Top awards development in Gloucestershire

We are pleased to announce that Gloucestershire Scouts have been selected to participate in the second phase of a national “Top Awards Project”.  The first phase focused on the experience of an urban based Scout County, and now, Gloucestershire has been selected to explore the Top Awards experience in a rural environment.


This is a great opportunity for us to help shape ideas for supporting adults and Young People in the Top Awards through the Scouting sections, for both the Gloucestershire and around the country.


What does this entail?

This project will be supported by Oliver Dibbens, working alongside the County Top Awards team. Initially, we aim to meet with sections of all ages around the County to understand;

  • Your experience in delivering Top Awards through the programme
  • Where you may need support, guidance or advice
  • What successes and challenges you are having

It’s important to note that if selected to be visited, this will not be an audit of activity, purely a fact-finding mission so that we can build a full picture of the barriers and successes when delivering Top Awards. This will enable us to identify gaps in knowledge or skill, understand what resources are needed, and celebrate the best practice that you are already doing.


All of this will help us as a County Team better support you, in supporting your young people achieving more of their Top Awards in a sustainable manner.


Who is Ollie Dibbens?

Ollie Dibbens works for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme as the Operations Officer working with The Scout Association, we are the DofE’s largest Licenced Operator. He progressed through Scouting and really appreciates the link between DofE Awards and their equivalent Scout Top Awards.

Ollie’s time on this Scout Association project is being funded and supported by the DofE Diamond Fund. While this may lead to some initial focus more towards the 14-25 Top Awards, we recognise that a Beaver Scout starting out on their Chief Scout Bronze Award is as much a part of the picture as a Network Member attending the Queen Scout Award parade at Windsor Castle. So, we are also looking for ways to engage with the younger sections to understand their stories too.


What are the aims of this project?

A successful outcome to the project should see;

  • Us develop and support a Top Awards programme that is sustainable and able to be passed from leader to leader,
  • More Young People undertaking their Top Awards,
  • Increased knowledge of the Top Awards throughout the Young People, their parents and volunteers and,
  • Resources to enable you to better support Top Awards.

Any outcome will only be as good as its input, so we’re looking for folk to get involved, offer feedback or, joining some brain-storming sessions when we have the feedback from the section visits.


We will also be looking for your help to create resources like Leader handovers and on-boarding processes so that we can make this sustainable and useful for the future.


We’re just starting on this journey, so please look out for more communications over the coming months.


How can I get involved?

If you’d like to get involved please email Liz Orchard on . Or if you’d like to share your Top Awards successes and / or difficulties, feel free to use the same.