Meet The County Team

Here to Help

The role of the Scout County is to help and support our volunteer members and the County Team and Executive Committee are all here to help. So that you can recognise us and know a little more about us, we've asked the team to tell you a little bit about themselves.

Note that the Trustees are all members of the County Executive Committee.

David Stokes

David Stokes

County Commissioner (and Trustee)

David's role in the County is to provide leadership, overall management and to support District Commissioners and other members of the County Team.

David joined Scouting as an adult in 1982, starting as a Cub Scout Leader in Birmingham Scout County, moving to Durham in 1995. He has worked in every section in a variety of leadership and commissioner roles, has worked on a number of national teams and immediately prior to being appointed County Commissioner in 2016 he was an Explorer Scout Leader, DESC, ACC (Explorer Scouts) and a member of the County Executive Committee (Trustee).

Outside of Scouting David is a Director and Principal Consultant for his own software quality consultancy (Convalido Consulting- nothing to do with Confido!). David met his wife Ruth through Scouting and the whole family (grown up daughter's Sarah and Rachael) are all still involved.

Time allowing, he still enjoys supporting the County Events and Activities teams with training/assessment and events, and supporting the delivery of adventurous activities to our young people.

 Mark Ireland

Mark Ireland

County Youth Commissioner (and Trustee)

Mark is a 'born and bred' scouter. Involved since an early age, he has moved right through from Beavers and is now currently a member of the Scout Network.

His role as County Youth Commissioner means he ensures all of Durham Scout County is moving towards #YouthShaped Scouting - one of the four key areas of Vision 2018.

Mark's involvement in Scouting lead to an inspirational trip to the 23rd World Scout Jamboree, in Japan. Scouting has also given him the opportunity to complete his bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Outside of Scouting, Mark works as a Degree Apprentice at Northumbrian Water Limited, working in IT. He also volunteers as a lifeguard at a Swimming Club in his hometown of South Shields.

Lewis Hardy

Lewis Hardy

Assistant Youth Commissioner

Lewis has been in Scouting for 10 years. Starting as a Beaver Scout he has moved through the Scout movement and is currently a member of Ravensdale ESU in Darlington, and he is also a Young Leader for the 24th Darlington Scouts where he's been helping for the last 2 years.

His role as Deputy County Youth Commissioner means he promotes #YouthShaped Scouting across County Durham.

Outside of Scouting Lewis works as a Kitchen Porter in a cafe and is currently studying Graphic Design at college .

Hayley Robertson

Hayley Robertson

Deputy County Commissioner (Growth and Development)

Hayley holds the Growth and Development portfolio in the County, working with Districts and the Regional Support Team to promote and support the growth and development of grass roots Scouting.

Hayley is also a Scout Leader at 1st Chopwell in Blaydon District and you may have also seen her helping at some of the County events in the past few years. Compared to some she's fairly new to Scouting having joined in 2014 but she's no stranger to voluntary organisations as she was in Girl Guiding since the age of 7, having been a Brownie and Senior Section Leader and County International Adviser to name a few roles whilst in blue.

Hayley currently works as a Call Handler for the North East Ambulance Service and thoroughly enjoy the distraction that her Scout Troop provides on a Tuesday night! Every summer she also volunteers at various Jamborees and Hayley us currently trying her hand at "upcycling" furniture and sewing her own curtains for her new home - although apparently "results do vary".

Scott Doughty

Scott Doughty

Assistant County Commissioner (Explorer Scouts)

David Holmes

David Holmes

Assistant County Commissioner (Scout Network)

David first joined Scouting aged 8, as a Cub at 2nd Chester-le-Street, and has continued my Scouting there ever since. He became a Venture Scout Leader at 20, later adding the role of ADC Venture Scouts and continued until the demise of the section.

David has always helped out at Cubs too, and as Baloo, have continued as assistant Cub Scout Leader throughout, supporting many fine evolutions of pack leadership over the years. He also run the Group Scout Band, so you may have seen, or heard!

After a brief spell as an Explorer Scout Leader, when Scout Network was re-launched in 2008, David became a Scout Network Leader, later taking on the role of County Scout Network Commissioner, now (ACC), supporting the section as it moves to a District provision.

