Our Team

We have a large dedicated group of adult volunteers throughout the Group making Scouting possible at West Monkton!

Our Team

Paul Robinson
Group 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 benefitted. 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 Ellett
Section Leader | Cubs Wednesday

Sean is a Territory Sales Manager with Diversey and have been with the Company since 1998 since starting with the company as an engineer.

He 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 since 2008 Sean became an Archery instructor.

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 Ellett
Section Leader | Scouts

Matt is a ‘born and bred’ Scouter, involved since Beavers and has progressed through all the sections to adult leadership. During his time in Scouting, Matt has held a number of roles including an Assistant Cub Scout Leader and Training Advisor. He is now the Scout Leader of both nights at West Monkton and Assistant County Commissioner in Communications.

Matt took over West Monkton Scouts at 18 years old being the youngest Scout Leader in the area due the original leader leaving and a handful of Scouts that needed support. Over 6 years later and building up a full leadership team, there are now more than 70 Scouts on both nights enjoying the fun and friendship of Scouting.

On top of his role as Scout Leader, he also looks after the website, communications, media and digital technology within the Group.

Professionally Matt works as a Territory Sales Manager for Diversey; providing smart sustainable solutions for cleaning and hygiene in the South West.

Steph Hawes
Section Leader | Cubs Thursday

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 Davey
Section Leader | Beavers

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.

 

Myra Ellett
Assistant Section Leader | Cub Scouts

Andy Coy
Assistant 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;-).

Mike Davis
Assistant 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.

Siobhan Ellett
Assistant Section Leader | Cub Scouts

Siobhan joined as a Beaver and progressed through all sections to become an Assistant 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!

 

Laura Willetts
Assistant 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.

Chris Middleton
Assistant Section Leader | 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!

Lauren Armes
Assistant 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.

 

Ellen Messenger
Assistant Section Leader | Scouts

Ellen is new to Scouts and has started as a Leader. Growing up Ellen was part of St John’s Cadets achieving her Grand Prior, 100+hrs of duty service and first aid level 3. In addition to this Ellen was promoted to corporal and then acting sergeant. This involved running evenings and events.

She hopes to attend uni studying occupational therapy. Being part of Scouts allows Ellen to build the skills required for this profession whilst simultaneously having fun! Ellen believes the best part of Scouts in the camps. It is fun, and an educational way to interact and get to know the Scouts as individuals.

Mandy Sanders
Assistant Section Leader | Beavers

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.

Catherine Cann
Assistant Section Leader | Beavers

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 Miller
Assistant Section Leader | Beavers

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.

Jason Gage
Section Assistant | Beavers

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 Cornell
Section 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 Davies
Section 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!

 

Matt-Ryan Montane
Section Assistant | Scouts

The OTHER Matt!
Matt-Ryan!

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.

Steve White
Section 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.

James Griffiths
Section Assistant | Scouts

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.
Although the Beaver section is his favourite section, where the young persons adventure begins in scouting James has now joined the Scout section seeing how the Scouts are more independent and encouraged to try many more experiences. 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 a Troop Assistant.

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.

 

Ryan Gomes
Section 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.

Ann-Marie Kitchener
Executive 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.

 

Doug James
Executive Committee | Group Treasurer

Doug is Finance Manager for J&K Aquatics Ltd having joined the company in March 2017.

He has been group treasurer since 2016 and is an active member of the executive team.

He has three children all involved in the group, a Cub, a Scout and a Young Leader.

Michelle Miles
Executive 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.

 

Jane Holcombe
Executive Committee | Fundraising

Jane became part of West Monkton Scout Group in 2013 when her daughter joined Beavers. She loves the way Scouting supports individuals to develop life skills. Jane has enjoyed watching her own children experience new adventures and develop key skills which they have been able to use outside of Scouts. Jane joined the Executive Committee as a parent rep and helps to oversee fundraising.

Maggie Cornell
Executive Committee | Blues & Clothing
Gareth Jones
Executive Committee | Behaviour
Leila
Young Leader | Cubs

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.

Katie D
Young Leader | Scouts

Katie is currently at senior school studying for her GCSE’s. She started Scouts at the age of 10.5 and has stayed on as a Young Leader as she feels like giving back to West Monkton after all the opportunities they have given her.

Evie
Young 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
Young 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
Young 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
Young Leader | Cubs

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 B
Young 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
Young Leader | Cubs

Emily
Young Leader | Cubs

Rachel Yarde
Section Assistant | Scouts

Izzie
Young Leader | Cubs
Grace
Young Leader | Beavers
Lex
Young Leader | Cubs

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls