The Senior Leadership Team are responsible for the management of the County Team. They alongside the DCs drive the policy and vision for the County.
County Commissioner | Owen Purcell
Owen has a passion for outdoor adventure and is a great believer in a truly youth-shaped movement. Having completed most of his scout journey in Ireland Owen joined the cubs as a young person, moving to Scouts and then Explorers. During this time Owen attended many international camps and jamborees. Owen rejoined scouts joining Wimbledon and Wandle District as A Beaver Section Leader and Assistant District Commissioner for Beavers. Owen believes that as a section they can do anything and even took his Beaver colony to Dublin, Ireland to a Jamboree. At a county level Owen has led the European Jamboree Unit for GLSW for EJ2020 in Gdansk. Owen served on the TSA Risk Committee as an independent member and is a member of the Governance Workstream for the Association. Additionally Owen chairs the Audit and Risk Committee of another major charity.
Owen is a Managing Partner at EY LLP with experience in Risk, Governance and Control. He has extensive experience of managing change programs and advising Governments, International Organisations and Major companies on change and governance issues. Owen has worked during his career for a number of major International companies.
Deputy County Commissioner | Claire Pearcy
Coming from a Scouting family it was probably inevitable that I would end up volunteering too – with my first role as a young leader in a Beaver colony when I was a Girl Guide completing the service element of my Baden Powell Trefoil Award. I joined Venture Scouts not long after instead of moving to Rangers and continued helping with the Beaver colony once the service element had been completed (for full disclosure I should probably add that my dad was the group GSL so leaving wasn’t really an option!).
Throughout University I continued volunteering with the Scouts, taking on roles within the Cub Pack and Scout Troop at the 13th Exeter (Exwick) before returning to GLSW and taking on Scout section roles within the 15th Wallington Scout Group, ultimately taking over as Scout Leader.
Providing Scouting for young people with additional needs has been and continues to be a real passion of mine. Along with great teams of leaders and supporters I’ve made weekly programme evenings accessible for young people with a wide range of additional needs and enabled young people to participate in as many District and County events as possible. I’ve taken young people with additional needs on international camps abroad, I volunteered at the Greater London Agoonoree Scout summer camp for over 10 years and have seen young people develop and challenge assumptions and boundaries – their own and those of the leaders around them. I’ve also tested the apron strings of a number of parents and carers along the way!
In 2011 I joined a fabulous team of leaders taking 2 units of young people to the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden – it was that event 10 years ago that resulted in me being jointly appointed ACC (International) in 2012 with Dave – a role we have both held up until now, signing off visits abroad, overseeing selection of two World Scout Jamborees and supporting the units in their journeys as well as supporting other large scale events abroad. The most memorable visit abroad was the Sea Scouts who telephoned to say their campsite had been flooded and they were being evacuated by the Red Cross.
My role as Scout leader at 15th Wallington continued until 2018 when I stepped back and took on an executive committee role at the group – I also had a brief stint as District Appointments Committee Secretary (in Scouting terms 3.5 years is a brief stint!) before more recently taking on the role of ADC (Development) in Sutton. Along the way I’ve held (or still hold) appointments as District Scouter, Training Advisor, County Trainer and Active Support Member (Scout 4x4 and District service crew) as well as having worked as part of HQ volunteer teams. 2 hours a week they say?!
Outside of Scouting Dave and I have 2 young girls who keep us on our toes and who love the outdoors. They’ve been camping from 4 months old and 6 months old respectively. Between the children, Scouting, and working 4 days a week I don’t have much time left to get into trouble, but I like to bake and enjoy a G&T or two when I can.
I’m excited to be part of the next chapter for GLSW, to take on a new role and support new injections of enthusiasm into Scouting at all levels, whether that be with leaders resuming face-to-face Scouting and teaching new skills, to hearing about the plans for international events when borders open up or providing the support to the managers across the County to empower and inspire leaders and young people locally.
Deputy County Commissioner (People) | Jenny Robson
I have been involved in Scouting ever since I helped my cadet leader, who was also a scout leader, put away some tents after a camp. After that fateful day I became a young leader, then a Scout Leader with the troop, and that started me on my scouting journey. Since then, I have been incredibly fortunate to have volunteered alongside some fantastic adults and friends in a range of roles: Scout Leader, Group Scout Leader, District Explorer Scout Commissioner to name a few. As Unit Leader to the 2011 World Scout Jamboree in Sweden and as a former Aide-de-camp to the Lord Mayor of the City of London I was reminded how large and great the Scout, and youth sector, family is and that when we work together we can create even more exciting opportunities for our young people.
Away from Scouting I enjoy time with my family and, when allowed (thank you Covid), friends. Also, as we have recently moved to a new home we are busy decorating, gardening and exploring our new area.
Deputy County Commissioner (Programme) | Chris Dean
I was invested as a Cub Scout at the 7th Croydon in 1955, and have never left! I gained my Queen's Scout and Duke of Edinburgh's Awards in 1963 before heading off to university where I studied geography.
My first Leadership role was as ASM in 1965 since then I have been a DSL, ADC(S), VSL, County Network Commissioner and currently Deputy CC (Programme). I am also an Explorer Scout Leader and Group Administrator as well as being a member of three SASU's. In 2007 I was appointed the National Volunteer Lead for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award in Scouting, and in 2011 a similar role promoting the Scouts of the World Award and running SOWA Discoveries. I have led expeditions to various places overseas - The Dolomites in Italy, Skane in Sweden, Belarus and Southern Ireland - as well as helping deliver County Explorer Belt Expeditions in Lithuania, Italy, France, Sweden, Luxembourg and Spain. My main Scouting pursuits are hiking, pioneering, and of course camping. Being a keen dinghy sailor I really must get a permit !
Outside Scouting I am married with 5 children and 5 grandchildren and live in Oxted. I had two careers before I finally retired in 2017, firstly as a foreign exchange trader at a London bank, and secondly as a school business manager in Sutton. Apart from Scouting I keep busy playing model railways, being a member of an academy trust, and dabbling in local and national politics!
Deputy County Commissioner (Communications and Technology) | Alex Swain
I have been in Scouting since I was a Beaver at the 13th Wimbledon Scout Group in Wimbledon and Wandle District. I stayed with the 13th for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and then became an Explorer with the Group’s partner unit St Saviour’s ESU. Alongside this I helped our cub pack from age 13 all the way through to the end of my time in Explorers, where I then became an Assistant Explorer Scout Leader. I currently also hold roles as a District Trainer, Assistant Cub Scout Leader and Co-Media Development Manager in Wimbledon and Wandle. Throughout my time as an Explorer, I went on two international trips to Austria, organised and ran a District Cub Hike and won Red Flare twice!
As an adult leader I have continued to take part in competition hikes and took part in the Southern 50 in 2020. Alongside, this I am working towards a hillwalking permit.
Outside of Scouting, I am currently working for Rolls-Royce as an Engineering Degree Apprentice studying for a BEng in Aerospace Engineering. Apart from Scouting my hobbies include hiking/hillwalking and going to the gym.
Croydon District | Greg Cook
I was born in Croydon lived in Croydon Educated in Croydon but made by the Scouts.
I started at the 1st Purley Cubs before moving to the 1st Purley Scouts and then the 3rd Purley Scouts. I then joined the Purley Venture Scout Unit.
I became a scout leader at 17 and had taken the troop on a two - week summer camp to Dorset before my 18th Birthday. I became the scout leader of the 17th Purley, only leaving for personal family matters in 2005. I became DC for Croydon in 2019.
I am passionate about how scouting can help all our members achieve their personal goals. I am passionate about ensuring that we give our young members the greatest possible start.
I am incredibly proud of my two grown up daughters and cluster of dogs. At home I love messing around on the farm and riding my motor bike. I continue to work in the construction industry full time and have been fortunate to have been involved in some of the most iconic buildings that now grace our skyline.
Richmond Upon Thames District | Phil Hunt
I started my Scouting in the late 1960’s just as the Cubs modernised and I stayed with my Group through Scouts and Venture Scouts until 1983 when I handed back by Assistant Scout Leader Warrant Card to pursue other interests. But some 10 years later I was back – this time with children of my own and I accepted the role of Group Scout Leader – a position I enjoyed for 20 years or so before joining the District team.
I think I’ve performed every possible role at a District level – from Assistant Beaver Leader to Network Scout Leader, from London Regional Trainer for Management to Nights Away Adviser – and I’ve loved it all! I’m a bit of an all-rounder, being equally at home in a wet muddy field as I am behind keyboard calculating next year’s budget forecast. This experience and background has served me well, especially in my role as District Commissioner which I accepted in 2018.
I recently retired from my professional role as Group Head of IT Security Strategy for the world’s largest healthcare and insurance company – so now I have more room for Scouting.
In the District and beyond, I am surrounded by a brilliant team of volunteers at all levels – and it’s these people, combined with the beaming smiles of Young People that make my role so very rewarding. Long may it continue.
Royal Kingston District | Stewart Nash
Sutton District | Matthew Hewitt
I got involved in Scouting when I was asked to be District Treasurer, which started an interest in getting more involved. I was then GSL of 11th Wellington, before taking over as DC in Sutton in 2017. I enjoy getting out to see groups camping and the highlights of my time in Scouting have been my two trips to Sweden with 11th Wallington, three Cubjams with Sutton Cubs and camping on Brownsea Island. I enjoy seeing Young people develop and grow through involvement in Scouting. Outside my roles in Sutton I have also been Manager of the National Catholic Scout Fellowship and believe it is important to give young people the opportunity for spiritual development and exploring their beliefs.
Outside Scouting I have a wife, three children and a dog living with me and was born and brought up in Carshalton. I enjoy walking, reading (particularly golden age detective fiction and political biography) and probably too much good food and wine, particularly when we can get back to France again. I am also a keen rugby fan, and have a season ticket at Harlequins. I work in finance in the real estate sector.