St Matthews Scout Group were celebrating last night (Wednesday 4th Oct), having been crowned Champions in the Best group category of the Tunbridge Wells Borough Love Where we Live Awards.

The annual Love Where We Live awards celebrate the people who make Tunbridge Wells Borough a great place to live. They recognise individuals, groups and organisations who are dedicated to helping others in our community, benefiting the environment, or accomplishing personal goals.

St Matthews Scout Group in High Brooms were nominated for the award by their local Town Councillor Dianne Hill – the nomination read

“My reason for nominating the 19 th RTW St Matthew’s Scout Group is that they are an amazing group who help in the Community not just High Brooms but also in Tunbridge
As one of 12 Scout Groups operating in Tunbridge Wells, the youngsters aged 6 – 14 enjoy a full range of activities which provide them with vital skills for life.

One of the aims of scouting is to help prepare young people to play a full part in their local, national and international communities, and St Matthews are very successful in this.

They plant and look after the two flower beds in High Brooms Rest Gardens, planting up twice a year. They are also hoping to expand this their green fingers to some land at High
Brooms Station planting flowers their very soon. They helped with the marshalling at Bewl Water for Hermes Running in May, this is the fourth year that St Matts have helped at this event. They support Nourish Community Food Bank having various collections, especially at Christmas. They have over the past few years helped with the Southborough Sea Cadets Fun Day. The Beavers and Cubs do the Thomas Train Weekends and this year they will be doing 5 days helping with the children while they wait for the train, tiding up and generally looking after everyone.

On the International front some of their members attended a District organised trip to Kandersteg, an International Scout Centre in the Alps, last summer, and two years ago
Connor, one of the young leaders at St Matthews was selected to represent Tunbridge Wells at the World Scout Jamboree. Connor has now been appointed Deputy Youth Commissioner
for Tunbridge Wells and is actively involved in selecting the next World Scout Jamboree contingent member.

As a group, they look out for each other, raise funds to help some parents with uniforms, they also fundraise during the year to help parents send their children on the many outings, which for some parents, especially single parents is a great help. They have children and parents who have been struck with cancer and they help not just financially and physically but they are there with a support network doing all they can to help keep life normal.

Like many Scout Groups they do lots of activities for their young people and the Leaders are passionate for them all to have the same opportunities.

19 th RTW St Matthew’s Scout Group is not just a scout group it is like a big family and thoroughly deserve community recognition.”

Worthy praise indeed and the judges agreed.

District Commissioner Brian Hobden joined St Matthews for the award evening and was asked to say a few words whilst the Group Scout Leader accepted the award. Brian spoke of the success of scouting not just in High Brooms, but across Tunbridge Wells, he reflected on the enormous difference Scouting makes to young people providing Skills for life through a progressive programme of fun, challenge and adventure. But he paid special tribute to Gill and her amazing team in High Brooms, for the work they do, and congratulated all members of the group young and not so young on the amazing achievement – thanking a cub, Lewis, who accompanied Gill on stage to accept the award, for making our hobby fun.

Speaking after the awards Gill Daniels, Group Scout Leader said “it was a complete shock and the award is for all scouting in Tunbridge Wells- I am so proud of our group and our young people – they are all amazing”.

This award could be the first of two for St Matthews this week. One of their young Leaders Cameron, has been nominated as Young Leader of the Year at the Kent Scout Awards this weekend.
Whatever the result on Saturday evening St Matthews are truly deserve the recognition from last nights awards – congratulations to everyone involved in St Matthews Scout Group.

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