Team Essex

Team Essex is made up of the County Leadership Team, District Lead Volunteers and the Programme, Volunteer Development and Support Teams. To see our Trustee Board. If you’d like to request a visit from any of Team Essex, you can do so by contacting us.

Team Essex work to support the Scouting that happens in Groups and Districts throughout the County. The County Development Plan sets out the team’s plans.

County Leadership Team

Bob Bye
County Lead Volunteer, Trustee

Bob is the County Lead Volunteer responsible for all aspects of Scouting within Essex.

Bob has been in Scouting for over 40 years and has been awarded the Silver Wolf for exceptional service. Bob has held a variety of roles at Group, District and County levels.

Professionally Bob is a Consultant Chartered Tax Advisor

Jess McDonald
County Youth Lead, Trustee


Jess is the Youth Lead for Essex and sits on the County Leadership Team. She is responsible for ensuring that scouting is Youth Shaped and that young people are at the forefront of everything we do.

Having attended her first scout camp at nine months old, Jess officially joined as a Cub in 2007 at 1st Thors Oak and has been involved in the movement ever since.
Upon turning 18, Jess became a Cub Leader before becoming a Deputy District Youth Commissioner in 2019 then, District Youth Lead.

Gary Brown
Support Team Joint Leader

Gary is the Support Team Leader and is a member of the County Leadership Team.

Gary has been in Scouting as an adult for over 30 years, having previously been a Cub and a Scout. He joined the County Leadership Team in 2017 and prior to that had been a Group Scout Leader, District Commissioner, County Safeguarding Trainer and a Deputy County Commissioner.

Gary has been involved with Kingston Ridge Scout Campsite for over 14 years and for the last 6 years as Campsite Manager

Paul Billings
Support Team co-Leader
Liz Smith
Programme Team Leader (Interim)

Liz is the Interim Programme Team Leader which oversees and supports the delivery of high quality programmes for young people.
Liz has held several County roles over the last 20 years, the most recent one being Assistant County Commissioner for International.

Raeesa Cooke
Volunteer Development Team co-Leader

District Lead Volunteers

Andrew Lewin
District Lead Volunteer - Southend Estuary

Andy Daykin
District Lead Volunteer - Castle Point

Ann Dukes
District Lead Volunteer - Maldon and East Essex
Colin Batchelor
District Lead Volunteer - Colchester Estuary
David Reid
District Lead Volunteer - Colchester North
Diane Brown
District Lead Volunteer - Basildon
Gavin Wood
District Lead Volunteer - Braintree
George Faram
District Lead Volunteer - Royal Forest
Ian Scott
District Lead Volunteer - Thurrock
Jo Waters
District Lead Volunteer (Joint) - Hatfield Forest
Julie Talbot
District Lead Volunteer - Tendring
Kevin Nuttman
District Lead Volunteer - Southend West
Leanne Oscroft
District Lead Volunteer (Joint) - Chelmsford
Matt Brace
District Lead Volunteer - Harlow, Trustee
Neil Barnes
District Lead Volunteer - Billericay and Wickford

Paul Stafford
District Lead Volunteer - Crouch Valley
Paul McGrath
District Lead Volunteer - Brentwood

Paul Thorogood
District Lead Volunteer - Saffron Walden
Adrian Slim
District Lead Volunteer - Offshore
Peter Lambert
District Lead Volunteer (Joint) - Hatfield Forest

Suzanne Ball
District Lead Volunteer (Joint) - Chelmsford

Programme Team

Charlotte Dell
14-24 Programme Support Team Leader

Charlotte is the joint team lead for the 14-24 sections within the programme team. With the support of her team, she will be assisting the districts in running a well-rounded program that assists explorers and network members in achieving their top awards.

Charlotte was born into the scouting family, with her first camp being at 3 weeks old and was officially invested as a member in 2006 and was the first female Cub at 1st Ockendon.

As an adult, Charlotte has held multiple scout roles, including District Youth Commissioner and Assistant County Commissioner for Network.

Ian Welch
14-24 Programme Support Team Leader
Eloise Jack
14-24 Programme Support Team (King's Scout Award)

Eloise is the King’s Scout Award Coordinator for Essex Scouts. She is passionate about the King’s Scout Award and hopes to use her role to support and encourage others across Essex to achieve theirs.

Eloise joined Scouting in 2010 and recently moved to Essex, taking up an Assistant Explorer Leader role.

She completed her Queen’s Scout Award in 2018 and is an active member of the national King’s Scout Working Party.