In additional to David's main roles, he is also a County Trainer and Training Advisor, and you'll have see David around at many of the large County events, supporting or just "being loud" either on a stage or  around a campfire.

David says that "the best part of being involved in the County is meeting so many brilliant and inspiring people, young or not so young, so please stop me and say hello if you spot me."

Ian Hammond 

Ian Hammond

Assistant County Commissioner (Events) / Chair, Moor House Management Board (and Trustee)

Ian has been in Scouting since joining as a young Beaver Scout at 1st Great Glen in Leicestershire, until moving to study at Durham University in 2002. Ian is currently Assistant County Commissioner (Events), where he leads the delivery and transformation of our County Events and the Events Team Scout Active support Unit.

Ian is also a County Trustee and Chair of the Moor House Management Board and has previously been President of the Durham University Scout and Guide Group (DUSAGG), Chair of Durham Scout Network, County Scout Network Commissioner, a member of the UK Network Team and a Hub Manager at the 21st World Scout Jamboree.

Outside of Scouting, Ian is a Client Services Director for BT and is married to Carolyn, who is a Guide leader and member of Scout Active Support in Durham.

Sheila Gibbon

Sheila Gibbon

Safeguarding Awareness Coordinator

Sheila is responsible for the delivery of safeguarding training in the County and for providing general advice on safeguarding good practices.

(Note that safeguarding issues should be reported to your DC, following the 'yellow card' process and not reported to Sheila)

She has been involved in Scouting for longer than she cares to remember, starting out as an Assistant Cub Scout Leader at the age of 17. Since then, Sheila has held a variety of roles including CSL and GSL, ACC (Special Needs) as well as being part of the County training team.

Work pressures made it difficult for Sheila to continue a regular commitment and she relinquished the sectional and group roles and concentrated on the adult role as a trainer and County Training Manager. On retirement from paid work, she again took a step back and now does a variety of smaller roles that fit in around her other activities. Sheila also helps out at things like Cubboree and Beaver Fun Day, doing whatever needs to be done – usually talking to people, which she enjoys!

Outside Scouting Sheila is interested in music – including Manic Street Preachers, Meatloaf and Enya; She likes visiting art galleries and museums and currently Sheila and husband Bill are working through a list of places in the UK they have never visited but would like to; and they've both joined a gym. Sheila also enjoys helping out with kids’ activities at the church she attends and she also delivers safeguarding training to people who volunteer within the church.

Stephen Ramsay Assistant County Commissioner (Activities) / Duke of Ediburgh Awards Advisor

You might recognise Stephen from his crowd surfing at Confido to celebrate his 40 year long service award! Stephen's his first leadership role was in 1968 and he's filled just about every role in Scouting other than as Scout Leader.

Also known as the DofE Guru, as ACC(Activities) his major contribution is cascading his love of the mountains, including training / assessing around 1,000 people in more a hundred hill walking weekends. He has been at Moor House since the start, when Hartlepool was part of Durham Scout County. He was on only the third Wood Badge course to be held at the then County Training Centre.

Formerly a banker with the Midland Bank (later HSBC) for 33 years, he followed that with 8 of the happiest working years of his life managing the Administration, Activities and the Estate at Moor House Adventure Centre. To chill out at home he has a very old fashioned, but absorbing, hobby- stamp collecting (You might have guessed that if you ever get snail mail from him). To stay fit after his many hours on the computer administering the DofE and activity permits he disappears into the hills, climbs and does Scottish Country Dancing - a pastime shared with Jill, his very supportive wife and scouting widow.

Graham Elder

Graham Elder

County Chair  and Trustee

Graham took on the role of County Chair in 2016 and provides support to the County Commissioner and other Executive Committee members in meeting the wide ranging responsibilities of Scouting and the Charities Commission.

Graham joined Cubs in 1977 and moved through Scouts and Venture Scouts before taking a break for a few years. He became Blaydon District Chairman in 2008, a position held for the last 9 years.

His two sons are active in Scouting, the eldest being a Network member and Cub Section Assistant and the youngest an Explorer Scout and Young Leader, which has given Graham a good insight into the youth sections of the current day.

Outside of Scouting Graham is a Business Relationship Manager with NatWest Bank working across County Durham.