Trustee Elections; Why I’m Standing…

Ashley Russell

Please do also watch my video on why I’m standing, available on YouTube at

For the last (nearly) three years, I’ve had the incredible privilege of sitting on The Scout Association’s Board of Trustees. Scouting means the absolute world to me, and being able to shape the direction our Association takes as a Trustee has been eye-opening, inspiring and empowering. Why Scouting means so much to me is widely known, following my reflection at The Scout Association’s 2015 AGM (which you can read here). Now, as my first term comes to an end, I’m standing for a second time.

Beyond the Boardroom

Ashley, Trustee of The Scout Association, speaking at The Scout Association's 2015 AGM

Being a Trustee has given me countless opportunities beyond the boardroom, each of which I’ve aimed to grab by the horns. Having the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people from the UK and beyond has been a particular highlight. On three occasions now I’ve been honoured to represent the Association at the conference on digital and IT run by WOSM/WAGGS Europe Region, an opportunity to share the creativity and competence of the many volunteers and staff in Europe’s National Scouting Organisations working in the field of . In the UK, I’ve talked and laughed with many of our outstanding young people and volunteers – at Windsor, Gilwell Reunion, Summit 17 and many other of the events that bring us together. It’s our people that make our movement what it is and that make it one that is growing and prospering to today.

Scouting Locally

My Scouting doesn’t stop at the meeting table of Gilwell Park. In Bath, the beautiful city in which I live and work, I take enormous pleasure out of leading 51st Bath as Group Scout Leader – a group that is celebrating being the biggest it’s been in 15+ years this year. Every week I’m down at my hall – running an evening for one of our sections, sorting out our equipment, or talking training with one of our awesome volunteers. It’s been no mean feat, but it’s been immensely rewarding to be a part of the Group’s transformation over the past couple of years. Being so rooted in local Scouting also means that I can make informed and objective decisions about what works and what doesn’t. When I’m sat around the table of Operations Committee, the sub-committee I play a part in as a Trustee, it’s not hard for me to imagine how a POR change might affect local Scouting, nor am I shy in sharing my views.

Leading From the Front

Ashley climbing a climbing wall

It’s important, I believe, to take an active role in the organisation you’re leading. That’s why, as a Trustee, I’m always keen to take opportunities to play an active role in our operation and the service we provide nationally. On a couple of occasions, I have been a part of the recruitment process of senior members of staff – ensuring there’s a volunteer/board voice in key appointments. Several times, I’ve been asked to facilitate sessions for County-level volunteers and other leaders and supporters in Scouting – which I’ve only had great feedback from. For the past two years, I’ve been heavily involved in our Trustee elections – promoting the role of a Trustee and encouraging people (especially young people) to stand.

“I still have more to give.”

As a Scout, I love what I do and the opportunities that being on the Board of The Scout Association affords me. More importantly, I believe I still have more to give. I’m still learning, I’m still young, I’m still developing. As I grow through experiences in work, in Scouting and in life, I will only contribute better and in a bigger way as a Board member. That’s why I think I deserve a second term, and why I hope – if you’re able to – you’ll vote for me in the upcoming elections.

Thank you.

Voting opens on Wednesday 19th July. For details on how to vote, please visit

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