Week by week, our volunteers empower young people to learn new skills, make new friends and stand on their own two feet. They’re our everyday heroes. They shape young people’s lives for the better, and find out a whole lot about themselves in the process, too.
Paul RobinsonGroup Scout Leader
Paul started Scouting in Warwickshire as a Cub Scout, progressing to be a Sea Scout then latterly a Venture Scout, 11 years in total.
Paul has worked as a Police Officer since 1993 having worked in Warwickshire Constabulary, The Metropolitan Police Service and for the last 15 years Avon and Somerset Constabulary. Paul has experience both good and bad but all have been valuable which has developed his positive ‘can do’ problem solving attitude.
He has two young boys who are both living out of the area and are unable to join West Monkton. Despite this, Paul still believes that he has an opportunity to give something back to Scouting following his very positive experiences as a young person within Scouts.
Paul is passionate about Scouting and believes that the skills learned and the friends made will be of life long benefit, just as he has benefited. He is committed to moving West Monkton Scout Group forward and to provide the drive to ‘get the task done’.
Due to the shifts Paul works he struggles to commit to being a Section Leader however finds the Group Scout Leader Role can fit into his busy schedule.
Sean EllettSection Leader | Cub Scouts
Sean was a Cub and a Scout in the 1970’s with East Taunton, moved to West Monkton as a parent helper in 2001 and trained as an Assistant Beaver Leader. Sean moved to Central in 2002 and become an Assistant Cub Leader and became Cub Leader in 2008.
Sean and family moved to West Monkton in April 2011 as the group was due to close due to lack of leadership and Cubs! Sean & team built the pack up to then introduce a 2nd Cup Pack on Thursday evenings. A change of Leadership in 2016 Sean became Group Scout Leader for 2 years before returning as Cub Scout Leader in 2018 to the present day. Sean was also an Assistant District Cub Scout Leader for five years and is one of the District Archery instructors. In January 2019 joined the County Team as County Assistant Commissioner – Programmes.
From July 1st 2020, Sean changed his role to Thursday Cub Leader, (Akela) moving from Wednesday night after Steph had retired. Sean believes Scouting should be fun, adventurous, where young people can learn in a safe but challenging environment. From Camping, Hiking, Climbing and abseiling to name a few, each Young Person can gain in confidence, character and self-esteem.
Matt EllettSection Leader | Scouts
Matt is a ‘born and bred’ Scouter. Since Beaver Scouts, he has always enjoyed the chance to get outdoors, camping, hiking, climbing amongst other activities. At the age of 18, Matt became an assistant Cub Scout Leader before deciding to take on the commitment of becoming the Scout Leader. Still learning but also able to share some of the knowledge and experience that he had previously gained.
Matt’s main role in Scouting is that of Scout Leader and his aim is to provide as many Young People as possible to have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, take part in adventurous activities, learn skills for life and make lifelong lasting friendships.
Professionally Matt works as a Territory Sales Manager for Diversey providing cleaning and hygiene solutions to customers in the hospitality, healthcare, food and beverage, food service, retail and facility management sectors.
Steph HawesSection Leader | Cub Scouts
Steph is a mother of two who started helping out at Central Taunton when her youngest, Gemma, was in Beavers. Once her daughter was in cubs Steph decided to take up a more permanent role within scouting as an Assistant Cub Scout Leader. For a few years, she remained at Central, with her eldest child, Chris, becoming a Young Leader as Gemma became a Scout. Steph then moved to West Monkton Scout Group, which led to her opening and developing the second cub pack with the other leaders in the section. As Sean became GSL, Steph decided it was time to step up a role and become a CSL on Thursday nights. For over a year she worked with Myra (who was CSL of Wednesday nights) and now she works with Sean who took over Myra’s position.
Steph worked with children in a nursery for over 10 years so has a lot of experience to pass onto other leaders. She loves working with children and helping them develop their skills to become independent individuals. She believes Cubs really gives children a place to be themselves so they can find their feet and discover exactly who they away from their parents. She now works in the kitchen at Monkton Elm Garden Centre which she has done for over 3 years.
