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 27/04/2020; 20:21
Shropshire Scouts is not responsible for the content of external sites
UKHQ have established a single source of information:
You will find information on:
- how UKHQ services have been affected;
- supporting Scouts at home;
- local and national financial impacts;
- Disclosures impacts
Bringing Everyone Back Together Safely
Bringing Everyone Back Together Safely is our comprehensive framework that sets out the pathway to resume face-to-face Scouting safely.
Every volunteers has a part to play to make sure you have read and understood your role. If you need support with this your Line Manager should be your first contact.
Full compliance with the framework is required at all levels.
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.
Also consult with your young people and their parents/carers/guardians to gather feedback, then discuss it in your Leadership Team. It may be appropriate to adjust timings, meeting days, content to suit what the young people are already doing at home. The only way you will find out is by asking the question.
Remember your Demming Cycle – Plan > Do > Check > Act
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.
Nights Away at Home
Leaders are encouraged to exercise their own judgement whether to award Nights Away for young people who camp at home. Consider the Young Person and the relativity of the “night away” to their capabilities and what you know about them.
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.
As a test case, a 13.5 year old Patrol Leader who has done many Nights Away with you and has proven they are adept at camping in a variety of situations probably shouldn’t earn a Nights Away for simply pitching their tent in the garden. If they were to pitch their tent in the garden, organise a FaceTime/Zoom digital campfire with other members from the Troop, and cooked a meal on a stove, then they have done more towards replicating the nights away experience.
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.
If the problem is meeting badge requirements, then there isn’t a problem – just make a pro-rata adjustment for the amount of time we are unable to provide Nights Away experiences. So long as that young person has shown willing, enterprise and understanding of the badge requirement then, as the Leaders you can make a judgement. If the young person has done as much as they possibly can you can make the award.
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…
Groups have been using a variety of platforms to host virtual meetings. Groups should discuss locally what solution best meets their needs.
If you have questions or require support on using digital platforms please speak to our Digital Scout Active Support Unit.
UKHQ have provided a Q&A under “Scouts at home”
The Proud Trust have very kindly shared their guidance for using online platforms with us as well
You are also reminded to ensure you are following Safeguarding best practice.
Remember, young people must never be left in a one-to-one situation with an adult so make sure you have taken steps within your leadership to protect both our young people, and yourselves.
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.
Some Groups have been posting tutorials for their young people to dip in and out of at their own convenicence
All face-to-face adult training has been suspended until September 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
As of 6th July we will be able to start processing most Disclosure checks. We are awaiting guidance on what that looks like but rest assured if your DBS has expired we know about it.
Local Managers can support the process by checking Compass and closing roles for volunteers nor currently involved.
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. As face-to-face / blended Scouting returns this might change. Before undertaking any Regulated Activity double check – protect yourself, protect our young people.
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 available in Bringing Everyone Back Together Safely.
Advice for Executive Committees
We recognise that Groups and Units may be facing uncertain times financially.
We are a membership organisation. It is fair and reasonable to ask your members to pay an appropriate membership fee to continue to meet the financial needs of the Group/Unit.
To help you interpret what appropriate looks like for your Group/Unit you can use our Budget Tool. (Please note, you can use this tool when we’re not in the midst of a pandemic as well).
To ease the burden on members:
UKHQ have put a list of potential funding for local Scouting together – LINK
Groups/Units in the Shropshire Council area may also be able to apply for a grant of up to £500 to help sustain community assets (e.g. Headquarters) – LINK
Our Local Community Foundation is also offering Grants of upto £1000 for projects that support a particular community. More details here.
Please note, that external funders may require certain artefacts (financial statements, annual reports, bank statements) as part of the grant process. Please ensure you have read and understood the terms of the fund. Also, familiarise yourself with POR Rule 3.55 and Rule 3.61.
If you do have concerns please speak to your DC or the CC – but please ensure you are taking them defined issues
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.
The FCO have issued an exceptional travel advisory notice advising against international travel for an indefinite period. Therefore, you need to speak to your tour operator to understand the impact the FCO position has on your trip. If you are not going through a tour provider, you will have to consult your suppliers individually (e.g. Airline, Campsite, Coach operator). Also, speak to your tour insurers to understand their position.