Leics Scouts St George’s Day Awards

23 April 2017


Ten scouters from Harborough District were recoLeicsSt Geognised for their service and dedication to the movement at the Leicestershire Scouts St George’s Day Awards evening on Friday 21 April.  Over 100 awardees attended an evening of celebration and entertainment with a great buffet too!  Many of the awards were in recognition of volunteering for the Charnwood International Camp last summer.  Dave Sawford and Rachel Hamill were noted as being part of the offsite programme team and Conrad Barnett and Alice Green on the trading team.

Nominated from Harborough District were:

Gareth Butcher and Tina Taylor for leading units from the county to the 2015 World Scout Jamboree to Japan.

Sharon McCarthy, our district membership secretary.  Sharon receives all the enquiries from our website and national for new joiners and sends them out to the preferred groups.  Its a bit of a thankless task but vital to getting more young people into the adventure.

Kyle Biggins for a fantastic first year as an assistant scout leader at 1st Great Glen.  Kyle managed to find the time to get along to the awards evening despite having several pieces of course work and a dissertation to finish for his degree by next week.

Anne-Marie Barker for a fantastic stint as cub leader at Kibworth for the last eight years. I know we can expect more of the same from her in her new role as Explorer Leader Young Leader.

Phil King who has also just finished a five year term as Chairman at Kibworth.  Phil was instrumental in turning around the hut finances and managing the hut refurbishment.

Their individual citations are below. Please do scroll down and read more about these fantastic scouters.

If you think there is someone missing from being recognised for all they do, then hold that thought and be ready to nominate them for our Harborough District Champion Scouters next January.  With the Swimming Gala, St George’s Day, District Camp and these Leics Awards packed into the first half of this year, we felt that our Champion Scout Awards needed to miss a year.

Debbie Billington


Gareth Butcher nominated by Debbie Billington

Gareth stepped into the Scout Leader role at 1st Kibworth in March 2012 at a time when the group was very short of adults with none for the Scout Section.  He was a scout in his youth, and a leader in his 20s so came with all the right skills and experience. Under his leadership, the troop steadily grew and he recruited other parents to get involved, to the point that a second troop was opened in 2015.

Gareth also played a major part in the development of the Group and in particular the relationship with Guiding who share their HQ.  He is chairman of the Hut Committee and steers this group to finding workable solutions and positive outcome for both adventures.

In 2013, Gareth was selected as a unit leader for the Leicestershire contingent to the next World Scout Jamboree.  He spent many extra hours and weekends preparing and making arrangements for these explorers to get to Japan and back in 2015.  On their return, Gareth helped to take the story of their adventures to sections across the Harborough District, enthusing them to take advantage of the opportunity in the future. And all the while maintaining a full programme for Kibworth scouts and excellent trusteeship for the Hut committee.

Thanks Gareth for all these amazing things, not only from Harborough District but Leicestershire Scouts too. You’ve really made a difference.


Tina Taylor nominated by Debbie Billington

Tina began scouting as a Group Chairman but was thankfully diverted to Explorers as a section leader where her real skills and experience could shine.  Initially it was to set up a second explorer unit for the district and she has remained at the helm for the last 7 years.

In addition to running a full and varied programme for the Mad Hatters, Tina has played a major role in delivering Young Leader Training Modules for all district explorers, keeping the sessions lively, fun and informative.

She is keen to help co-ordinate DofE expeditions across the units to ensure a wider and inclusive experience for all explorers. In recent years she has co-ordinated bronze expeditions, giving these younger explorers an excellent grounding to go on to achieve higher levels.

In 2013, Tina was appointed as a Jamboree Contingent leader with a Leicestershire Unit. She set about building a team ethos with the unit and spent many extra hours and weekends preparing and making arrangements for these Leics explorers to get to Japan and back in 2015.  On their return, Tina helped to take the story of their adventures to sections across the Harborough District, enthusing younger members to take advantage of the opportunity in the future. And all the while maintaining a full programme for the Hatters and completing DofE expeditions.

Thanks Tina for all these amazing things, not only from Harborough District but Leicestershire Scouts too. You’ve really made a difference.


