Meet The District Team

Tony Lyall
District Commissioner

My Scouting journey started in 1963 when I joined the 3rd WGC as a Wolf Cub, moving on to Scouts and then becoming a member of the District Venture Scout Unit.

I took on my first Leadership role in 1973 as an ACSL at the 3rd WGC which as it turned was only the start! In the years that followed I was a leader with Muntjac Venture Scout Unit for close on 27 years whilst at the same time also holding several appointments at Group, District and County level.

In 2002 I took a sabbatical from Scouting to pursue other interests returning in 2012 to take up a role with the Scout Association as well as Chairman of the Management Committee’s for Hertfordshire Scouts three ‘out of County’ Activity Centre’s

Currently I am District Commissioner in Mid Herts and a Director & Trustee of the Scout Association Trust Corporation



Pete Armstrong
District Youth Commissioner

Hi, I’m Pete and I am the District Youth Commissioner for Mid Herts. I am here to work with all of the young people from Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and the Scout Network.

I have been in scouting since joining Beavers in 2006. I then continued to work my way through the movement in cubs, scouts, young leader and now apart of the scout network along side my other role in scouting as an assistant cub leader with the 1st Welwyn Garden City Scout Group.

I enjoy seeing the great experiences that the young people get out of scouting and all the achievements that come with scouting. It is also great to be able to pass on my experiences and oppotunities to the new generation of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Young Leaders and Scout Network.


Sophie Gray
Deputy District Youth Commissioner
Karen Gaskell
Assistant District Commissioner - Beavers

Mum to 4 children, all of whom having been in Scouting or Girl Guides.

I started my journey as Brownie, worked my way through to Venture Scouts.

Returned as a parent helper back in 2001, eventually went into uniform back at my old Venture Scout group in Hornchurch as Beaver Leader, moved to Hertfordshire in 2017, where after a period of time applied for position of ADC Beavers.

Jayden Constable
Assistant District Commissioner - Cubs

My Scouting journey began in 2011 when I joined the 11th Welwyn Garden City scout group as part of the scout section. As a relatively late joiner to the scout movement at age 12, my time in scouts was brief but showed me all of the great things scouting had to offer such as camps, shooting, kayaking and an overnight sleepover on the HMS Belfast which is still a cherished memory to this day.

After a brief hiatus from scouting starting in late 2013 to fully focus on my studies, I returned to the movement in October 2017 as an occasional helper for the cubs and scouts section at the 2nd/7th Welwyn Garden City. Little did I know that after three years, I would be the section leader for cubs and would have taken up the mantle of ADC Cubs for Mid Herts district.

I believe that Scouting should be fun and adventurous where young people can learn new skills in a safe but challenging environment. I fully believe in the aims of the Scouting movement as it provides skills for life and allows for young people to enjoy the outdoors, take part in everyday adventures and make friendships that will last for life.

Peter Callaby
Assistant District Commissioner - Scouts
Keith Ingrey
District Explorer Scout Commissioner
Nicola Coleman
District Scout Network Commissioner

I joined the Scout Network group as a member when I was 22-years-old, having never been involved in Scouting before. I loved every minute of it, and soon became hooked! Within 18 months of being invested, I had completed my Queen’s Scout Award – the highest award you can achieve as a member. The things I enjoyed most were the hiking challenges that we took part in, and being part of the service crew at a local activity centre.

Once I turned 25 and it was time to move on, I was approached by the DC at the time, and asked whether I would be interested in taking over as Network leader. I have been in this role for 5 years now, and enjoy working with other Network leaders around the County, to deliver a varied programme for our young people.

Penny Paton
District Active Support Commissioner

My Scouting started back in 1988 when my son became a Cub Scout.  I soon became Assistant Cub Scout Leader, then Cub Scout Leader for 10 years. (During which time I also helped with Beavers for 18 months). For the next two years I was acting Group Scout Leader. This was followed by 5 years as District Secretary and 5 years as Assistant District Commissioner Media.  After retiring I have continued to be part of the Active Support Unit and help when and where I can.

Matt Royall
Assistant District Commissioner - Activities

I joined the Scouts as a cub at 1st WGC well before Beavers was invented! Progressing through the sections I was then an Assistant Cub Scout Leader, Assistant Scout Leader and Scout Leader and with the Group for 15 years before joining the District Team as ADC Scouts and Ventures. With the introduction of Explorer Scouts I was Explorer Scout Commissioner for 10 years before side-stepping to my current role.


I basically look after activities for the district as well as looking after Nights Away Permits. I also organise the Mid Herts Night Hike and various hillwalking weekends and events.


I’m a plumber in real life and if you can’t find me, I’ll probably be up a mountain.

Mark Blackburn
Assistant District Commissioner - Development & Growth

I joined Scouting at the age of 6 (1986) as one of the first Beavers in the District at 1st Welwyn.
I went through Cubs then Scouts and Joined the Venture Scout Unit at 2nd Welwyn and became an Assistant Beaver Scout leader at 1st Welwyn.

I moved away from the district and held various assistant leader roles including some time in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

I re-joined the District in 2009 at 3rd Hatfield as Assistant Scout Leader then Scout Leader.

In 2015 I joined the District Team as I wanted to help support this amazing District that had done so much for me.

My love of Scouting and the outdoors especially roled into my work life and I have been in the outdoor clothing and equipment industry for the last 16 years.

I want the public to know how Scouting continues to open young people’s eyes to a world of extraordinary promise and possibilities.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls