Annual Report 2023

AGM 30-9-2023


Chair / GSL’s report

We’re pleased to report that after several years we have a new lease, the land registry records are now correct and that we have agreed with the solicitor a fee and paid it.

Some sections are still in need of more leaders, especially the scout section. We used to have two scout troops and had to amalgamate them due to lack of leaders. The number in the one troop is such that we really could do with being able to start the second again but we can only do this if we have more leaders. Brian Cosgrove has taken on the role of Explorer scout leader and Kevin Lowe has agreed to be his assistant. Brian is also helping out with a lot of group admin.

The garden is looking better than ever, the garden was judged as part of Didsbury in Bloom. We do not know the results yet. A big thank you to Helen Hampson, Rosemary Fielding, Hilary Lowe and Penny Robinson for all the work they put in throughout the year to keep it looking so good.

Chris Pearse has asked to step down as chair. Chris has been chair since 2012 and has done sterling service helping steer us though the lease negotiations. We thank Chris for all his support over the years.

Many thanks, to all our leaders and supporters, who are all volunteers.  Well done.

Keith Hampson
Group scout Leader 

Treasures report

Treasurer’s Report Financial Year 01/04/2022-31/03/2023

The accounts are still in a very healthy position with a credit balance of £38005.38 at 31/03/23.

We have ring fenced £10000.00 to pay for the legal fees which we will incur for the renewal of the lease of the land.

This year we have seen an increase in income over the previous year ie. Subs £14,952.30 and gift aid £1845.02 but we have also seen an increase in expenditure in part due to an increase in running costs for the hut.

Also the accounts show an increase in rent/rates this is because the rent for the current financial year had to be paid before 31/03/2023.

Another area of increased expenditure is on camps and activities as the group appears to have been more active. We collected £5427.70 for camps and activities and paid out £8523.35 this figure includes £717.84 for the previous financial year due to late submission of receipts.

I will shortly be submitting a claim form gift aid for this financial year.

Pat Ramsden
Group Treasure

Beaver report

We have had an extremely busy year in beavers with lots of games, badge work and 2 activity days. One to visit Eureka and the other held locally, these included an overnight at the scout hut for those aged 7.  A total of 321 badges were gained, three of which were Bronze Chief scout awards which is the highest award that can be gained in beavers.
We are keeping our numbers down due to the lack of spaces in cubs which meant that last term we had to hold back a number of beavers. We are hoping that spaces will become available in cubs but their moving onto scouts is restricted as we only have one scout troop due to lack of leaders.

We currently have 2 Lead Beaver volunteers (leaders) on a Tuesday with assistance from 4 parents who help and a young leader. On a Wednesday we have 3 Lead volunteers with the help of 5 other volunteers who help when commitments allow. At the moment we do not have a parent rota but call on them when needed, thanks to those who previously assisted.

Thank you to all my leaders for all their commitment.

Helen Hampson
Beaver Lead volunteer (Beaver scout leader)

Cub report

The two cub sections, Celts and Saxons, have continued to work together sharing a similar programme with special joint meetings and camps.  We went to Didsbury Park to allow a massive 44 cubs to gain their athletics badge in an action packed night in May.

In October we ran a successful Sixers and Seconders’ camp at Dunham Park. The smaller group of older cubs allowed us to focus on skills such as backwoods cooking, wood chopping and fire lighting.

Then in April, we were able to enter 3 teams into an extremely muddy Pike View Hike. As well as providing a suitable christening for several pairs of pristine new hiking boots, the cubs had a chance to practice their navigation and team working skills. We were also able to support Rama, one of our former leaders, to bring his new unit to PVH for the first time. We were very proud of all our teams, but especially the Saxon Steppers/Team Racoon that won the Pip Hartley Memorial walk beating teams from all over the North West and beyond winning a trophy and a giant novelty cheque.

In contrast, our large joint camp took place at Tatton Park on one of hottest weekends of the year in June. We were delighted to discover that Nikhil is a qualified watersports instructor so we were able to take the cubs kayaking alongside other activities of archery, go-karting and  backwoods cooking.

We have gained 3 much needed Leaders, 2 for Celts and 1 for Saxons, which has allowed Shere Khan to move to Scouts where he was desperately needed. We would thank him for his time with cubs, but he hasn’t been allowed to fully escape and was back running a meeting last week. Our Young Leaders, Will, George, Caelan and Maaria have been a huge help- thanks to them.  Our parent helper Yasmin moved on after her son transitioned to Scouts and Glenn joined as another parent helper-thank you both. The two Robs and Al helped us with our camps providing expert catering, washing up and cub wrangling skills. Thank you as well to them and to all the parents who helped with our outdoor meetings over the year.

We have awarded a huge 625 badges this year including an impressive 13 Silver Chief Scout cub awards, the highest award within Cubs.

We currently have 30 cubs in Celts and 25 in Saxons. As we move into Autumn we are planning another Sixers and Seconders’ camp and concentrating on badge work in the hut.

Claire Lydon (Celts, Monday cubs)
Matthew Cameron (Saxons, Thursday cubs)

Scout report

The scout group meets on a Wednesday with the number of scouts at 34 as we ended the year with an average of 24 coming each week.

It has been a busy and fun year for the scouts with a number of changes in the leadership team

We had 8 scouts go up to Explorers at Easter and 12 cubs come up at the end of the summer.

Our program has tried to balance badge work with practical skills and fun experiences. We've sampled climbing, route planning  hiking, winter survival skills, cycling , camping skills.  

We scouts have earned 77 badges and there will be more when I have a better mastery of OSM's system of awarding them.

Whilst we were unable to deliver a major camp we did enter 2 teams into the Pike View Hike competition and are looking to do more events in 23/24.

Simon our leader decided to take a sabbatical from December and the core Leadership team of Hannah, Dan and myself were bolstered initially by 2 parents Matt and Mike (Stars). Alistair has now joined scouts on a Wednesday, so we now have a stronger team, although with work commitments, we could do with 2 to 3 more adults in our team. 

We are looking to create more opportunities to get outdoors and have nights away this year and already have an event planned for Mid October.

Peter Mayhew
Phoenix Scout Leader

DVESU (Didsbury Viking explorer scout unit)

This year we have been rebuilding the leadership for explorers. We now have Brian and Kevin as the Explorer Scout leaders supported by Keith.  This year we have entered a team in the Bibby Farm Yomp, the explorer event at the Pike View Hike. We have also completed the expedition portion of the Duke of Edinburgh for 9 of our explorers we are now finalising the other parts of the awards and we hope to complete them over the coming months. We have had a joint summer camp with the scouts and have an upcoming camp in October. We are focusing on building the scouting skills of the explorers with a view to the young people being able to arrange their own camps. We have a number of the explorers who currently help in some of the other sections as young leaders and their help is appreciated by all the other leaders. Finally, we had one explorer attend the World Scout Jamboree in August in South Korea, it’s a great opportunity and they had a fantastic time despite some of the issue on the ground. We currently have 23 explorers and we are looking forward to a busy year ahead. 

Brian Cosgrove
Explorer Scout Leader

Additional information