We’re starting a new provision for four and five year olds called Squirrels, to help young people gain skills for life at a time when it matters most and where it’s most needed.
Squirrels is a completely new provision for 4–5 year olds. There are plenty of reasons to get stuck in, as Squirrels gives young people the chance to:
- Make friends
- Have fun outdoors
- Learn new things
- Earn badges through fun activities
And, to help us support the introduction of Squirrels, we’ve appointed Matt Coles as our County Squirrels Advisor.
We recently asked Matt some questions to help you get to know him.
Matt, how are you feeling about taking on the role as Squirrel Advisor?
I am very excited about taking on the role of Squirrel Advisor. I am very passionate about Scouting being made available to more Young People and I am very passionate about the benefits of early years education. I believe that the introduction of Squirrels into Scouting is perfect timing and it is a great honour and privilege for me to be involved in such an important change in the history of Scouting.
What motivated you taking on the role?
I have a young family of Squirrel age and I have been interested in early years Scouting since I read an article on the early years pilots during the summer of 2020. I had also been regularly checking for newly advertised volunteering opportunities on both the Merseyside Scouts website and the various district websites for some time when I noticed the advertisement for the County Squirrel Advisor vacancy. After reading the advertisement I felt that it was the right time for me to contribute my time and enthusiasm.
Tell our members a bit about yourself?
I have been a Cub, a Scout, an Assistant Cub Scout Leader and an Assistant Scout Leader. I reluctantly left Scouting in the 1990’s when I joined HM Armed Forces. My plan was always to return to Scouting when I became more settled in an area. For the past 15 years I have worked throughout the UK in the security and investigation industries of the private sector. During this time I have served in The Army Reserves as an NCO.
What have been your highlights as a member yourself?
Staying at Baden-Powell House with our Cub Pack and teaching survival skills to our Scout Troop in Kielder Forest.
You’re stuck on desert island. What 3 things do you take with you?
My Swedish FireKnife, midge head net and some earplugs so that my snoring doesn’t wake me up.
Last album you listened to?
Status Quo-The Last Night of The Electrics.
Basing the answer to this question on the film that I have watched the most during the past 4 years it has to be ‘The Gruffalo’.
If you could choose any meal, what would it be?
If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for?
I purchased an action camera last year to record adventure videos with my son, I’ve been getting better at the editing so maybe we could win a bronze.
Do you have a claim to fame?
Yes, I did the commentary for a film several years ago that was used in a BBC documentary.
Ever met a famous person?
Yes, Bryan Adams, Kylie Minogue and Diana, Princess of Wales.
If you could dinner with a famous person, who would it be?
If you could make a 20 second phone call to yourself at any point in your life past or future, when would you call and what would you say?
It would be when I was around 16 years of age and I would have said: “Listen to what others have to say but follow your heart and make your own decisions, if you make a mistake then so be it as it will be your mistake and you will learn from it. Mistakes should be learnt from and the person who never made a mistake never made anything”.