Following on from Craig’s (County Commissioner) email yesterday, I wanted to write to confirm some information about the support available as we prepare to return to face to face Scouting in the coming weeks.
Firstly, we have now moved to the amber readiness level. This means that:
- Small groups of no more than 15 (including adults) can meet outside
- No young person or adult volunteer can move between different groups of 15 on the same day.
- Usual ratios of adults to YP apply – https://www.scouts.org.uk/ratios
- No face to face activity can take place until you have done all the preparations to ensure a safe return, and these written risk assessments and plans have been approved locally.
- Residential activities and international trips are not currently permitted.
- Read all the guidance and steps that need to be taken before any face to face activity can resume.
We want to bring all our youth members back to Scouting when it is safe to do so. There is no expectation of when you should hold your first outdoor meeting and there is no rush. Every Section and Group will have different circumstances and will know what is right for them. For some groups this may involve meeting over what would normally be the summer holidays. Plans must be carefully considered and safety is the priority. We should also remember that not everyone will be able to return to face to face Scouting and we should think of ways to stay in touch and include them. This will mean that we continue to offer virtual Scouting activities.
We know that this might seem like a big task, or a little complicated at first glance. Don’t worry. We are here to help.
I have formed a District Work Group – which consists of Ray Fitzsimmons, Fay Voller, Bob Morris, Olivia Dobson, Alison Chambers. who will be supporting volunteers with writing, checking and approving risk assessments.
We are also planning to hold online meetings for
GSLs/ADCs/Group Chairs on Wednesday 15th July at 7.30pm
All Leaders Meeting on Thursday 16th July at 7.30pm
to walk you through the process. This will be on zoom and codes will be sent out shortly.
If your group doesn’t have a GSL or a Group Executive Committee, we will be identifying someone who can help at this time and will be in touch.
For those groups who don’t have any outdoor space we can look at potential venues for outdoor meetings. If your group does have outside space, and you can share- please let us know.
We are also looking at working with the county to obtain additional PPE for first aid kits and hand sanitiser at a discounted rate
You can find all the guidance, and a webinar, about the national framework here: https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/getting-everyone-back-together-safely/
Next Steps for Section Leaders and Assistant Section Leaders:
Talk to the other volunteers in your section/group:
- When do you think it’s possible to return to face to face Scouting?
- Where could you meet? And How would people safely get there?
- Which adults are available to support?
- Ask parents, which young people are able to return?
- What activities can you safely do? Maintaining social distancing and minimising the use of shared equipment
- Discuss your thoughts with your Group Scout Leader
- When you have that information, it’s time for section leaders to start working on a risk assessment, using the template available here: https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/getting-everyone-back-together-safely/guidance-for-leaders-developing-your-risk-assessments-for-face-to-face-activity/
- Your Risk Assessment should be checked by your Group Scout Leader and Group Executive Committee (or nominees)
- Submit your risk assessment for approval using the smartsheet which can be found here: https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/getting-everyone-back-together-safely/guidance-for-leaders-developing-your-risk-assessments-for-face-to-face-activity/
- Await a response and further guidance about restarting face to face Scouting.
Please note that the working groups will receive lots of risk assessments and it will take a few days for them to review and provide a response. They may also need additional information from you or suggest further safety controls.
It’s important that the adults returning to face to face Scouting have completed their safety and safeguarding training and if your DBS expired during lockdown, you should arrange to process this as a matter of urgency. New adults can now be added to compass.
Going forward we need to continue to work together, to bring young people and adults safely together again and ensure they enjoy all the benefits of Scouting.
Thanks for all you do, and stay safe.
Ormskirk And District Scouts
We prepare Young People with Skills For Life