Sharon McCarthy nominated by Debbie Billington

Sharon volunteered as our district membership secretary back in early 2014. She receives all joining enquiries for youth membership from our district website, county and Gilwell, transferring them to OSM and sending out to the preferred group.  With over 100 new joiners each year across the district, its an ongoing task.

Sharon is very mindful that for most parents, she is their first point of contact with scouting. She is always very prompt, polite and welcoming in her communications and incredible efficient at keeping track of progress of individual enquiries.

Sharon has built excellent virtual relationships with each of the groups’ membership secretaries, always willing to go the extra mile to make sure things run smoothly.

In my time as District Commissioner, Sharon has been one reliable constant. I don’t think she realises, let alone the rest of the district, what a truly amazing job she does. Sharon is very deserving of this award for the everyday difference she makes.


Kyle Biggins nominated by Phil Reed

Kyle went through the Scout section at Great Glen Scout Group between 2005-2009. Now at University, but still living locally, at the end of 2015 Kyle dropped by to catch up with his ‘old’ Scout Leaders. The following day he contacted me and offered his services as an Assistant Scout Leader.

Kyle attended our Annual Scout Pancake evening with our Scouts in February 2016, and since then has become an integral part of the Scout Leadership team, and with his vibrant character has been an instant success with our young members.

During the summer Kyle attended Charnwood 2016, not only as a member of our Leadership Team supporting our Scouts, but as a member of the Smashing 70s Sub Camp Team. Before Charnwood Kyle put in many hours in support of the Sub Camp Teams’ efforts and made many trips to Stoney Stanton to help with the Gateway build.

Despite currently being in his final year at University, with much coursework, Kyle continues to give 110% week by week commitment to the Scout section, and during the short space of time that Kyle has been with us, he has completed most of his training towards his Wood Badge.

Kyle has been immense support to me helping to run our Scout section, in a busy Charnwood Year, and I would say that he is another example of how Scouting shapes young people into fine citizens, of which Kyle is first class.


Anne-Marie Barker nominated by Debbie Billington

Annie has spent the last eight years volunteering with Kibworth cubs.  She started as an assistant leader when her son moved up from beavers and spent the next four years working with Simon Holder running a very successful pack.

When Simon moved on to be GSL, Annie reluctantly but capably stepped up into the Section Leader role and continued to ensure an excellent adventure for the cubs.  They have always completed several nights away each year and taken part in district events such as challenge and hike activity days.  Their weekly sessions are always busy and lively and whenever I call by, there always seems to be some excellent cuisine!

Annie has welcomed and supported many new leaders into the pack, helping to build and grow the leadership team so that when a second cub pack was needed there were sufficient adults and experience for them both.  The cooperation between the packs meant that all cubs have access to an exciting and varied programme.

In recent months Annie stepped back to an Assistant Leader role but has continued to really support the packs.  She took them on the district PGL camp and seems to have had as much fun as them if her facebook posts keeping parents informed is anything to go by.

Thanks Annie for 8 years of adventure with cubs.


Phil King nominated by Simon Riley

Phil stepped into the Group Chairman role some five years ago. Prior to that no-one at Kibworth could remember having had an Exec Committee let alone a Chairman! With a little support from the district, Phil did a great job in re launching the Exec and bringing order to the engine room of the group.  With the help of the new group secretary and treasurer and Online Scout Manager, the membership records and subscriptions were transformed.

At the same time, the Kibworth Hut Committee was also relaunched and Phil volunteered to be the treasurer. Little did he know of the trials and tribulations ahead although there was a warning of things to come when the previous incumbent handed over little more than a couple of carrier bags of receipts. Phil was not fazed by this and proceeded to work through them with an almost forensic zeal which then led to some uncomfortable but necessary conversations to recover rent arrears. As a result the Hut’s finances are now properly understood and on a sound footing.

Phil’s work continued with the major hut refurbishment project. He was responsible for sourcing and making grant applications to cover the cost of the work as well as shaping and prioritising the actual work from planning consent to practicalities.  Without his finger on the financial pulse Kibworth Hut would not have progressed as far and as fast.

Phil your efforts and commitment to the Group have made a real difference to scouting and guiding in Kibworth.