During the pandemic, Cheshire Scouts launched the very first ever vocational qualification for Scouts: a BTEC Level 2 Award in Teamwork and Personal Development. 18 youth members aged 16-18 took part in online sessions, delivered by CVQO (a UK-based vocational qualifications organisation).
The BTEC was also awarded as a result of the participants’ prior learning; recognition the skills they had learned through the Explorer Scout programme such as the DofE and adventurous activities and leadership experience.
As a result of their participation, the cohort were invited to be nominated for the Westminster Award. This prestigious award is open to youth members of uniformed organisations including army cadets, St John’s Ambulance and for the very first time: The Scouts.
Over 300 young people from across the UK were nominated, including two of our outstanding BTEC participants: Craig Shaw (former Explorer Scout of Shipton ESU, Sandbach) and Benjamin Borg-Heffernan (former Explorer Scout of Trojans ESU, Congleton).
Both Craig and Benjamin were successful in reaching the second round of the Award process so we would like to say a huge congratulations to both of them for representing themselves so strongly and for their representation of The Scouts. Being nominated for such a magnificent award is in itself an achievement. They have helped to lead the way for other Scouts to follow in the future.
A special congratulations goes to Benjamin who has managed to reach the third round of the Award process, having completed a successful small project around values and ethics. Benjamin is one of only 40 young people to have reached this stage. He has been invited to attend a residential course in Somerset, investigating leadership and management. If successful, Benjamin will be invited to take part in the final round: a residential trip to Cornwall and a lunch at The House of Lords, where the ultimate winner will be announced.
We are very proud that a Cheshire Scout has been the first ever Scout in the UK to have been nominated for the Westminster Award and we wish Ben all the very best for the rest of the Award process where he will continue to represent himself Cheshire Scouts incredibly well.