Coronavirus

COVID-19 and Scouting in Suffolk

Suffolk Scouts have set up an action team to manage the risk regarding the COVID-19 virus, and to communicate advice and information to districts and groups in the county.

We are guided by headquarters and by Government guidelines, please see the external links for their latest advice.

Updates from Suffolk Scouts will appear below, please use the blue menu above to see all available resources.

Whilst we still have a long way to go before we can fully return to all of the Scouting activities we are used to, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. The start of the vaccination programme gives us hope for a better year in 2021. Many of us will have been meeting again since coming out of lockdown at the beginning of the month and hopefully we will be able to continue to do this in the New Year.

Support for Specialist Activity Risk Assessments

A reminder that there are specialist activity teams in the County who can support you with activity risk assessments, should the need arise. Those of you with adventurous activity scheme permits will have demonstrated, as part of your permit assessment, the ability to appropriately risk assess the activity- both in the planning stages and dynamically during an activity session. However, if you want to discuss your risk assessment with another activity specialist and you do not have your own contacts, please contact Leigh Foster-Green (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) who will put you in touch with someone who you can talk to. 

Race Round the World

Well done to all the groups who took part in Race Round the World, raising funds for the groups hardest hit and at risk of closure by the Covid crisis. Cubs won the race by raising over £67,000. In total over £200,000 was raised.

Lowestoft Scout Raises Funds for Children in Hospital

OscarConeToys ECOscar Cone in Lowestoft raised over £400 to help children who are in hospital over Christmas. This is a fantastic effort and a great example of the true spirit of Scouting.

He went on a spending spree and purchased 60 toys for the children's ward of the James Paget Hospital. Read more about this as reported in the Lowestoft Journal here. (Picture credit - Emma Cone)

“…we had a sailing boat of our own on which we lived and cruised about, at all seasons and in all weathers, and we had a jolly good time – taking the rough with the smooth.” (Lord Baden Powell 1932).

We do seem to have been taking the rough over the last few months with very little smooth sailing. Having all put in so much effort to return to scouting over the last few months, the notice of a further lockdown was a disappointment.

The news of a potential vaccine for Covid-19 is a boost to our future plans. Whilst nothing is yet certain, we can start looking forward to returning towards normality during next year. Now would be a good time to start planning some exciting activities for when we are able to start meeting again. Perhaps the idea of a return to camping again might be an alluring thought.

Baden Powell would not have spent his time looking at the downside and in his final letter, he inspired scouts to “look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one”.

D of E Award Success

Despite the complications of the Covid restrictions 15 Explorers from three units in Suffolk have managed to complete their expeditions  

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towards their Bronze and Silver awards. Good forward planning by both leaders and the Explorers allowed the group to achieve exciting and challenging activities, but still adhere to the government  and scouting safety guidelines. You can read more about this here.

With increasing numbers of sections and groups returning to Scouting in Suffolk, the great news is that young people are delighted to be back. The process might appear daunting but the rewards are clear and are providing other opportunities at this challenging time.

Colin Winter, DCC, recently visited 1st and 3rd Stowmarket Cubs who have been meeting outdoors for a few weeks now. They have a total of 24 cubs so are meeting with 12 on alternate weeks. The leaders are enjoying the normality of being back Scouting even though they have had to amend the way they carry out activities. The cubs are keen to embrace all of the opportunities that outside scouting offers. Parents feel confident that their young people are safe, and appreciated the consultation that they had prior to returning, with the opportunity to engage with leaders about the process. Colin is visiting other groups too to hear they stories on returning to face to face.

I recently visited 1st Honington Cubs orienteering, 32nd Ipswich Scouts, 31st / 9th Ipswich Wednesday Cubs at Suffolk ski slopes and 14th Ipswich Cubs. It was great to see young people enjoying their Scouting and a big thank you for all the excellent Covid set ups that you had put in place.

Do keep up to date with national events on The Scouts website here.

Training Updates

All Group and District Executive members now need to undertake the following training as the old executive training module 1EX has been discontinued. The training can be undertaken online and the relevant certificates can be printed off and forwarded to the Group Scout Leader, Training Adviser or Local Training Manager to be updated on Compass.

Whilst there are many challenges for us all at the present time, Scouting is starting to learn to live with the new normal. Hopefully we will have a mild Autumn allowing us to make the best use of the great outdoors. Thank you for your continued support of Scouting in Suffolk.

Don’t forget you can follow our news and ideas at https://www.suffolkscouts.org.uk/coronovirus

Do keep up to date with national events on The Scouts website here.

Risk Assessments

If you are looking to start the process of writing your risk assessments you can access the guidance from headquarters here. 

You can access a template for completing a risk assessment here. It contains some ideas and tips for producing your own document.

Update from HQ

Headquarters have asked Groups who have their own venue to provide a printed 'QR code' so that visitors to the building over the age of 16 who have a phone that is loaded with the NHS Track and Trace App can scan the code to register their presence. We still need to keep registers of all members. You can read about this here. It is really easy to create the code and print it off. You can do this here.