I hope that you and your families are staying well. I strongly believe as Scouters we are part of a team and there to support each other. The fear of catching Covid-19 may be abating but in one way or another, our mental wellbeing has been affected and for some more than others. I ask you as volunteers that if there are adult leaders you’ve “not heard from John for a while” or “Sarah seems more withdrawn” that you take the time to call them and just make sure they’re ok. If you find someone asks for help, then please (confidentially) help and encourage them to seek out professional medical help, normally through their GP.
We had a very clear instruction from The Scout Association on the 17th March this year, Face to Face Scouting is suspended from that date, which we duly did and continue to respect. As the Government starts to ease restrictions on lockdown, The Scout Association is starting a journey in line with the Government run National Youth Agency to ease aspects of lockdown. Doing this will be more complicated than lockdown and we will each need to put many things in place to enable a staged and safe return to normal Scouting. More details are set out below.
I hope that your sunflowers are growing well for our Suffolk wide support of Age UK Suffolk fund raiser and your dogs have been ably walked by you or young people for 5km to raise funds for young people through the Suffolk Community Foundation Trust. More details for both initiatives can be found at https://www.suffolkscouts.org.uk/adventurecontinues.
Feel free to invite me to your section Zoom/Teams meetings or virtual camps - I’d love to attend.
County Commissioner – Suffolk
Getting everybody back together safely
(A) Commencement of Disclosure Processing (DBS)
In preparation for a return to face-to-face activities, we can start processing disclosure applications again from Monday 6 July 2020, when HQ will also be ready to start to process them. There will be a 90 day window for outstanding DBSs to be submitted and processed. Therefore, it’s really important for all line managers to start cracking on securing DBS renewals without further undue delay.
(B) Preparing for Face to Face Scouting – Getting back together safely
Working with The National Youth Agency (NYA), a 4 stage readiness system has been devised (see below). Each Wednesday the NYA will update the status and this will also be published on the Scout Association website.
Prior to any form of face to face activity a full risk assessment must have been completed and signed off by the District Commissioner. Failure to do so will mean you are not insured to undertake Scouting activities which means the event leader(s) become personally liable for any accidents and so forth. Your District Commissioner will be in contact soon with more details on this for your District.
We are currently at Readiness level RED
(C) Are you able to return to Scouting?
If you hire a hall or School premises, you will need to check what the situation is for use of the place you have previously hired. It is worth investing the time finding out now to see what the situation is. Additionally, ask to see the risk assessment for the premises – and check its date.
£10,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant – Time Is Running Out To Apply.
In other parts of the UK this scheme has either ended or an end date is announced. It is very likely to be withdrawn very soon (possibly 30th June). If your HQ has a rateable value (this isn’t whether you pay business rates or not) then you will qualify to receive the grant. If for any reason you own premises but have no rateable value please speak with your District Commissioner or District Treasurer for advice. So far Groups in Suffolk have claimed over £400,000, so please make sure you don’t miss out on this vital source of funding.
Dates for the Diary
Suffolk Scouts Pride 28th June
Lots of great activities on the day to join in with. How to join - click the link! https://www.suffolkscouts.org.uk/pride?fbclid=IwAR0-rhjQ-xVgs0Y8XaOZWVqJPlORNewBfcWJVDLYrEhVt0nBCVCk2k7DTfc
The Great Weekender 11-12 July
The Scout Association is running the biggest ever digital camp with lots of activities. More details are here on this link:
Suffolk Is Pushing Ahead With Getting Mandatory Training Completed
Suffolk is one of the top counties in the UK for people completing their mandatory training, this applies to adults in each section and Executive Committees . Thank you for everyone who has now completed their Safety, Safeguarding and GDPR training. If you haven’t yet completed it and are able to do so, please do it. If you have a problem at present completing it, please inform your District Commissioner who will be happy to support you.
Mandatory Training Type
Proportion of all volunteers required to do training