Thank you from the County Commissioner
In these confusing times I’d just like to thank all my volunteers for embodying the Scout promise, the Scout method, the Scout law and pulling together to ensure our young people, our volunteers and their families are kept healthy.
While the absolutely gutting decision has had to be made to suspend face-to-face Scouting, the County Team remain available to support you as appropriate.
Rather than flooding you with emails every five minutes we will keep this page as the central resource and update accordingly. If you’d like to see anything up here let me (email@example.com) or one of the County Team know and we will do our best to provide advice and guidance. The team will endeavour to get verified information here as quickly as possible.
It is also imperative that we remember to keep operating our charities with a high level of governance.
Yours in the very best Scouting
This page was last updated 21/03/2020 13:26
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UKHQ have established a single source of information:
Get your information from a good place
All the measures we have taken are as a result of government advice, therefore, you have access to the same information as we do. If you would like help interpreting the advice please ask.
This is also a really good opportunity to talk to our young people about making sure they get, not just Coronavirus news, but any news from a reputable and verifiable source.
This BBC article gives you some ideas.
You know your young people and their families and how best to deliver a programme to them. There is no one right way, however, if you would like to share what you are doing to help inspire other Leaders please share via the County or local Facebook Groups or let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can build up some ideas and share them here.
The Great Indoors
You should have seen Bear, Ed and Dwayne launch #TheGreatIndoors – 100 programme ideas for our young people to do at home. Most of them are fairly resource light and means the young people can still earn their badges.
JOTI – Special Edition
WOSM have organised a special Jamboree on the Internet for 3rd-5th April.
The Scout economy has also sprung into action to provide a variety of different option
Paw Print Badges
Paw Print are always a fantastic resource for programme ideas – even outside of a pandemic. The resource packs are free with an option to buy the related badge.
I also believe Charlotte is doing a live-stream every day at 09:00 with 3 ideas for the day.
A well established YouTube challenge supporting Scouting. Mike has got some resources lined up so go and see what he’s up to to make the world a little more Scoutadelic…
Nights Away at Home
Leaders are encouraged to exercise their own judgement whether to award Nights Away for young people who camp at home.
Generally, consider if the young person has gained something from the activity along the lines of what they would gain from any other nights away activity – i.e. build confidence, show self-care, learn a skill.
Of course, any “nights away” should be done under parental guidance as we cannot invoke the standard Night Away Scheme; and, of course, in accordance with the government social distancing requirements. If parents/carers are unable to confidently provide a safe “night away” the Leadership Team should consider reasonable adjustment.
Groups have been using a variety of platforms to host virtual meetings. Groups should discuss locally what solution best meets their needs.
The Proud Trust have very kindly shared their guidance for using online platforms with us
Some Groups have been posting an activity a day/an activity a week on closed Facebook groups and encouraging young people to share their work back in the Facebook group.
Charities can access a subscription at nil cost.
Multiple levels of subscription available to suit different requirements.
We don’t know…
However, as a yard stick, the County are currently reviewing anything until the end of June, with a week-by-week review thereafter. You will need to make your own assessments locally as to what is appropriate for your situation.
If you have events planned:
- discuss within your Leadership Teams,
- consult your Executive Committees to understand what risk and liabilities they are willing to take on
- consult with the external provider, if applicable, and understand their position.
All face-to-face adult training has been suspended until 30th April 2020. We will continue with a rolling review of training as and when the situation progresses.
However, there are modules that can be completed via eLearning or Workbook. We accept these methods may not be suitable to all our learners but we strongly encourage, where able, you consider these alternatives.
More information is available on our Training Pages
Currently, the Disclosure and Barring Service is prioritising checks for Key Workers, therefore, while all face-to-face Scout meetings and activities across the UK are suspended, we have taken the decision to stop processing disclosure applications and re-checks. This will be the case until the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted.
The disclosure bodies’ advice to us clearly states that the workarounds for effective identity checking have been primarily put in place to ensure disclosure checks can be processed for frontline key workers needed to contribute to the Coronavirus situation. While Scouts remains important, clearly, we do not meet this criteria.
Scouts volunteers are not engaging in Regulated Activity while face-to-face Scout meetings and activities are suspended. Therefore, there is no requirement for disclosure applications and re-checks to be processed during the Coronavirus situation.
What this means during the Coronavirus situation
- Volunteers will not be suspended when a disclosure re-check has not been undertaken and a valid disclosure obtained.
- Volunteer line managers will continue to receive the reminder and suspension emails as these are automated through Compass. While this isn’t ideal, it isn’t practicable nor cost effective at this time to stop these being sent. During this period please disregard these emails (although they may be of use to create a list of those volunteers who will need to process a disclosure re-check when the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted).
- Volunteer line managers should not add any new adults during the Coronavirus situation and should not process the suspension of volunteers during this period.
- Volunteers whose disclosure expires during this period may continue to meet digitally, following the advice and guidance issued on holding virtual meetings to make sure we keep all members safe.
Huts and Headquarters
Where Groups/Units/Districts have responsibilities for Huts/Headquarters/Campsites obviously it is imperative that we continue to look after these facilities whilst maintaining compliance with the advice. Therefore, where a Group/Unit/District have to attend a facility to undertake critical maintenance/checks, they should do whilst following the guidance:
- No vulnerable people (those with underlying health conditions, those that would normally be offered the seasonal flu jab)
- Maintain social distancing (2m / 6ft)
- High-standards of hygiene (washing of hands)
Advice for Executive Committees
The Charity Commission have issued appropriate guidance, particularly around AGMs and annual reporting.
In essence, there might be appropriate grounds to defer your AGM but you should still plan to submit your annual report as normal and continue to report serious incidents. Where you are unable to submit your report you must request an extension from the Charity Commissioner.
For Groups/Districts that use the standard constitution in POR please be aware of the amendment which allows meetings to be held remotely. It also allows decisions to be made electronically. This is valid immediately and will be updated in the next update to POR, in early April. The wording is as follows:
- Electronic voting (such as email) is allowed for decision making of the County/District/Group Executive Committee and its sub-Committees when deemed appropriate by the Chair. In such instances at least 75% of committee members must approve the decision.
- The County/District/Group Executive Committee & its sub-Committees can meet by telephone conference, video conference as well as face to face in order to discharge its responsibilities when agreed by the appropriate Chair.
For Groups/Units who had international adventures planned, primarily, refer to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Current FCO advise is no travel for 30 days from 17th March. If your trip is outside that window consult with your tour provider.
- Any current travel restriction in place from FCO?
- Any current travel restriction in place from host country government?
- Is the event insurable? Do the Executive Committee understand the risk?
- Can the Group/Unit afford to underwrite the uninsured cost?
- Is the trip going to be worthwhile?
- Do the parents/carers/guardians want the young person to attend?
- Does the young person want to attend?