Meet the Team

Karen Blake
Volunteer Manager: Group Scout Leader

I started my Scouting journey back in May 2012. I was home alone on a Scouting night as my husband had stepped up when a Beaver Leader was needed in February 2011 and all three of my boys were members of the group.  I was left feeling I was missing out and the group were looking to appoint a new secretary to the executive committee, I felt I was an organised person with a good handle on paperwork so put my name forward in May 2012 and was elected to the role.  From 2016 I have also been supporting in the three sections as and when needed as a Group Section Assistant.  In September 2020, the Group Treasurer stepped down and I felt my skills and background could support the group finances going forward so stood for election at the Annual General Meeting.  After eight years as group secretary I am now the Group Treasurer and really looking forward to talking the group forward with online payments.

Away from the group I am also the District Appointment Secretary (a role I took on September 2018) which involves meeting with new leaders, welcoming them to the district, arranging their meet and greet interviews and supporting them with their initial training.

Away from Scouting I support young people, children and their parents at St Peter’s Church Monkseaton through Tots’ Praise and Messy Church. Tots’ Praise is a short service of worship using songs, movement, imagination for pre-school children. Messy Church is again for children and adults that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality, It typically includes a welcome, a long creative time to explore the biblical theme through getting messy; a short celebration time involving story, prayer and song; and a sit-down meal together at tables.

My involvement in the group took a step up in November 2021 with nearly 10 years service to Scouting when I was appointed Group Scout Leader, a role I am excited about and look forward to working with all the leaders and executive committee to grow the group and take the group forward.

Laura Angus
Deputy Group Scout Leader
Debbie Walters
Group Section Assistant

Squirrels

Sarah Evans
Squirrel Scout Leader
Sheena Proudlock
Assistant Squirrel Scout Leader
Rebecca Moore
Section Assistant (Squirrel Scouts)

Even though I have autism, a rare condition called Jacobsen Syndrome, kidney disease and disabilities starting my scouting journey in February 2019 was one of the best decisions I have ever made especially as I have a huge passion for helping and supporting others, making a difference in the best way I can and working with children and young people. I feel accepted and very lucky to be part of a kind, understanding, caring and inspiring team.

Scouting runs in my family starting with my Dad when he was a boy and now my younger cousins who are in Beavers. I love and enjoy our weekly meetings and going to the different events through the year. My first scouting event was the County Beaver Fun Day in Morpeth which was a fantastic experience. Volunteering with Beavers has and continues to help me with my confidence, learning, social skills and exploring other opportunities. It’s lovely to see or hear the kids when they have done something they didn’t think they could do, or say “Rebecca, guess what I saw, what I did, have you heard of this, have you seen this? I love seeing their faces light up and get the occasional hug or high five! I hope to continue with Beavers for many more years and progress to a higher role. I don’t have a job outside Beavers but I still have other volunteering commitments.

I love all things creative, travelling and being active.

Beavers

Tim Blake
Beaver Scout Leader

I first got involved in Beavers in 2011 when my second child Matthew (now a young leader) was a Beaver scout. The leader was leaving to become the District Commissioner and he wrote to all current Beaver parents to ask for help. I had no experience as a scout leader but I remembered how much I had got from being a Cub many years ago so decided I’d at least give it a try. I helped alongside the leader for several weeks before becoming the leader myself having thought of a few ideas for the sessions.

I completed the full leader training over the next year and received my wood badge in 2013. I’ve had lots of fun and adventures with the Beavers since then and met lots of fantastic people, big and small. It’s great to see a Beaver scout achieve something they and I doubted they could do. I enjoy running sleepovers and archery sessions thanks to the further training I’ve done to achieve permits for these activities.

Volunteering with Beavers has also given me confidence in other aspects of my life e.g. helping with a youth club consisting mainly of teenagers where sometimes we do similar activities to scouting. I also enjoy sports and have a normal job, IT support in the NHS.

Kirsty Southall
Assistant Beaver Scout Leader

I started my Beaver Scout journey as a parent helper when asked to stay and help a few times, both my children had joined beavers and I had time to spare.  I have learned a few new skills myself and have fun with the beavers. Accompanied the beavers in a day trip to Hawkhirst Scout Adventure centre.  I have run a couple of activities on our zoom meetings.

Michelle MacFarlane
Section Assistant (Beaver Scouts)
Cathy McLeod
Section Assistant (Beaver Scouts)
Lottie Stickley-Hawkins
Section Assistant (Beaver Scouts)
Ethan
Explorer Scout Young Leader

Cubs

Mark Walters
Cub Scout Leader

I got into Scouting when my daughter was as Beaver.
The leadership team at the time needed extra help and as I wasn’t busy I decided to volunteer.

I enjoyed what I was doing and started to help out more which led me to my first camping trip with the group. The weekend was great fun for everyone involved.

I continued to help out when my daughter moved to Cubs and it was around this time that I decided to become a leader instead of a parent helper.

Role Vacant
Assistant Cub Scout Leader
Phil Knowles
Section Assistant (Cub Scouts)
Andrew Hickson
Section Assistant (Cub Scouts)
Simon Proudlock
Section Assistant (Cub Scouts)
Thushara Bogamuwa
Section Assistant (Cub Scouts)

Scouts

Role Vacant
Scout Leader
Dave Connolly
Assistant Scout Leader
George Wright
Section Assistant (Scouts)
Gary Kelly
Section Assistant (Scouts)
Matthew Blake
Section Assistant (Scouts)

Executive Committee

Sinead Longster
Group Chair
Rita Nwokeji
Group Treasurer
Vacant Role
Group Secretary
Laura Wright
Parent Representative
Fiona Scrivener
Parent Representative

My role as a regular parent helper started back in 2012, when my eldest child started Beavers. The Beaver leadership team always looked like they needed an extra pair of hands, so I stayed on to help during the sessions, which I found were great fun and was always happy to help with any tasks they asked me to do. I helped for nearly 2 years.

My youngest child then joined Beavers in 2015, and again I offered my help which was gratefully received. Over 4 years later and I am still helping, on a weekly basis, and currently in Cubs. We have fun and diverse sessions and it’s great to muck-in with the kids, also helping on trips and sleepovers. Scouting has become a big part of our lives these days, with my eldest child in Explorers now (14+) and youngest child soon to move up to Scouts.

In September 2020 I signed up to become an Executive Member of the Committee, as a parent representative for Scouts. I am looking forward to supporting the Leadership team and the challenges they face as we return to face to face scouting.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls