For over one hundred years, Scouting has brought young people together to teach them the skills that give them a better start in life. Covid-19 has stopped us meeting face to face for some time, but now it’s time to start bringing young people and adults together again, to rebuild our movement and provide young people with the exciting programmes that they love. In my view, Scouting is needed more today than ever before…
Change in Readiness Level
The Scouts have now confirmed that we have moved to the amber readiness level. This means that we can begin to meet again in small groups (no more than 15) outside, following the Covid Code.
The Covid Code
To resume section activities the following criteria must be met:
1. A COVID-safe risk assessment has been completed and we have communicated control measures to volunteers, young people and parents and all are encouraged to raise concerns
2. Additional hygiene measures are in place
3. Social Distancing will be observed (check current distance determined by the Government)
4. Maximum group sizes (currently 15 including adults) will be limited and determined by scouts.org.uk and members will be consistent where possible
5. Make adjustments for young people and adults vulnerable or affected by COVID, and consult to make sure return plans are accessible and inclusive
Each District in Hereford and Worcester is currently finalising the details of support, which may include District working groups and / or approvers which will support sections with planning for the safe return to Scouting and in following the national framework (more information can be found here). These approaches will differ based on local need. We know that for some people this process may seem a bit daunting- don’t worry- we are here to help…
We will will update you to confirm details of how you can access this support and support County will be offering- we are currently arranging online briefing and training sessions for all adults in our County to explain the process and to ensure you know about the support available to you. One of the great things about Scouting is teamwork, and we are keen to work together to help everybody through this process. We will be with you every step of the way…
The Next Steps
It’s important to note that although we move to amber, to allow us to move safely and steadily though the risk assessment and approval process we won’t dont expect approval of activities to take place quickly. You can still submit risk assessments , but we want to manage expectations about the time we expect it to take to move through the approval process in these early days. Whilst we are keen to get Scouting activities up and running, we need to do so in a safe way.
Going forward, we know that not all our young people or volunteers will be able to return to face to face Scouting just yet, so it’s important that we continue to use digital tools to offer activities for all. Utilising a blended approach may be of benefit to some groups.
Counties and Districts have delivered some support events to help with return-to-scouting risk assessments and planning a blended programme.
The video from the Blended Programme event can be viewed here.
I want to say an enormous thank you for everything that you have done for young people during this period. I am immensely proud of how Scouts Hereford & Worcester has continued to offer regular contact and innovative programme ideas for young people. In the coming weeks and months, I know that we will work together to do our best for young people and to bring Scouting back to all our members. I am certain our young people have missed it, and can’t wait to be back.
Stay safe, and thank you…