Peter Oliver was appointed as the County Commissioner of Merseyside during early 2017 and completes his five-year term in 2022.

Peter writes: 

“Deciding when to step away from something can be a tough decision. I still thoroughly enjoy leading the support to young people and adults across Merseyside Scouts, many of our teams are about as strong as I’ve ever known them and we’re bouncing back quickly from recent challenges. Each of these things help in different ways, and having taken on the role in early 2017 I believe 5-years will be about the right time for us to consider what we’ll need over the next period.

We have rapidly achieved so much over the last five years. We’ve consistently sought to place our members, and the things that matter, at the heart of everything we do. We’ve largely been growing, have become increasingly youth shaped, enhanced our community impact and are becoming more inclusive. And, importantly, we’ve tried to have a little fun along the way. The successes we’ve achieved together have been, and will continue to be, the combined achievements of each member of Merseyside Scouts, and of our Community Partners – and long may this momentum continue.

The privileged opportunity this role has given me to volunteer as part of our team, and to experience first-hand the breadth and depth of the incredible work of each volunteer, across the hundreds of communities we serve has been inspirational and heart-warming. Our young people flourish through the programmes our teams deliver. They learn new skills that will last their lifetime, they become active citizens, and will go on to do even greater things than many could imagine. The work our teams generously undertake develops brighter futures.

I’m confident that what we do is needed by young people and our communities more than ever in my lifetime. We’re well prepared to meet a significant part of this need and plans are in place to both strengthen and extend provision. This is a brilliant opportunity for someone to take on the reigns of leading the support we provide to the volunteers who make what we do happen; and I look forward to supporting our next County Commissioner. 

There will be opportunity for me to properly share my deep gratitude to so many. For now, suffice to say that I could not have delivered this role without the incredible encouragement, support, and energy of everyone who’s helped me along the way – and for that I’m hugely grateful. I hope to continue to support Merseyside and, for the remainder of my elected term, will continue to be a member of the UK Board of Trustees, and the current Chair of the Strategy and Delivery Committee.

Until an appointment is made, we continue as we were. I’m grateful to members of our Leadership and Support Teams who remain focused on supporting our Sections (including welcoming our new Squirrels), Units and Groups, planning events and activities for 2022 and beyond, preparing Tawd Vale Adventure Centre for a busy season, and preparing for the next phase of our Skills for Life strategy delivery, including the recommencement of our funded growth work. There’s an exciting time ahead for Merseyside Scouts and thank you to everyone working so hard in each of these priority areas – lets please keep focused on this, together.”

Next steps:

Between now and the end of the year, The Scouts will determine the process that will be followed and the members of the Search Group who will support Ian Hill (Regional Commissioner for the North of England) who will lead the search. The intention is that Ian will be in touch with all our members during early January to launch the search. When the time is right, we strongly encourage everyone to take an active interest in supporting the process, both by giving the role thought, themselves, and by helping to identify suitable candidates from across all our communities.

Once the search process is complete, we’ll be able to confirm the timing of a handover.

Peter Oliver, County Commissioner