Rosie DaveySection Leader | Beaver Scouts
Rosie started as a Brownie aged 7 and continued as a Guide until she changed to Explorer Scouts at the age of 13. After taking a break for college, she returned to Scouting as an Assistant Beaver Leader with West Monkton, becoming section leader in 2017.
Her interests vary widely, from animal care and management (including taking care of her 4 Dalmatians and 2 bee colonies), to performing on stage – singing and dancing as part of the Taunton Scout and Guide Gang Show, and even making props and costumes for the show (such as a pair of full size Daleks and a Mammoth in 2019).
Scouting continues to be one of the most rewarding aspects of Rosie’s life. She takes great satisfaction in seeing the personal growth of the children as they go through the early stages of Scouting, and endeavours to provide them with positive experiences that give them the skills and belief to continue into Cubs and beyond.
Siobhan EllettSection Leader | Cub Scouts
Siobhan joined as a Beaver and progressed through all sections to become an Cub Scout Leader. Siobhan has completed her Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond D of E’s whilst at school & college along side the Scouting awards and completed the highest award in Scouting – The Queens Scout Award in 2016. Siobhan is also an Outdoor and Water Sports Instructor which enables young people to experience new adventures.
Siobhan likes to encourage the Cubs especially, to believe in themselves in helping them to become more confident, to try something that they have never done before and have fun. Through the week Siobhan works as a Nursery Practitioner working with children ages 1-3 this involves supporting the children in their development and caring for their needs. Working with Children is something that Siobhan enjoys whether 9-5 or in Cubs especially out and about trying something new!
Myra EllettAssistant Section Leader | Cub Scouts
Myra started in Scouting as a parent helper when her youngest Siobhan joined Beavers at Central. Matt (son) was then in Cubs and Sean (husband) was a Cub leader. Her thoughts were ‘if you can’t beat them, then join them’! Myra became an Assistant Scout Leader in 2004 with Central which she thoroughly enjoyed. On moving to West Monkton in 2011 as the group was due to close, Myra continued her role but did step up to Cub Scout Leader as Sean moved to Group Scout Leader. Sean has since returned to Cub Scout Leader as he missed the weekly meetings interacting with the Cubs and Myra has returned to ACSL.
Myra feels that Scouting has helped enormously with both her children gain in confidence and independence. Matt is now Scout Leader of Wednesday & Thursday nights with a group of excellent leaders and Deputy County Commissioner for Perception. Siobhan has gained all her D of E’s including Diamond and her Queens Scout Award. Siobhan will be taking over Wednesday nights as Akela whilst Sean returns to become Akela of Thursday nights. Myra is very proud of her family and feels that Scouting as had a massive influence in their lives and continues to do so.
Why do we do this? – The answer is easy!
The children are our future, they learn lots of new skills, make new friends, teamwork, independence, experience things that they wouldn’t do with their parents and much more! Myra feels that those Cubs that need extra support have a massive sense of achievement when they complete a task which shows in beaming smiles!
Through the week Myra works full time as a co-ordinator at MPH which can be very stressful at times. Myra feels that engaging with the Cub section keeps her feeling young and agile(ish)!
Andy CoyAssistant Section Leader | Scouts
Andy has been involved in Scouting from birth, if not slightly before, due to both parents being part of the organisation. He was a Cub and then a Scout before moving into the Army Cadets, although while in the Cadets he still helped out with Cubs. Before moving to Taunton in Oct 2016 Andy was a Beaver Leader at 5 th Lichfield then moving on to Scouts with 7 th Lichfield. He joined West Monkton Scouts in May 2017 slightly after his 2 daughters who have been Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.
Andy is a member of HM Forces and is currently based at RNAS Yeovilton as a helicopter simulator tactics instructor, he spent the previous 15 years flying Army helicopters operationally after qualifying as an Army pilot in 2000. Prior to that he was an infantryman in the 1 st Bn The Staffordshire Regt, serving with the Battalion in various places around the world both hot and cold, not always temperature related!
Andy is involved in Scouting to use his experiences to prepare young people for the challenges ahead of them in life. He passionately believes that membership of Scouts and the activities the young people have the opportunity to be involved in have benefits way beyond into adult life, building responsible young adults that can give back to the community. He also believes in having enormous fun while doing it, and not taking life too seriously;-).
Matt-Ryan MontaneAssistant Section Leader | Scouts
Matt has always loved health, adventure and the outdoors. Matt enjoys rock climbing, ice climbing and high-altitude mountaineering. Matt’s greatest outdoor achievement is climbing Western Europe’s highest mountain Mont Blanc at a height of 4810m, truly the hardest and most physically demanding adventure that he has ever completed.
Outside of Matt ‘s adventurous life he works as a Store Manager in the health and nutrition industry where he gets to share his knowledge and passion for Health and Fitness.
Growing up as a young person Matt joined the army cadets and developed life changing skills and more importantly made INCREDIBLE memories. Matt is now a Troop Assistant and can think of nothing better than sharing the skills he has developed in the outdoors and in life with the next generation, so THEY can be the BEST version of themselves.
Mike DavisAssistant Section Leader | Cub Scouts
Mike is a Civil Servant and has been an Assistant Cub Scout Leader for over 4 years. Mike joined when his daughter started Cubs so that he could enjoy the experience with her and undertake activities that he wouldn’t get to do otherwise.
She has now moved onto Scouts and Mike is now enjoying seeing his son go through Cubs with the same enjoyment.
As a child Mike was a Cub in Saudi Arabia and a Scout locally in Cheddar, Mike loves it now as much as he did as a child.
Laura WillettsAssistant Section Leader | Scouts
As an Occupational Therapist, Laura believes in the saying “you are what you do” and describes her job role as; teaching skills for the job of living. Laura joined West Monkton Scout group in January 2017 after moving to Somerset to pursue working in Children and Adolescence Mental Health services. Laura has identified that her favourite part of Scouts are the camps, as this really gives the chance to experience the adventure of trying new activities whilst allowing the Scouts the opportunity to expand their socialisation in a different kind of environment. She recognises that one of best elements to being an ASL is watching the Scouts develop into the confident and enthusiastic young people that they are today.
Matt NormanAssistant Section Leader | Scouts
Starting as a Beaver, Matt has been in Scouting since the age of 6 and has loved every minute of it! After being a Young Leader with Cubs, at the age of 18, he became an Assistant Beaver Leader. In October 2019 – after seeing what the incredibly dedicated leadership team at West Monkton do, Matt joined the group as an Assistant Scout Leader. He believes that being able to see the Scouts enjoying themselves and developing into independent young people is something that you cannot get anywhere else and he feels privileged to be able to work with them.
Outside of West Monkton, Matt is the District Youth Commissioner – working with the District Team to ensure that young people are actively involved with decisions, that are made within our local area. He is an active member of the Huish Woods team, regularly running Archery, Zip Wire and Climbing sessions for visiting groups.
In the time that he is not Scouting, Matt works as an IT Support Engineer, providing IT services to businesses across Somerset.
James GriffithsAssistant Section Leader | Beavers
James has have been a member of West Monkton Scout Group since May 2006, making his way through Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, as a Young Leader and now an Adult Leader.
Throughout the whole duration of his time as a Young Leader, James has been with the Beaver Section. This has allowed James to develop his leadership skills within this section and to learn how things are done. James feels that the leadership team have a vital role in all sections to help prepare the young people with skills for the future. He enjoys being able to see the changes in their confidence and being a part of it as an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader.
Through the week James is a trainee electrical engineer and food & beverage assistant and enjoys anything digital on the computer or camera. James is often behind a camera, taking some great shots that are found on the website or on our ‘closed’ facebook page.
Lauren ArmesAssistant Section Leader | Scouts
Lauren started at West Monkton in 2015 and has an inherent passion and enthusiasm for the outdoor life. She believes that Scouting provides a second family to lots of young people. It’s a safe place where they can aspire and grow.
Outside of Scouting life, Lauren works as a Pre-School assistant at a Nusery and is committed to a high standard of childcare and will ensure that high standards are promoted throughout.
Mandy SandersAssistant Section Leader | Beaver Scouts
Mandy is an Office Manager at a local law firm and has previous experience with looked after children who have been in difficult situations. She was a long-standing Guide leader until last 2018 when she decided she wanted a break and a rest. However, that didn’t last long as she joined Beavers in January 2019 and has now become as Assistant Beaver Leader at West Monkton.
Mandy believes children should experience as many opportunities as possible that challenge their skills and gain in confidence, character and self-esteem alongside making it fun. She is keen to learn and is currently undertaking her Wood Badge which she hopes to complete shortly.
Mandy has always been involved as a child through watching her own daughter through Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. Watching her daughter progress into a young lady who has learnt so many life skills through Guiding and Scouting.
Cat CannAssistant Section Leader | Beaver Scouts
Catherine (or sometime known as Cat) is an Conveyancing Assistant for a local law firm she deals with Clients who wish to purchase a New Build Home within the vast areas of the County and South West region.
She loves amateur dramatics and dancing and has been a member of Taunton Scout and Gang Show for the last 18 years, she enjoys Scouting and feels that there is lots of opportunity for her to learn and share her experiences and skills. Having been in Girl Guiding for the whole of her childhood time and progressing to becoming a Brownie leader and running her own unit for several years. Cat joined West Monkton Beavers a number of years ago but took last year out as she was getting married. She returned to Beavers in January 2019.
Cat loves having fun and enjoys watching the smiles on children's faces. At the end of the day it is important they learn and have fun.
Jemma MillerAssistant Section Leader | Beaver & Cub Scouts
Jemma strongly believes the opportunities provided within scouting enrich the life’s of children and young people and support them in reaching their full potential. The skills developed in scouting may also support them to address any life challenges they may face.
With every challenge faced, the Beavers confidence and self esteem grows. Each time Jemma witnesses a child’s joy from achieving their goals, or reaching personal achievements, her enthusiasm for the role increases. Jemma will never tire from witnesssing the development of children and young people as they progress through scouting. Jemma describes the role of an Assistant Leader as one of the most rewarding roles she has ever held.
Jemma believes scouting is a platform which promotes equality of opportunity for all children and young people. Jemma’s passion remains with children who have disabilities and believes scouting can lead change in social exclusion and remove the limitations that are all to often placed on those with disabilities.
Outside of Scouting Jemma works at Musgrove Park Hospital as a Social Worker within Adult Social Care.
Leila MilesAssistant Section Leader | Cub Scouts
Leila has been at West Monkton since she was a Beaver and has progressed through the sections, now being an adult leader within the Cub section.
Outside of Scouting Leila is a waitress at the Griffin Harvester, and is at Somerset University studying Early Childhood studies – a course that will further guide her skills and knowledge of the young people in and around the Cubs, and help to enhance their Scouting experience. She hopes to become a Primary School teacher in the future.
Izzie FairhurstAssistant Section Leader | Scouts
Izzie started at West Monkton in 2018 as a Young Leader for the Cubs and has since then continued to progress into becoming an Assistant Leader for the Scouts. She thoroughly enjoys exploring the outside world and being able to learn new skills through Scouting, especially when able to do this alongside young people. Izzie loves the opportunities that Scouting provides and being able to assist in the development and growth of our younger generation.
Outside of Scouting, Izzie’s main job is based at Hestercombe Gardens where she assists with the catering and events around the site.
Jason GageSection Assistant | Cub Scouts
Jason started in Scouting at aged 8 as a Cub with Central Taunton. Next into Scouts with Central and then continued with Staplegrove.
Jason is married with 3 Children; one currently in Scouts, one in Cubs and one in Beavers and is a Community Pharmacist. Jason is a Colony Assistant in Beavers, enjoys adventure, to share it as it is great fun! Jason feels his favourite activity is sleeping under the stars whilst at the woods, a time to appreciate and reflect.
Jason CornellSection Assistant | Cub Scouts
Jason started at West Monkton Scout group early in 2015 as a parent helper for Beavers. At the time Jason had a son in the Beaver colony. In 2016, after undertaking training, he was invested as Beaver Colony Assistant and given the name Buford.
Jason has found his time at time at West Monkton Scout group a very rewarding experience, he feels privileged to be a part of a team as works in Taunton mostly on his own. Jason likes to help and encourage young people to learn life skills through fun filled activities.
Jason has two children in Scouting and in 2019 he has now joined Cubs as Baloo as a Pack Assistant, to continue his scouting journey with West Monkton
Sharon DaviesSection Assistant | Cub Scouts
Through the week Sharon works as a Team Leader in the Admissions Dept at MPH which is a very busy and sometimes very stressful department.
