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Blog | New District FAQ
By Matthew Warren


I'm sure there are lots of questions about how things will be managed in the new district, and how we will move from two into one. The FAQs here will hopefully answer some of those questions for you.

Please forward any other questions to me: I can then add them to this FAQ as others may have the same questions

What Is Happening?

Chandler’s Ford and Eastleigh Scout districts are merging. This will create one new district team overseeing the existing Scout Groups and the Explorer section units. There will be no changes to Scout Groups as a consequence of this merger, we just want your groups to grow and be supported more.


When Will This Happen?

The merger will be completed on 31st January 2023, as agreed with the County Commissioner. There are monthly meetings being held until then involving the new district executive committee and Colin has now met with all of the group scout leaders and other district support members.


Was There Any Consultation?

Yes, both districts were consulted during the process, resulting in a lot of debate with both positive and negative feedback. Overall, the benefits to front line scouting are deemed to outweigh the disadvantages that might be felt at district level. The district team will value the good work carried out in each of the districts and build upon that going forward.


What Will Happen to The Leaders and Other Volunteers?

The only individuals directly affected by this merger are those at the district level and they are all individually aware. If anyone would like to be better informed just ask, we would be delighted to hear from you. Scouting relies on our volunteers, who are hugely valued, and we continue to look for more adult volunteers and share the load more.


What Are the Advantages of The Merger?

Some of the immediately obvious advantages include: the creation of new opportunities for our young people, as well as providing more choice for people within the new district. There are also administrative improvements that can be implemented at the district level to improve the experience for everyone. 


What is the Name of the New District?

Following a vote amongst all of the scout group membership and young people and across the district teams, the new district name will be Arrow District. This name was chosen as one that would allow both existing districts to bond and flourish under a new independent title. 


How Does it Affect Young People?

The delivery of scouting to our young people will not be affected at the individual groups but we hope that the joint 1300 membership across the district will give them more opportunity to join in at district wide events and share scouting more widely


What About Uniforms, Badges.

We will be having a new Arrow district badge which is being decided upon and announced very soon. The County will be purchasing enough badges for everyone. This will be a joint district and county badge.


What Happens To Our Group/Unit Funds? 

There will be no direct impact to Group funds as a result of the merger – only funds managed at district level will be directly affected. Funds are likely the most sensitive and emotive part of the merger and both districts are affording the transition of district-managed funds with the utmost care and attention it deserves. The current and future arrangements and the transition process are all being carefully considered to ensure they are appropriate and equitable and that hard earned funds are not lost. District teams are also fully aware of each other’s separate income streams and these will clearly be included in discussions. We remain subject to the rules of the Charity Commission and Scout HQ. There is no anticipation of additional County funding (beyond that stated above) at/after the merger, therefore Groups/Units should continue to consider carefully their financial position and their future requirements. No decisions have been made and all funding issues continue to be explored. More information will be shared in future communications. 


What About Explorer Units? 

It is recognised that Chandlers Ford and Eastleigh manage Explorer Units slightly differently, however all of the principles outlined above remain the case for Explorer Units. There are opportunities to align the supporting administrative arrangements to a best practice, however no decisions have been made and this issue continues to be explored. More information will be shared in future communications. 


What About Cranbury Park?

Cranbury Park is an incredible facility currently managed and funded by the Chandler’s Ford district. It is used by Groups from across the wider area for a small fee that contributes to upkeep, bills and maintenance. An Arrow district camp site subcommittee has been formed and those who have managed the site continue to support the campsite and they are now hopeful that many others across the wider district will join in and help them. The intention is to ensure all Groups/Units across the new district are able to access and enjoy the site. More information will be shared in future communications. 


What About the Scout Shop? 

The Scout Shop is essential and serves a far wider audience than just the Eastleigh district in which it resides. No decisions have yet been made as to how to manage this facility after the merger, but discussions to date have seen no reason to alter what is already in place. This will continue to be discussed and more information will be shared in future communications. 


What About the Canoe and Kayak Units?

Both units offer a great opportunity for young people, and the units already share infrastructure, although each is funded separately from each district. We are looking to grow the adventure team with experienced permitted leaders from across the district and to give all our young people the opportunity to go on the water, go in the air, shoot an arrow and climb a mountain. If you would like to make more use of your permit and offer your skill more widely across the district please speak to us.


Will we be having a new District Website?

We have had a new Arrow district website designed for us ready for our launch most of our information and communication and promotions will be on the website. Please look at it regularly.


Will we be getting together?

Yes, we have now booked The Hilt community centre for Saturday 11th March for a district conference, we are inviting 150 of our adult members and some youth members to come together for a day and help us shape our new district.


Will we be holding a district camp?

I have booked our first district camp at Lyons Copse during the bank holiday weekend 28th April to 1st May2023 A organisation team has been formed to plan the arrangements. This team will be meeting early in the new year. We will be holding a site visit to talk to you about the arrangements. We look forward to all our groups joining in the fun.


How will we help and Support Groups?

We want to continue to support and grow our camp site and scout shop. We also want our young people to have a wide range of adventurous opportunities and that may well mean purchasing some district equipment to enable that adventure.

We also are keen to grow our scouting and have more adult volunteers appointed so that we can share the load and fill any key vacancies we may presently have.

We also wish to support the use of OSM for our record keeping which makes life much easier for our group section leader teams.

We also want to support you and your groups to be stronger and really encourage that we are seen to be one big family of scouts.


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