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Bloggy bits......

wanna put something out there...... submit you blogs/words/thoughts directly to Rob Vaines, and he will post them for you

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  • Managers Blog - June 2015

    Managers Blog - June 2015

    Author: Mike Preston | Date: 13th June 2015

    So, over the last few weeks, I've spent a lot of time ensuring we are ready for pride events across the UK. It was great to see so many members of FLAGS at Birmingham Pride, it was most certainly our best attendance to date. Id like to say a massive thanks to Russell for his hard work in ensuring the event was a success. We will be adding some pictures from the parade to our website shortly. We are now in the final countdown to Edinburgh and London. Don't forget there is still time to sign up to be involved in London. You can find out about all our pride events for this year on our website.

    We also started off this month celebrating National Volunteers Week, we have over 100 volunteers who support FLAGS and help us to demonstrate to people across the UK. Id like to take another opportunity to say THANK YOU to all the amazing volunteers who support help make FLAGS possible.

    Last weekend, I was pleased to attend a LGBT Round Table with representatives across Europe. The purpose of the round table was to develop training for other Associations around Europe. It was a great opportunity for me to share our experience of support LGBT members, as well as sharing some of the actions we have taken over the last few year to promote inclusion in Scouting. I was able to make some great contacts from across Europe, as well as take some great ideas about how we can engage more LGBT people in Scouting. The outcomes of the round table will be seen in November at a training event, where we hope to be able to share more of our experiences.

    Coming up this month we have our first team meeting of year, where we will be discussing our progress against our service agreement, as well as checking in on finances and membership. 

    Just a quick reminder for members to pay their membership fees by the end of this month.

    Thanks Mike

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  • James Journey in Scouting

    James Journey in Scouting

    Author: Mike Preston | Date: 29th May 2015

    I started my journey in Scouting back in 1996 as a Cub, when I was just a mere 8 years old. I struggled a little to start with, but within a few months I was striving! Once I had finished Cubs my family moved home, so I moved to a Scout Troop closer to our new home. I knew A LOT of members through school, other clubs and drama groups etc.

    After these years in Scouts, I was approached by the District to see whether I would like to join this brand spanking new section called "Explorer Scouts" and I became one of the first members of "Nomad Explorer Scout Unit".

    I realised I was gay at an early (ish) age, around 12 years old. I officially came out to my parents at the age of 16, but whatís this got to do with Scouting I hear you say? Well just before I came out to my family, I had a few months of ups and downs and finally confided in my Explorer Scout leader for someone to rely on and a be a role model to me.

    I then started as a Young Leader at my current Scout Troop and I was taken in with open arms. After a year of being a Young Leader, I came out to my Scout Leader (now Group Scout Leader) and again was accepted by her. This open minded way of life was VERY overwhelming for me and now at 26 years old no one batters an eyelid...this is how it should be!!

    I can't thank the people in my Scouting journey enough: Dave, Phil, Debbie, Arthur, Heidi, Clare, Peter Ö THANK YOU XX

    I Found out about FLAGS 3 years ago when I joined them at London Pride and I have never looked back since!! Iíve now met my life long partner Joe through an event last year, now 10 months down the line we are living together and ready to spend our lives together!

    If I have learnt anything in Scouting, it is that itís an OPEN and DIVERSE organisation, to be me and believe in myself.

    #SCOUTPRIDE #SCOUTING4ALL

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  • Managers Blog - May 2015

    Managers Blog - May 2015

    Author: Mike Preston | Date: 20th May 2015

    Hi,

    Welcome to my monthly blog, which this time I'll try and keep short and sweet !!!

    This month I've been focusing on the run up to pride season, as well as membership renewal, and our events calendar. I've also got some exciting news from our international friends.

    So, the first key activity of this month was our team meeting, this is a chance for me to find out what's going on around the team, and where the teams focus has been. The main focus of this call was to discuss our budget for the coming year, as well as agreeing our events. You'll be pleased to hear we have a breakeven budget planned for the next year, and we plan to share this with you in the coming weeks. We are also in the process of finalising our financial statements for last year. We're share both of these documents with you shortly.

    This month we also had a chance to chat about the plans for our events in the next couple of years. We already have a number of events planned in, and are also looking adding new events including socials, and a focus on Scotland and Wales. We're currently looking for new adult events to attend to promote #scouting4all, if you know any events then please do let Sarah know. More details in the next newsletter.

    This month we are completing the membership renewal process, if you haven't yet completed thee membership renewal form then please check out our last membership newsletter. If your not a member of the unit yet, and your eligible then please do join up today by completing an adult information form and return to Dan.

    I wanted to update you on our international work, this month I'm in the process of planning my attendance at the WOSM LGBT round table. I have now had to chat with the team about some of the barriers and challenges we face in ensuring LGBT members are represented throughout the association. This will be an exciting event at the beginning of June which I'll tell you about afterwards.

    Lastly, I wanted to share with you some exciting news from our friends in Victoria, Australia. Following several conversations their state council have now agreed they can set up a network like flags, and have taken the first step forwards to promoting LGBT equality in scouting. Check out their poster and read what Scott had to say to us last week.

    "Our Victorian State Leadership Team have endorsed a poster to be created to show that Scouts Victoria endorses supporting IDAHOT this Sunday AND we form the Rainbow Scouts Network for GLBTI youth/leaders and their supporters. It's a massive step forward and the final green light to move forward. 

    ...and because Victoria and New South Wales are the biggest states and almost always lead by example and initiative, we could well influence Scouts Australia following our lead" - Scotty Harrison.

    Well I'm now in the process of packing for an exciting weekend at Birmingham pride, so looking forward to seeing many of you there !!!

    Yours in scouting,

    Mike

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