Janet Winslow RIP

13 July 2019


Janet Winslow 1946-2019

It is with huge regret that we have to announce the passing of Janet Winslow after a short but brave battle with cancer. She was 73.

Janet took out her first adult appointment with the Cub Scout Section at 7th Hornchurch in 1964, meaning that this year she would have celebrated 55 years as an adult volunteer in Scouting. An amazing achievement.

For three years while at university studying teacher training in Leeds she also became a Cub Scout Leader there, but as a lifelong Methodist Janet’s spiritual Scouting home was always 7th Hornchurch. Working with the legendary Terry & Shirley Palmer she was a major driving force putting Cub Scouting on the map locally and helping to run a large and lively section.

However, Janet’s biggest contribution and her lasting legacy is to the Beaver Scout Section in Hornchurch. Beaver Scouting in the UK only officially began in 1984, but Janet was always ahead of her time and established the first ever Beaver Colony at 7th Hornchurch in 1983! She helped run this Colony throughout the 80s and 90s, while also offering her advice and guidance wider. She was always keen to go where the need was greatest and subsequently joined 1st South Hornchurch as Beaver Scout Leader there, again making a massive contribution to the lives of so many.

It was no surprise that Janet’s knowledge and passion for Beaver Scouting was harnessed and she was appointed as ADC (Beaver Scouts) in 1995, holding this role all the way up to 2004. Janet was always keen to lead and to help, but she was always conscious of her shelf life and would willingly move on to allow others the chance to take on roles and responsibilities. Titles and positions didn’t bother Janet but giving back certainly did and she showed this again and again during her fifty plus years of amazing service.

Janet was no nonsense and always told things as there are. However, she was never rude, and she had a very impish sense of humour. She loved a bit of gossip and would often call out behaviour that she didn’t think was youth focused. She was very much about young people and her biggest mantra was always about how she could make a difference. She did this repeatedly – at 7th Hornchurch and 1st South Hornchurch, helping to open 2nd Elm Parks first ever Colony, assisting with the reopening of both

1st and 2nd Rainham Colonies and supporting countless hundreds of new (and not so new) Beaver Leaders across Hornchurch. Simply put her dedication was immense and her commitment second to none. Beaver Scouting in this District is successful, dynamic and growing – and much of this can be traced back to Janet’s personal involvement.

Janet was also a Training Adviser, Tutor and Adult Training, supporting countless adults with their training and validation. She was extremely proactive and always super keen to inspire the next generation.

Janet was recognised by the Chief Scout with The Silver Wolf in 2005 – Scouting’s highest award for good service, awarded only to those who have given service of the most exceptional nature. It was exceedingly well deserved and in true Janet style accepted very humbly.

Professionally Janet was a primary school teacher until her retirement, often focusing on young people with additional needs. She was also a lifelong member of Hornchurch Methodist Church. She enjoyed the companionship and the fellowship but would also chat to me with a glint in her eye about ‘the old people at the church’ never really wanting to admit that she was one of them! Although in reality she wasn’t – as she was always young at heart and even right up to the end, she was making people laugh and sharing her opinions.

Janet Winslow was an outstanding character. Focused on young people, never afraid of rolling up her sleeves and getting stuck in, passionate about supporting fellow Beaver Leaders and hugely optimistic about the transformational impact of Scouting. It’s fair to say that she had dedicated her whole adult life to Scouting – and generation after generation of young people in Hornchurch have her to thank for enriching their lives and for making such a remarkable difference. It is often said, but we will literally never see someone like her again.

At this sad and difficult time our thoughts are with Janet’s brothers, stepdaughter and her wider family. Her outstanding commitment to Scouting was and is legendary and her personal impact, shared so widely over so many years, will never be forgotten.