About the Leaders


On this page you will get to find a bit more about some of our leaders including our very own DC, You will learn what we do in our spare time as well as what we do for a living.

Name: Helen Needham

Roles: Deputy District Commissioner, Scout Leader, Assistant Beaver Scout Leader

Group: 1st South Normanton

Length of Time in Scouting: 20 years service as a Scout Leader achieved in June 2017.

Why you joined The Scout Association: I started life in the Girl Guide movement at the age of 7 when I joined Brownies. From there I moved to Guides and at the age of 15.5 when I was too old for Guides they changed the rules so girls could join Scouts and the leaving age was 16 so I moved across to the Scout Movement. Six months later a group of us set up South Normanton Gnomes Venture Scout Unit where I stayed until I was 20. After leaving university I took on an Assistant Scout Leader role until the then leader left and I took over and I’ve been here ever since!

Favourite bit about scouting: Giving the children life skills that they may not obtain elsewhere and hopefully making them better people. Making a difference to the community in which we live.

Most memorable moment while in scouting: There are too many to name just one!

Hobbies and interests: I enjoy gardening, particularly growing fruit and vegetables on my allotment. I also relish transforming my produce into jams and chutneys, cordials and wine (even though I don’t drink myself!). I like crafting (I’ll try anything) and am a member of my local Craft Club.

What you do for a living: In my day job I work as an accountant and tax advisor in a general accountancy practice in Derby.

Name: Simon Shrewsbury.
Roles: Assistant Scout Leader and SASU climbing team member.
Group: 1st South Normanton.
Length of time in scouting: I started as a beaver at the age of six and have been involved ever since other than a few periods of working away. So all in all almost 22 years now.
Reasons for joining: Well originally it was a case of being sent whether I liked it or not! As I grew up though I came to love it.
I would say I kept going just as an excuse to go outside and for the camps. I’ve always been more happy sleeping outdoors and scouting gave me plenty of access to that.
Favourite part of scouting: I have been a leader now for almost 10 years and my largest motivation for carrying on is the fact that at scouts we can give kids adventures and access to activities that maybe their parents cant provide. Climbing, kayaking, and snow tubing can be expensive hobbies to get into and we can give kids access to these and a lot of other exciting activities at a cost that is much more accessible. My family never had a lot of money growing up so I really feel rewarded knowing I’m helping give kids the same great times that scouts gave to me.
Favourite moments in scouting: I’ve got countless great memories of scouting. I had my 14th birthday on a week long canal boat trip, my parents surprised me part way through and we had a little party. On the same trip I remember one of the scouts rode a pushbike straight into the canal by mistake!  We woke one morning at Drum hill to find that someone had collected all the flags from the golf club next door and attached them to our pioneering project! All night challenge hikes, mornings spent learning knots with my old cub pack leader, gang shows when I was so shy all I could do was operate the curtains, leading cubs on wolverine hunts around drum hill, telling the same two campfire stories on every camp. The list goes on and on, I hope it will continue to grow for a long time yet!
Hobbies and personal life: When I’m not giving the mythical “one hour a week” to scouting I unfortunately have to go to work as an upholsterer. I make posh beds for people with to much money to spend on beds, but it’s a living. In my free time I attempt to be a husband and a father to a pretty fantastic wife and daughter. After that I try and cram in as much hill walking, climbing, mountaineering and fell running as I humanly can.

Name: Darren Melling

Role: Assistant Scout Leader, Campsite maintenance, Archery Instructor, Climbing Wall Instructor.

Group: 1st South Normanton

Length of Time in Scouting: 25 years service as a Scout Leader achieved in May 2018.

Why you joined The Scout Association: I never left! I joined as a cub at the age of 8 and have stayed with it ever since.

Favourite bit about scouting: Seeing / helping young people develop from nervous, unsure children into confident, enthusiastic, helpful teenagers (with skills that they can use throughout their lives).

Memorable activities done through scouting: Canoeing the Leeds to Liverpool Canal, Canoeing the Caledonian Canal, The Three Peaks Challenge, Mountaineering in Austria for two weeks, Cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats, All the International Camps (in and out of the UK) I have attended

Most memorable moment while in scouting: Meeting Prince Philip as he presented me with my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award at Hollyrood House.

Hobbies and interests: Canoeing, climbing, cycling, archery, walking, anything outdoors really.

What you do for a living: I am a Design Engineer, which means that I help clients to solve problems using CAD design. One week I am working on a new model of bicycle, whilst the next I may be designing packaging for toiletries, or modelling a new stadium seat. No two jobs are the same and working for myself gives me the time to carry out maintenance work at our local scout campsite!

Name: Adrian Marriott (Adi)

Role:  District Explorer Scout Commissioner, Assistant Explorer Scout Leader, First Response Trainer, Team Member for Nottinghamshire Emergency Scout Support Team

Group:  P.A.N.T.S Explore Scout Unit, Nottinghamshire Scout Support Team.

Length of Time in Scouting:  29 years altogether.

Why you joined The Scout Association:  I never left!  I was born into scouting as my mum and dad are both leaders within the district and I was brought up with it, doing my first international camp when I was 2 and in a pram.

Favourite bit about scouting:  Seeing / helping young people develop from nervous, unsure children into confident, enthusiastic, helpful teenagers (with skills that they can use throughout their lives).

Memorable activities done through scouting: Spending the week on a canal boat on both the Trent and Mersey canal, and the Langochlan Canal in Wales, All the International Camps (in the UK) I have attended

Most memorable moment while in scouting:  Meeting Bear Grylls while at Peak 2010

Hobbies and interests: Amateur Radio or anything to do with radios, I am also a Community First Responder for East Midlands Ambulance Service, and a member of Peak 4×4 Response.

I also enjoy watching and playing both cricket and rugby.

I also use to be a member of St John Ambulance where I gained many awards such as my Super Badger which is the highest award you can get in the badgers ( SJA version of Cubs), I also gained my Grand Prior award which is the highest award for Cadets (SJA version of Scouts), When I was in the adults I was part of the Public Duty team where I planned and managed some big events including the Nottingham Marathon and Goose Fair, I was also part of the management team for when the Olympic Torch and HM The Queen came to Nottingham, I have also saved a man’s life while I was on duty at a football match once, I have been to Buckingham Palace and met both the Queen and Princess Royal.

What you do for a living: I am a GP Surgery Receptionist for Limes Medical Centre in Alfreton I deal with the day to day enquires that patients and non patients may have for the surgery.

Name David Coates.
Role CSL
Group  1st Pinxton
length of time in Scouting, 18years
Why I joined the Scout association, I joined when i took my lad to beavers at 1st Ripley, the leader at the time was asking for help I volunteered and here I am today. 
Favorite bit about scouting, Seeing the kids go home with a smile on there faces each week.
Most memorable moment whilst in Scouting. Well this is a difficult one there are so many but ill mention this. We decided to do the 17 mile Kinder challenge walk with the 
scouts from 1st Erewash and 3rd  Codnor. I was leading the walk, I read the map wrong went the wrong way, it wasnt until the patrol leader looked again at the map and pointed out that i had taken them the wrong way. it added another 2 miles on the journey… i was embarrassed  but everyone saw the funny side i still get my leg pulled today about it.
 Then I fell and sprained my ankle, the mountain rescue people tried to pull me out of the walk as we still had another  miles to do… i looked at the kids and said no chance im going to finish this especially for there sake as a lot of preparation has gone into it..i made it with a limp but completed it in over 7 half hours. 
hobbies and interests  I enjoy watching football especially Derby County whom  I have had a season ticket with for many years, I also have been known to watch Alfreton town on a few occasions.
I used to be an event first aider with the Briitsh red cross and also used to drive community transport buses but all this voluntary  work was taking up too much time, i wasnt giving up Scouting so the other two had too go.
I like to do alot of walking with my partner and dog but not so much nowadays as our dog is very old and burnt out now. i think it was the Mt Snowdon walk that did her, well it did me in too….my goal is to walk the three peaks in the uk and walk Hadrians wall.
what i do as a job
I am trained as a QA Inspector in Quality and the Environment which I have done for over 35 years in various company’s from plastic, Electrical,Engineering to Aerospace gaining my welding qualifications on the way.
 I have recently left Pattonair Derby to start a job at Eurocell technical centre in Somercotes, its different work to what i am used too so ill see how it goes.

Name Jo Colbeck
Group 1st Pinxton
Length of time in Scouting 7 years
Why I joined the Scout association  When i met my partner, he was all ready involved as a scout leader so i became involved in scouting. Never looked back.
Favorite bit about scouting.   Making new friends and helping kids grow in confidence. Been a big kid again.
Most memorable moment whilst in Scouting  Did a 25 mile bike ride on the High Peak Trail. (never ridden a bike before). Abseiled down St Andrews church in Lanley mill. To name a few things i have never done before.
Hobbies and interests    I love walking with my partner Dave  and my dog Jenna who is a 13 and half year old German shepherd. I used to show and train German shepherds i have shown at Crufts since 1977 to 2012. I don’t show dogs any more. I want to visit all the cities in the uk. i am well on my way to do this. I do follow football. My team is Huddersfield Town who i have supported for over 40 years. I also follow Derby County well i do live with Dave who is a derby county fan. I have 4 grandchildren who I love to spend time with.
What i do as a job    I have worked for 30 years in the care sector. The first 20 years working with children with special needs. Now i work in the community as a senior care assistant. I also am a supervisor and train others to become care assistants 

Name: Helen Marriott

Roles; Assistant Scout Leader, District training Advisor, nights away advisor

Group; 1st Pinxton Scouts

Length of time in Scouting  32 years

Why I joined the Scouts association: when I was asked by Hubby Bernard in 1986  to give him a hand “for an hour a week” when the other leaders in the group had left so been doing if “for an hour a week” ever since.

Favourite but about scouting; Seeing the young people enjoy themselves doing different activities and giving them opportunities to learn and take part in things they might not be able to do otherwise. Also welcoming children of ex Scouts into the group which proves we must be doing something right.

Most memorable moment in scouting: Seeing Princess Margaret visit Peak 90, Bear Grylls signing my neckerchief at Lea Green, meeting Peter Duncan and lots of others too many to mention.

Hobbies and interests: I am also a member of the St John Ambulance and have been for 41 years I am a serving Sister and went to London to be invested into the Order of St John, that is my most memorable and proud moment outside Scouting. I enjoy flower arranging, making jam and pickles and going away in our caravan.

What do you do for a living: I am Practice Manager at the local surgery which keeps me very busy.

Name: Bernard Marriott

Role Scout Leader

Group: 1st Pinxton

Length of time in scouting 40 years

Why I joined scouting: I joined as a Cub in 1968  as it had just started up in the Village and looked like it could be interesting and enjoyable then continued into scouts and ventures eventually taking on the role of Scout Leader in 1978, so It must have been interesting and enjoyable.

Favourite things about scouting:  taking the youngsters camping and watching them  take part in different activites and enjoying themselves

Most memorable moment : As a scout we used to go camping to Bridlington where we used to go sea fishing, the funniest part of this was the Rectors Son who went and wanted to stop the boat and walk home as we all felt really sea sick. We also went once and the Scout leader had forgotten to pack the tent poles.

Hobbies and interests : caravanning

What do you do for a living:  I have been a farmer for 45 years and worked for the same employers for the same length of time.