Sharon works with Myra and heard a lot about West Monkton and all the fantastic things the Ellett family and others do for the children, She thought ” if you can’t beat them join them” and have thoroughly enjoyed Wednesday evenings ever since!
Steve WhiteSection Assistant | Scouts
Steve has been a member of Scouting since 2014. Throughout his time, he has been the Scout Section, which has allowed him to share the outdoor skills he developed with the next generation; to be the best versions of themselves.
Chris MiddletonSection Assistant | Scouts
Chris wanted to be a Scout Leader because he attended Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers and loved every minute of it and is training to be an Assistant Scout Leader.
Chris is a delivery driver through the week and feels that this is his way of giving something back!
Barney BennetSection Assistant | Scouts
Ryan GomesSection Assistant | Scouts
Ryan chose to volunteer as a Troop Assistant so that he could give back to his local community and to pass on some of the knowledge and skills he has learnt throughout his life. Being able to support young people at a stage in their lives when they are making important decisions is a real privilege.
Ryan is a Health and Safety Manager through the week and feels that this can be an advantage when risks assessments are in being instigated.
Nadia DeanSection Assistant | Cubs
Ann-Marie KitchenerExecutive Committee | Group Chair
Anne-Marie is a teacher at Richard Huish College. Anne-Marie joined the group in the beginning as a parent helper because of being so incredibly impressed by the hard work and dedication of the Scouting leaders and found that she really enjoys spending time with the young people.
Michelle MilesExecutive Committee | Group Secretary
Michelle joined scouting as both her children have attended Beavers, Cubs and Scouts with one child being a YL and adult leader.
Michelle started out as an ad-hoc parent helper but that then ended up with becoming Group Secretary and weekly helper! She mainly attends Scouts on a Wednesday but helps out on Thursdays with either Scouts or Cubs when they are short.
She works at the local Police Station and has been for all her working life. Seeing how children can become in this day and age, I feel privileged that I can see all so many children able to grow through Scouting into resourceful, hardworking, confident and resilient young adults is worth every second.
Evie FYoung Leader | Scouts
Evie is at secondary school and currently studying for her GCSE’s. She joined Scouts in October 2015 and has enjoyed every moment since. She believes that everyone should be given opportunities to experience everything around them.
Ever since joining Scouts, Evie has grown in confidence. She feels that the leadership team has a vital role in all sections to prepare young people with skills for life.
This year Evie is training to complete her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Aimee MYoung Leader | Scouts
Aimee joined West Monkton as a Cub and is now starting her journey as a Young Leader. Her favourite part of Scouting has always been the camps! Summer camp, winter camp and the District camps. You come home feeling exhausted but with great memories. Aimee has made some great friends through Scouting and she enjoys every minute.
Jack JYoung Leader | Cubs
Jack is at senior school and stayed on as a Young Leader because he wants to give others the wealth of opportunities that he had throughout his time in a scouting. Jack chose to stay at West Monkton because he likes the leadership team and how well they organise events.
Jessica AYoung Leader | Scouts
Jess became a YL because she likes to help children gain their confidence, make new friends and to just have a good time. What made Jess carry on at West Monkton is that during Scouts there was always fun things planned for them to do. For example there was I’m a scout get me out of here , hunger games camp and many more. .
Katie BYoung Leader | Cubs
Katie joined West Monkton as a Cub and is now starting her journey as a Young Leader. Katie wanted to become a YL because she didn’t want to leave West Monkton! Also she wanted to try something new and be able to develop herself and help others.
Antonia KYoung Leader | Scouts
Emily KYoung Leader | Cubs
Grace HYoung Leader | Beavers
Lex PYoung Leader | Cubs
Izzy CYoung Leader | Cubs
Amy SYoung Leader | Cubs
Jack MYoung Leader | Cubs
Amber RYoung Leader | Cubs
Amber joined West Monkton as a Scout back in September 2017 and is now starting her journey as a Young Leader with the Cub Section. Equally happy getting involved in the sun or taking on the challenge of icy Winter conditions, Amber’s passion lies in helping others to overcome their fears and achieve their aims in the outdoors.