To Fellow Scouters and Supporters of Suffolk Scouts

Dear all,

I am delighted to announce that we have a new County Commissioner to lead Suffolk from early 2022. His name is Howard Blackett.

You may now be thinking “I don’t recognise that name…….”

That would be because Howard saw our role advert on social media and enquired if we might appreciate an application from him, despite having no Scouting experience. He demonstrated during the selection process to be someone with huge leadership and management experience, through headships of independent secondary schools in UK and Zimbabwe. He is passionate about developing young people through happy and supportive communities – for which we can substitute sections, groups and districts.

Howard recently came to the end of his formal employment and was looking for a significant role in the voluntary sector, ideally engaged with young people. What better opportunity than Suffolk Scouts?  He has been actively associated for many years during his career with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Outward Bound activities.

Recognising his lack of Scouting experience, we have spent time designing a bespoke induction programme and accelerated access to our training scheme, between the New Year and the end of March 2022.

In the coming weeks, he will become Deputy District Commissioner – General Duties in Deben (Howard and his family live near Woodbridge), working closely with Gary Burden and his team during January and February. This period is designed to introduce Howard to the workings of sections, groups and districts, without the full responsibilities of the county or a CC’s inbox… 😉

To facilitate and support these plans, Keith Barber has generously agreed to continue in post as our Acting County Commissioner until the end of March. He will resume his significant DCC duties at that time with our sincere thanks.

As from early March 2022, Howard will assume the role of DCC, as he takes time to understand the workings and links within the County structure. The plan is for Howard is to go live as our CC on/around 1st April 2022.

Whilst he is progressing with his induction, he has no intention of keeping himself to himself. Following early meetings with our DCCs, DCs and Peter Jones and the Executive team, Howard will be delighted to meet as many people as possible across the county, either at events or introductory meetings.

Finally, I was going to apologise for the length of this announcement, but that wouldn’t be right. This is an entirely positive process and it’s important that we all understand “the plan” so that we can welcome, support and encourage Howard in any way we can.

Howard, please accept our best wishes, as we welcome yourself and your wife Susie to Suffolk Scouts!



Graham Woolley, Regional Commissioner, East of England

P.S. Just in case you need to contact Howard, his details are as follows:

Mob: 07579 781822


He has also kindly supplied a photo, so we can get to recognise him when he’s out and about 😉: 

P.P.S. I would like to thank my CC Search and Selection Team colleagues for their support throughout this process. It has been a pleasure to work with you all!