Matt Wheeler
14-24 Programme Support Team (Duke of Edinburgh's Award)

Matt is the DofE Coordinator for Essex Scouts. He is passionate about DofE and adventurous activities.

Matt joined Scouting in 1998 joining as a Beaver and has been in Scouting ever since. He has also completed his Queen’s Scout Award and is a member of the King’s Scout Working Party.

Toby Riches
4-13 Programme Support Team Leader

Toby is the joint 4- 13 Programme Team Leader and along with the rest of the team will be supporting Districts to deliver the best programmes possible for their young people.

Toby joined the scouting movement as a Beaver and has been in the movement since. He has held multiple leadership roles since turning 18, starting as a Cub Scout leader then going through all the sections!

Whilst taking on other roles supported international and local events.
Toby was also Assistant County Commissioner for Beavers.

Wendy Bye
4-13 Programme Support Team Leader

Wendy is the joint 4- 13 Programme Team Leader and along with the rest of the team will be supporting the District programme teams to deliver the best programmes possible to help them increase the number of top awards achieved by Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and to give all the young people a voice in their programme, skills for life and to ensure Scouting is accessible to all.

Wendy has been involved in Scouting for 38 years , She joined the County Cub Team in 2011 and has held a variety of roles at Group, and District over the years and is still currently a Group Lead Volunteer with a group. Wendy has been awarded the Silver Acorn for her services to Scouting.

John Penny
Archery Team Leader

John has taken on the Team Leader role for the Archery Team, which celebrates its 40th year in 2024. You may also come across him if you request an assessment for an archery permit.

Involved in Essex Scouting for too many years. Archery has been the underlying constant from the age of 16, but in addition to being a founding member of the Archery Team, archery teacher and coach, with a preference to shoot Longbow, John has had the pleasure of being a Scout Leader and Explorer Scout (Young Leader) leader. You may also find him teaching air rifles, air pistols, tomahawk throwing and sports crossbows (there is a theme!)

Del Hales
Events Team Leader
John Dell
Events Team Leader

John is the joint team lead for events within the program team. John is responsible for planning and delivering county events for all sections with the support of his team.

John joined the scouting movement as a Cub at Tilbury Dauntless and has been in the movement ever since. John has held multiple leadership roles since turning 18, starting as a Cub Scout leader with other roles, including ADC Scouts & activities, explorer leader and ACC Scouts.

Karen Packer
Joint Chief - Essex International Jamboree

Karen is Joint Chief of the Essex International Scout and Guide Jamboree having been involved with the event since 1992. She has been a Scout Leader for over 25 years and has received the Chief Scout’s Award for Merit.
In addition to this, Karen has been an active Guide Leader for over 25 years and is currently Division President for Girlguiding Southend West and Leader with Phoenix Rangers. She received the Laurel Award for outstanding service to Girlguiding following Essex International Jamboree 2012 .

Paul Walker
Joint Chief - Essex International Jamboree

Paul is a County Trustee and lead volunteer for Skreens Park Scout Activity Centre and also Joint Chief of the Essex International Scout and Guide Jamboree having been involved with the event since 2004. Locally Paul is Assistant Group Scout Leader at 1st Danbury.

Paul was part of the 2007 World Jamboree Management Team in charge of designing and building the site at Hylands Park, He was an International Service Team member at the World Jamboree in Chile in 1999 and a Unit Leader at the World Jamboree in America in 2019. Paul is a Queen’s Scout and has been involved in Scouting all his life.

Graham Monk
International Events Team Leader

Graham is the Team Leader for International Events and has overall responsibility for all County organised International Expeditions as well as the Visits Abroad Process. Graham is also a County Trustee

Graham has been involved as an adult in the movement since 1975 and has held various roles at Group, District and County Level and is currently the Group Lead Volunteer for East Tilbury Scout Group. Graham was awarded the Silver Wolf in 2016 for services to Scouting of the most exceptional nature

Nigel How
Mountain Team Leader

Nigel is the Team Lead for the Mountain Team providing support with all activities that occur from Sea to Summit whether that is Walking, Climbing, Mountain Biking or Caving.

The team provides the opportunity for young people and leaders of all ages to participate in these activities from their first experience to training for assessment.

Nigel has been in Scouting since joining Beavers 1982 when the first colonies were introduced and has been a member ever since, joining the former mountain activities team at the age of 18 as soon as he was able.
Nigel is a mountain leader and rock-climbing instructor with a passion for the mountains and for passing on skills and knowledge. Scouting provided the gateway to his work where you can often find him hanging off buildings and bridges fixing the lighting.

