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Blog | 11 December 2023

Celebrating The Chief Scout’s Unsung Heroes 2023

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We’re so proud of all our Scouts who’ve earned an Unsung Heroes Award this year from Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.

On Friday 8 December, the recipients and their families got together at the Bear Grylls Adventure at Birmingham NEC. They were recognised personally by Chief Scout Bear Grylls for their achievements.

Ranging in age from 5 to 23, these amazing young people earned their awards for a variety of skills and endeavours. Whether they fundraised, used their emergency aid skills, or showed incredible resilience, they’ve received a £500 prize, funded by Bear himself, along with a certificate, Never Give Up badge, neckerchief and copy of Bear’s new book – Do Your Best: How to be a Scout.

As well as being honoured by Bear on the day, they got to take part in activities from climbing and archery to snorkelling and indoor freefall at the centre.

These young people have truly gone above and beyond, showing our values and making amazing contributions to Scouts, their families and communities.

We also want to congratulate everyone who’s been nominated for an award this year. We receive hundreds of nominations each year, and every single one of them showcases how our incredible young people use their skills for life.

We’re so proud of all our Scouts, so give yourselves a huge pat on the back!

The image shows Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, stood with the 2023 Unsung Heroes. They're all in Scout uniform and pictured in front of an artificial tree with string lights above their heads. They're all smiling at the camera and to the left of them is a Scouts branded post, saying 'Together, we can do so much' and 'Skills for Life'.
Chief Scout Bear Grylls with our 2023 Unsung Heroes
  • Thomas, 5
  • Harrison, 6
  • Matilda, 7
  • Maddie, 7
  • Jack, 8
  • Evelyn, 9
  • Max, 10
  • Francesca, 10
  • Caspian, 10
  • Ernest, 11
  • Lexy’Dee, 12
  • Abbie, 13
  • Hannah, 15
  • Saim, 17
  • David, 17
  • Cameron, 18
  • Millie, 18
  • Matthew, 18
  • Drew, 20
  • Georgie, 23

Here's how a few of these remarkable young people earned their awards

7-year-old Maddie used the skills she learned from Stage 1 of her Emergency Aid Staged Activity Badge to go above and beyond. When her sister had a seizure, Maddie raised the alarm, put her sister in the recovery position, called and waited for an ambulance. Maddie was cool and calm throughout the whole situation and massively supported her family. Maddie’s mum is incredibly proud and grateful for Maddie learning these life-saving skills.

10-year-old Max was recognised for his bravery and calm thinking when he realised his dad was seriously injured, guiding his dad into a nearby pub to get help. When he calmly told his mum what happened, Max spent 35 minutes guiding her to the nearest hospital using Maps on her phone. Max kept checking on his dad, making sure he remained conscious, while reassuring his little brother. Max’s bravery kept everyone calm that day and is truly inspiring. 

Chief Scout Bear Grylls is pictured with Unsung Hero award recipient Georgie. Bear is wearing a red, white and navy necker, and Georgie is stood to his right, wearing a purple and orange necker. Georgie's holding a certificate in her left hand.
Chief Scout Bear Grylls with Unsung Hero, Georgie

10-year-old Francesca has been fundraising since she was 6. In 2019, she cut her long hair and donated it to the Little Princess Trust, who make wigs, to support her friend who had a brain tumour. She also raised £864 for Candlelighters, a charity that supports children with cancer. After meeting her favourite author, Onjali Rauf, and learning of her work with refugees, Francesca was determined to fundraise again. As well as donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust again, she raised £450 for Onjali’s charity that supports refugees.

11-year-old Ernest has Achondroplasia (Dwarfism), but he’s never once let that stop him. He’s amazingly brave, resilient, and determined. To celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year, he brought his Section red envelopes with chocolate coins so they could all celebrate together. He considers Scouts to be an extension of his family and he inspires everyone.

The image shows Chief Scout Bear Grylls stood with 2023 Unsung Hero award recipient, Ernest. Both are smiling at the camera, with Bear wearing a red, white and navy necker. Ernest is wearing glasses and his Scout shirt with badges on, as well as a purple and orange necker. Ernest is holding a certificate and a Never Give Up badge in his right hand.
Chief Scout Bear Grylls with Unsung Hero, Ernest

12-year-old Lexy’Dee and her family experienced a house fire and sadly lost many of their belongings. Since then, Lexy’s shown incredible determination and kept on attending Scouts. She helps out each week and has shown great courage and bravery. She’s a brilliant role model, not letting her challenges get in the way and by working so hard at Scouts.

17-year-old Saim helped set up and start a local Scout Group with his mum in 2019, with Scouts being a new concept to his local Muslim community. With Saim’s passion and determination, the whole community got on board. Saim’s been at his mum’s side since the beginning, and he's a real advocate of Scouts and an excellent role model. He’s been able to give young people in the community a real sense of purpose.

The image shows two copies of Chief Scout Bear Grylls' new book, Do Your Best: How to be a Scout, with a purple 'Never Give Up' badge on top of the cover. The books are laid on a wooden surface with one book on top of the other.
Each Unsung Hero received a copy of Chief Scout Bear Grylls' latest book, Do Your Best: How to be a Scout, along with a Never Give Up badge.

17-year-old David contracted a rare form of cancer. Following a big operation and months of chemo, he continued to receive treatments to rebuild his immune system. David lost a lot of weight and had to use a wheelchair. Despite this, he still regularly attended Explorers when he could, even going on a gorge walk. Throughout his treatment, David continued to inspire his friends and find an inner strength. His positive approach to his daily challenges has had a significant impact on his unit, who've supported him through his treatment and recovery. 

18-year-old Millie had a serious operation and sadly suffered a stroke, which left her unable to use her right side. After being in hospital for several months, Millie’s now able to return to Scouts. Although she still has some difficulties, she never gives up and proves that you can always carry on. Scouts was a massive part of her life before her operation and still is today. She’s now a volunteer with Beavers and despite facing such life changing events, Millie tackles everything with positivity and is an inspiration to all.

We’re so proud

Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, said: ‘I’m so proud of everything you’ve achieved. All of you prove that, as Scouts, together we can do so much. You are the never give uppers and inspire us with your incredible courage and kindness.'

A huge well done once again to all our 2023 Unsung Heroes.

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