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Our County Commissioner, Peter Oliver, is standing for election to the UK Board of Trustees.

The Scouts UK Board of Trustees shapes and approves our national strategy and is the Association's national decision-making body. Members of the UK Council elect Board Members and we wanted to find out more about why Peter is standing for election.

Q: So what's your motivation to stand for election, Peter?

My volunteering is motivated by my fundamental belief that every young person deserves the best start in life; and we only get one chance. Scouts is one of few organisations that plays a national role in enabling this, outside formal education. What we do is made a reality by every Section, Unit and Group - our success depends on supporting them to make this happen. Our organisation, like many others, faces challenging times and difficult decisions as we guide members through the next few years. I’d like to offer my skills, knowledge and experience to support this, at national-level. 

Q: What skills and experience can you bring to the Board?

Having joined as a Beaver Scout and significantly benefitted from being a youth member; I have over the last 23 years served the Scouts as a volunteer in a variety of local and national roles. These have included Assistant Cub Scout Leader, various District roles, various County roles, as National Commissioner, as member of the UK Board; and as a County Commissioner over the last 3 years. During this time, I have worked on a range of national engagements and have a thorough understanding of the juxtaposition between volunteers and staff; and how to work effectively to best affect for our members.

My recent focus has been translating national strategies into practical, impactful and deliverable local action. It’s been rewarding with many successes and has resulted in redefining our culture and ways of working, building a team aligned to our strategy and needs of members, developing our growth strategy (resulting in 37 new sections, 21 of which are traditional provision, 16 of which are in new communities; with 8 using new models of delivery, 428 new young people and 132 new adult volunteers), developing adult training provision with a broader focus on the first 5 months and inclusion, developing programme and adventure support, and building a ‘Plan A’ for our adventure centre (which is now benefiting from significant investment to enhance access and activities). We’ve successfully connected multiple organisations to better work together, and enhance combined impact. It's been a great team effort - with significant contributions from so many.

In addition to my volunteer experience, I bring 19 years of extensive commercial experience gained in delivering technology services; over 10 of which gained through senior leadership roles in organisations ranging from UK-based SMEs to large multi-national corporations. My work has spanned the United Kingdom, United States, Scandinavia and the Middle East in roles that have required me to navigate complex legal and risk issues; delivering programmes to support critical national infrastructure.

I also bring 20 years of wider public and third sector governance experience. I’ve been a Trustee, School and Academy Governor, Committee Chair and Board Chair, across a range of organisations. Board Members work as a team to play their part in governing and guiding an organisation, bringing constructive challenge to senior leaders and support, as necessary, to ensure the organisation delivers its aims and objectives – with clear sight on the horizon.

Q: What area of the Board's work particularly interests you?

I’m particularly interested in how the Board establishes a framework developing the digital maturity of our organisation. My professional experience of working with Boards to develop their digital strategies, and of implementing enterprise digital solutions and services to a range of international organisations responsible for providing critical national infrastructure, will, I believe, be extremely relevant to UK Scouts over the coming years.

As part of the election process, candidates were asked to submit a 60 second video to explain their motivation. Here's Peter's video: