Ashley is a life-long Scout, who has a strong belief in Scouting’s values, methods and impact. He is extremely keen to see Scouting grow in the UK and internationally, and barriers for participation removed – which he actively works for in the projects he involves himself with.
Ashley spoke at The Scout Association’s AGM in 2015 on the impact Scouting has had on him. You can read his speech here.
As a youth member…
Ashley first entered Scouting as a Beaver Scout at 1st Newchurch Scout Group on the Isle of Wight, where he stayed for six months or so. Unfortunately, his family moved and so he lost contact with the movement. That is until a friend of his, who remains his best friend to this day, asked him to come along to a meeting of 6th Newport Scouts. He hasn’t looked back since.
He has been a member of the following Scout groups/units: 1st Newchurch, 6th Newport, 7th Newport, 3rd Ventnor, 51st Bath, Vectis Vanguard Explorer Scout Unit, Smugglers Network and Bath City Network.
As a member, he has taken part in over 60 camps, with over 150 nights away. In 2011, Ashley took his Scouting international as part of the “Allsorts” (Isle of Wight/Hampshire) Unit to the 22nd World Scout Jamboree in Sweden. Here he met, talked and sang with Scouts from everywhere from Belgium to Swaziland. In 2013, he again went international with a team of three to The Netherlands, completing a 10-day expedition through the country and completing projects on the way – all part of the Explorer Belt Award.
Throughout his time as a youth member within Scouting, Ashley has gained the following Scouting awards:
- Chief Scouts’ Gold Award
- Chief Scouts’ Platinum Award / DofE Bronze
- Chief Scouts’ Diamond Award / DofE Silver
- Young Leader Belt Award
- Explorer Belt Award
As a volunteer…
Currently: Group Scout Leader of 51st Bath Scout Group, Trustee of The Scout Association
Keen to ‘give back’ to the organisation that made him, Ashley has volunteered a considerable amount of his time within Scouting. Originally, Ashley helped out as an Assistant Scout Leader at his home group of 6th Newport (the role in which he gained his first wood badge). After moving to university, he started helping out again, as an Assistant Scout Leader at 51st Bath Scout Group. Knowing the group needed someone to lead it into its next chapter, he subsequently took on the role of Group Scout Leader of 51st Bath. In this role, which he still holds, he leads and manages the adult volunteers working with the young people, ensures the group’s governance is sounds, works to grow the group, and shouts about the fun activities we get up to.
Whilst Ashley loves working directly with young people, and feels its important to know what’s happening ‘on the ground’, he also sees the value in bigger projects, management and direction. As such, he holds additional roles in other levels of the organisation. At its highest level, Ashley was elected to The Scout Association’s Board of Trustees in 2014. Through this role, he can shape the direction Scouting takes nationally, and make important decisions about national policy. More locally, Ashley was the Assistant County Commissioner for Avon Scouts with responsibility for development. For three years, he was chair of a national funded project, working locally, which saw the introduction of a new, innovative method of growing Scouting in some of the most deprived areas of Bristol.