88th MANCHESTER SCOUTS    Annual report 2014


Chairman’s Report


The 2nd Didsbury 88th Manchester Scout Group has had another successful year and has maintained full numbers in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.  It was another action packed year for the Group with many camps and trips in addition to the weekly activities held in the Scout Hut.


Our main fund raising event of the year was a barbecue at the Didsbury festival and this year we broke all previous records for income. The sunshine helped, but I would particularly like to thank the parents that helped me meet what seemed an insatiable demand for burgers, hot dogs, drinks and cakes. Thank you to all the cake makers as well – we sold out of everything. The parental help meant many of our leaders could run a wonderful Scout-branded climbing wall that helped to show the fun and excitement children can get from the Scouting movement. As one teenager was heard to say – ‘it shows that the Scouts are cool”. Lets’ hope for more of the same this year !


I would like to thank all the Leaders, Assistant Leaders and the Executive members for all their valuable work throughout the year. 


Become involved


This Scout Group is run by volunteers and it’s success is totally dependent on volunteers. If you have a bit of time to help out there are various ways you can do so. We have a great demand to join and we need leaders and assistants to help meet this demand.


If you have any great ideas, or know anyone with particular talents, that would make for a great session for the Beavers, Cubs or Scouts we would love to hear from you.  If you would like to help out on the occasional session do let a Leader know.



The subscriptions you pay and the fund raising activities we do, have ensured another stable year from a financial view point. Subscriptions have remained at £7 per month per child - which I think we can all agree is very good value. 


These subscriptions pay for the equipment and resources used, plus the rent and other bills.  A proportion also goes to the national Scout Association which helps pay for the resources they provide, including the fantastic camp facilities.

Chris Pearse



It’s been another steady year for the group financially. Our income increased significantly due to the additional camps run this year, particularly Campdowne. A very busy Didsbury festival BBQ stall drove the increase in fundraising income achieved this year with the climbing wall drawing a great crowd to our end of the park.


We received some very generous donations this year - £405 from a collection at Helen and Keith’s wedding anniversary celebration and £480 from Decker’s restaurant – thank you both for these gifts as they make a real difference to us.


Membership costs have increased this year, driven by the effect of the additional cub and scout nights filtering through and also the explorer unit has now being included with the rest of the group from an accounts perspective. The increase in camp and activity costs reflects the additional camping activity we have carried out this year.


One final point, thank you to everyone who has used the Go Cardless system this year.  This, along with Standing Orders for subscriptions has really simplified administration for the group. This year we have also trialed a justgiving page for the group, through which Harshad Mistry has raised £328 so far by running the London Marathon –Thank you Harshad.


As ever, thanks to everyone who has completed a Gift Aid mandate on joining the group. As you can see, no claim has been made this year, however one will be made over the summer.


Matthew Rushton



GSL’s report

Last year I report that numbers were increasing to an extent that we were expecting to open a second cub pack after the summer holidays.  That didn’t quite happen,  numbers continued to grow,  this year’s group census showing  an increased of around 20%. We have opened a second cub pack but not until the new year when we also started a second scout troop.

This proved interesting on the scheduling of meetings front, resulting in 2 existing sections moving nights to accommodate the new sections.

Many years ago, we did have  2 cub packs and 2 scout troops,  they were both called Celts and Saxons as they met on the same nights. The cubs have kept these names and the new pack, who meet on Monday night are Celts and the existing pack who still meet on a Thursday  are called Saxons. The new troop, meets on Wednesday night after Beavers and are called Phoenix troop. The existing troop still meet on a Tuesday but now after Beavers who moved nights from Monday night, the Tuesday troop still have to chose a name. The explorer scouts have moved from Wednesday to Thursday night meeting after cubs.

The Didsbury Viking explorer scout unit (DVESU) have amended their partnership agreement with the group, they are a district unit and were financed at district level, it was agreed that this didn’t work too well so they are now financially part of the group paying subs directly to the group, this happed at the back end of last year and is still not fully bedded in yet.

Congratulations to Alan Robinson who has been awarded a silver acorn by the chief scout for outstanding service to scouting. Well done Alan keep up the good work.

A big thank you to Roger.
Roger Short has finally managed to escape from Didsbury and move nearer  to his son’s and their families. He  has been on the group exec for an amazing  33 years, and was awarded a Medal of Merit in 2004. Roger has been our QM and care taker for many years.

This does now mean we are actively looking for a QM and a caretaker for the group.

Keith Hampson (GSL)

Beaver report

Beavers continue to have a long waiting list and so many of the children do not get into beavers until well past their sixth birthday. We have changed evenings from a Monday to a Tuesday to allow for expansion of the sections.

Last summer we were lucky with the weather and we spent most evenings doing activities in the park. We are hoping to be able to do outdoor activities again this summer. When asked to say what their favourite activities were the beavers voted the visit to MOSI and the sleepover best followed by games in the park. We join in with district events when we can and have attended the Remembrance parade and again came first in the beaver section of the swimming gala. We have managed to be outside during the winter months and following chalk tracking signs was very popular. All these activities go towards the beavers gaining their challenge badges and activity badges. Quite a number of beavers have gained their bronze chief scout award before they move onto cubs.

Thank you to all my leaders who have helped over the year and welcome to those who have just started.

Helen Hampson
(Beaver scout Leader)

Cub Pack Annual Report 2014

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the leaders and assistants who have helped in the running of the cub pack this year. Without their continued support the pack would not be the success that it currently is. The leaders are:-

Rolando Johnston – Cub Scout Leader (CSL) (Thurs)

Claire Lydon – CSL (Mon)

Alan Robinson – Assistant CSL (Thurs)

Vicky Morrison – ACSL (Mon)

Kelly  Connor – ACSL (Mon)

Michael Lowe – YSL (Thurs)

Ralph Bolton – Parent Helper (Mon)

Emma Roberts – CSSA (Thurs)


The biggest change for the cub pack this year was the starting of the new cub pack on a Monday night. A few cubs transferred over from Thursday night to help set up the new sixes. Rolando took over as the CSL for the Thursday night pack and Claire Lydon is now the CSL for Monday night pack.


OSM - Section Size Planning allows us to see how big the cub pack will be and takes into account children coming up from the Beaver colonies. The current membership numbers stand at 51 cubs with 23 cubs on a Monday night (Celts) and 28 cubs on a Thursday night (Saxon’s). The graph shows we will still have 56 cubs in 2 years’ time without taking anymore more cubs on from outside of the group.


The annual cub camp for 2013 was held at Linnet Clough and the theme was “The Lost World”. The cubs experienced the High and Low ropes courses, raft building and sailing. The camp was well attended with 25 cubs from the 34 participating and the cubs all seemingly enjoyed the dinosaur themed weekend. There are 40 cubs planning to come to the annual camp this year!

A trip was organised to visit Magma exhibition centre in Sheffield in the late autumn of last year and was attended by 26 of the cubs. There were 4 themed interactive areas based on Fire, Air, Earth and Water. The water area seemed to be the most popular with many of the cubs bring away a considerable amount of the water with them. The view down from the main gallery was particularly scary (at least for me anyway)

The Cub Section entered 2 teams again this year into the Pike View Hike Challenge (Bolton), which is a difficult and demanding challenge when the weather is good, when the weather is bad the difficulty increases tremendously. This year the weather was bad! However despite that the Celts were 4th overall and the Saxon’s still managed a respectable 24th out of 35 teams that participated. Some of the teams were unable to complete the challenge and had to be transported back to camp however one team of cubs became so fed up they threw away their maps whilst their adult walker was not looking, forcing them to retire.

Over the last year 5 Chief Scout Silver awards were presented to the following cubs:

Tom Oconnor; Sebastian Perezluna; Ben Zilkha; Harry Maxwell and Adham Laguda


Kevin Lowe
Cub section manager

Scout report

Phinix troop (Wednesday)

Over the last 12 months 2nd Didsbury Scouts have successfully launched a new section, the Phoenix Scout Troop.  Meeting every Wednesday we have 13 scouts and are due to almost double in size over the next 6 months.  We share camps with the Tuesday night troop, recently attending Winter Camp in January and Pike View Hike in early May.  One team, consisting of Phoenix Scouts only, came in 20th out of around 58 teams, a solid performance for a new troop.

Simon Jermy
Scout Leader

Tuesday troop

Report to follow.