Ben Cordell
Permits and Approvals Team Leader

Ben is the Joint Team Lead for Permits and Approvals and is responsible for the coordination of the various County Assessors across the county. You may come in contact with him if you require support with the Adventurous Activities permit scheme. He is also a County Assessor for climbing and water sport activities.

Ben has been part of Scouting since the age of 11 and joined 4th Epping as Scout Leader in 2016 and has never looked back. He joined the County Team in December 2023.

Ben is passionate about outdoor activities and providing these opportunities for young people having worked as an instructor at various outdoor centres across the country in his earlier life. Nowadays, outside of scouting, Ben is a Paramedic working for the London Ambulance Service after retraining in 2019.

David Wright
Permits and Approvals Team Leader

David is the Joint Team Lead for Permits & Approvals and brings to the role a background of supporting adventurous activities throughout his 35 years as a Leader. He has held Group, District & County roles and received a Silver Acorn Award in 2018.

In this position he will be supporting individuals to meet the requirements of the Adventurous Activities Permit Scheme as well as working with Gang Show Approvers.

David can often be found on the archery range as a County Assessor and has recently been assisting HQ with a review into the permit scheme. He is also a Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Assessor.

Alex Kerr
Water Team Leader
Sean Coull
Water Team Leader

Support Team

Neil Bleakley
Equipment and Property Team Leader
Lisa Griffin
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Team Leader

Lisa brings skills and knowledge from over 13 years’ experience as an Advanced Social Work Practitioner both within the field of family support in Children Centres and in Children with Disabilities Team. Her front-line experience was shared working in both London Boroughs and County work nearer to home.

Lisa was also a Foster Carer.
In Scouting Lisa leads the County Inclusion Team. She’s also the Jack Petchey Coordinator and on the fundraising team at 4 th Braintree where she started her Scouting journey in 2019.
Outside of scouting Lisa enjoys creating memories with her family including baking and also exploring places on interest Lisa is also a design team member on a scrapbooking team allowing for creativity.

Tony Humphries
Incident Management Team Leader, Trustee

Paul Walker
Skreens Park Team Leader, Essex International Jamboree Camp Leader

Paul is a County Trustee and lead volunteer for Skreens Park Scout Activity Centre and also Joint Chief of the Essex International Scout and Guide Jamboree having been involved with the event since 2004. Locally Paul is Assistant Group Scout Leader at 1st Danbury.

Paul was part of the 2007 World Jamboree Management Team in charge of designing and building the site at Hylands Park, He was an International Service Team member at the World Jamboree in Chile in 1999 and a Unit Leader at the World Jamboree in America in 2019. Paul is a Queen’s Scout and has been involved in Scouting all his life.

Gordon Henshall
Grants Board Team Leader
Bianca Cole
Media Team Leader
Karen Daykin
Administration Team Leader

Volunteer Development Team

Jan Dear
Volunteer Development Team Leader

Jan is the Volunteer Development Team Co-Leader and is responsible for the management of all aspects of the adult training and learning process for the County.

This includes ensuring that there are appropriate training support structures and personnel to achieve this.

Jan has been involved in Scouting since 1986, firstly as a trainer and then more recently in management roles including as County Commissioner. Jan has also been involved with training in her professional career.

Chris Beales
First Aid Team Leader
Adam Woodhouse
Learning Team Leader
Gill Cobley
Learning Team Leader

Gill is joint Training to Learning Team leader. In her role she co-ordinates Adult learning ensuring flexibility to suit all County learning needs.

Her focus is on supporting delivery of current and retiring Wood Badge Modules as well as providing opportunities for volunteers to learn more about camping skills, enabling them to apply for a Nights Away Permit.
Gill’s 35 years of Scouting experience began in the Scout Section.

She progressed to Local Training Manager and has been involved in training for over 16 years.
Gill has been awarded the Silver Acorn for services to Scouting.

Iain Rider
Recognition Team Leader
Martin Falder
Recruitment and Welcome Team Leader

Martin is the Recruitment & Welcome Team Leader, which falls within the wider Volunteer Development Team.

Having enjoyed being a Venture & Network member, upon turning 25 he took on his first leadership role as Morphians Network Leader in Brentwood.

He followed this with his next appointment as County Scout Network Commissioner, which he held for 5 to 6 years.
Martin’s other roles have also included being a County Trustee, County Appointments Chair, Active Support co-ordinator & being involved in Essex International Jamboree.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls