On Saturday around 200 dignitaries, Scouters, supporters and family members came together at the Wynd Centre for a celebration of Scouting across Paisley, Barrhead, Neilston & Uplawmoor.


The event was co-hosted by two young people, Heather Wright and Keir Johnson who ensured the proceedings went without a glitch. The pair were engaging and entertaining. During the event, we heard stories from Gillian Swarbrigg and Zara Neil. The star of the show though was Brianne Surgeoner who sang Titanium to the audience.

One of the main purposes of the event was for the Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Guy Clark, to present eight Queen’s Scout Awards. This is the highest award available to young people and the following received this great achievement.

On top of this, our District Commissioner, Rob Murray, presented three UK Scouting Medal of Merit awards to inspirational adult volunteers who have given a lot to scouting. These were

Commenting on the achievements, District Commissioner, Rob Murray said:
“What a great event to celebrate the achievements of the eight Queen’s Scout Awards and their three UK Medal of Merits.

“Scouting is growing strength by strength locally. More girls and boys want to take part in our fun, life-changing adventure.

“Our co-hosts Heather and Keir ran the event exceptionally well and I am delighted by the input from Zara, Gillian and Brianne.

“I am very proud of the hard work our eight young people put into getting this top award. Their achievements are a credit to themselves and Scouting.

“Jim, Stuart and John are three very inspirational adult volunteers. Each bring their own unique skills to Scouting and I am grateful that they choose to spend their time helping young people across Paisley, Barrhead, Neilston & Uplawmoor.”

Queen’s Scout Award recipients:
Eilidh Mather, Beaver Leader, 33rd Paisley & District (Gleniffer) & PDSN
Craig Booth- Assistant Cub Leader, 3rd Barrhead & PDSN
Ross Keir- Assistant Explorer Leader, 5th Paisley & District (Oldhall) & PDSN
Alistair Boyd – Assistant Cub Leader, 3rd Barrhead & PDSN
Catriona Mcgeechan –Assistant Beaver Leader, 18th Paisley & District (Coats)
Heather Wright – Assistant Explorer Leader, 2nd Paisley & District (Abbey) & PDSN
Lewis Mcgeechan – Assistant Cub Leader, 2nd Paisley & District (Abbey) & PDSN
Gillian Swarbrigg – Assistant Scout Leader, 2nd Paisley & District (Abbey) & PDSN

Medal of Merit recipients:
John Hunter, Group Scout Leader, 15th Paisley & District (Lylesland)
“John Hunter has be a member of the Lylesland Scout Group for many years. As a Queens Scout John has brought his passion and dedication to Scouting in a very diverse part of Paisley. John has an infectious passion of ensuring young people, regardless of their background experience Scouting activities.

John took on the role of GSL in 2003 and has grown the group though his leadership to become the largest group within the district for a number of years now. John’s unique leadership style attracts young people and adult volunteers to join in the adventure.

John does not shy from a challenge and is a regular at helping to run district events such as our annual community duck race, district camp, and the swimming gala.  John is a firm believer is Scouting supporting the local community and has organised many community projects such as litter picks and service projects. Every November John and his team of leaders organise an annual fireworks display for the community at the local campsite. The event is always well attended.”

Stuart Duncan, Assistant District Commissioner (Beavers) & Beaver Leader 15th Paisley & District (Lylesland)
In Paisley District for the past 8 years Stuart has been the face of Beavers.  At Group level he runs a booming colony and this is down to his infectous personality and drive for adventure. This is not simply a story of booming numbers, the atmosphere in his hall on Beaver night is electric, he gives the young people a huge shot of fun and adventure that simply has them coming back for more and bringing their friends.  He does not have a large leader team but they have a well organised parent support group to allow this miriad of activities to take place.  Oh how we wish we had one of him in every colony!

One particular event from Stuart deserves special mention.  About 8 years ago he came up with an idea to run a Duck Race in the river that runs through Paisley. The event has grown so much, that recently we took decision to move it to every second year as it was consuming so much of the District leadership time. It was simply a victim of its own success.  Over the course of this event Paisley District has donated over £20,000 to local young people charities.  It has probably generated 5 times that in good publicity for Scouting in paisley.”

Jim Macquarrie, Assistant Cub Scout Leader, 21st Paisley & District (St Mirin’s).
“Jim is a long standing member of the St Mirin’s Scout Group and has been so for nearly 40years. Jim has given his life to Scouting and has a deep passion for ensuring young people from some of the most disadvantaged backgrounds have the opportunity to experience adventure.

Jim has been a loyal member of our twin town partnership PAGGS. Through Jim’s leadership and planning Paisley Scouts have been a leading member of this twin town partnership and has seen him take young people across Europe to experience many different cultures.

Jim is a wise head and as such he is a Training Advisor within the group. IN this role he commits time to supporting new leaders to ensure they complete their training and learn about our movement.”