very welcome to contact their GSL or me to make arrangements.

Commissioner Commendations

Deben District is in a position to award local commendations in recognition of special contributions to Scouting including adults, children and non-members where appropriate.  Nominations are always welcome.