Barry Donald-Hewitt appointed as next Chief Commissioner of Scotland

Barry Donald-Hewitt appointed as next Chief Commissioner of Scotland

06 April 2023

Earlier this year we announced that Scouts Scotland was looking to appoint our next Chief Commissioner. Following a search across Scotland, UK Chief Commissioner Carl Hankinson and the Scouts Scotland Board are delighted to appoint Barry Donald-Hewitt to the role. As Chief Commissioner of Scotland, Barry will provide leadership and support to our Scotland Team, working in partnership with Scouts Scotland staff and Trustees to ensure our eight regions are well-led and empowered to deliver our skills for life strategy. He will also join the UK leadership team – a group of volunteers who provide leadership and management across UK Scouting, along with specialised support in areas like programme, adult support and safety.

With over 25 years of volunteer experience with Scouts, Barry has held various roles, including Section, District, and Scotland-level positions. For the past 15 years, Barry has focused on the Explorer Scout Section, volunteering in both Edinburgh and Highland Perthshire. He strongly believes in the value of international Scouting and has attended Jamborees, completed his Explorer Belt, and led international expeditions to Malaysia, Uganda, Nepal, and Cambodia. Barry has also served in Scotland roles, including as a Trustee on the Scottish Board, supporting the delivery of the first two Scottish youth conferences, and as Depute Chief Commissioner of Scotland (Programme). Barry currently works as a Primary School Headteacher, leading two schools in Perthshire.

“From gathering around a fire outside a Scout hall aged six to hiking in the Himalayas, Scouting has given me a rich, varied, and colourful life and I am excited about the future of our movement. Scouting should be accessible to everyone and truly representative of the communities we serve. I am incredibly motivated by the opportunity to make this a reality,” Barry Donald-Hewitt, Chief Commissioner of Scotland (designate)

This appointment follows extensive consultation with volunteers at different levels of Scouting – from regional and district commissioners to local group leaders, staff and young people themselves. Barry will spend the next few months preparing to take on the role and completing various induction and transitionary activities ,before taking on some of the Chief Commissioner responsibilities from 1 July. This is ahead of a formal handover on 1 September 2023.

Speaking about the appointment, Carl said, “I’m delighted to welcome Barry to our UK Leadership Team as Chief Commissioner of Scotland, building on Sharkey’s efforts over the past five years. Barry’s experience leading brilliant programme in Scouts in various roles and his passion for providing adventure and skills for young people give me great confidence in what Scouting in Scotland can achieve in the future.”

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Gordon Robertson, said “We’re thrilled that Barry will be joining us to serve as our Chief Commissioner of Scotland. Our focus in 2023 will be supporting regions across Scotland to help more young people access the skills for life that scouting provides. The pandemic and post-pandemic recovery have posed a number of challenges, but we are happy to have Barry on board to continue the great work that’s been done over the past 5 years.”