A series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) has been produced and answers are available about a number of points. Click on a question to expand the answer.
We realise that events are moving very quickly, together with rumours and fake news in social media. We will always source our information from UK Government websites and The Scout Association. When we communicate this will be by email (as recorded on Compass, so please check your details are correct) and on the Coronavirus page of the Suffolk Scouts website . Our Facebook and Twitter feeds will link back to the website.
Yes you can!
In Suffolk we are working on a project called The Adventure Continues. This supports the national initiative “The Great Indoors” at a local level. Ollie Smith and the County Team are working on ideas and activities which we hope to start running soon. A website page will appear soon
The Great IN-doors is a national programme that is perfect for parents and carers to work on with their children if they’re stuck at home over the next few weeks.
First Aid training has been suspended as this is face to face. This will only resume once we restart scouting activities. The Scout Association have extended the date with a 3 month extension to the validity for all certificates coming up for renewal on or after 16th March during the current Covid crisis. This will only resume once we restart scouting activities.
The Scout Association may extend the date for Safety, Safeguarding and GDPR training however they can be completed online. Links to the training are below.
Safety / Safeguarding
If you are not already aware, Headquarters have taken the decision to suspend disclosure applications during the current situation. This is to reduce any additional workload for the Disclosure and Barring Service as they concentrate on processing key workers. If volunteers have a disclosure that expires during this time, they do not need to be suspended (even though the e-mails will still be received) and can continue with digital scouting in their existing roles. New adults should not be added during this time.
There are lots of technological options and ways of keeping in touch and we want to encourage you to keep young people engaged in Scouting, but we need to be careful to ensure that we stick to the principles of Safeguarding as instructed on the Yellow Card'
In principle we think that a video link will be acceptable, providing that leaders have parental permission, at least two leaders are managing and moderating the call, and that the last people to end the call are the leaders. What we must avoid is only one young person and one leader being in contact on-line at any time. Practically, this means that two Leaders must start and finish the call. Clearly consideration needs to be given to what might be observed in the background on screen, to ensure no guidelines are breached. If we get clearer guidelines from HQ we will forward this on to you.
Yes, Groups should have planned for the Capitation bill which is generated from the Census return. This funding supports ongoing insurance, safeguarding and running costs at National and Local levels. Groups will have to consider the logistics of getting cheques signed. It may be necessary to post the cheques in order to collect the required signatures. Please think of how you are going to support this process in good time so that the payment can still be made by the due date... and also attract the discount offered for timely replies.
This is a challenging time for Group Finances as some parents may be struggling financially. Groups will have to make decisions about suspending subscriptions. Groups should have reserves, but clearly most fundraising efforts are not going to be practical for the time being. Costs are likely to be reduced, but not entirely eliminated; during this period some groups may have to consider asking parents to continue with at least part subscriptions.
Where possible and not at risk of breaching current rules; county, districts and groups should continue to maintain checks on their property or at least have plans to deal with safety issues upon reopening.
Empty buildings are at risk of vandalism, arson theft, fly tipping etc. Over the course of the next few weeks wildlife will be looking to set up homes in quiet places, disturbing nesting birds and other animals could be a criminal offence so groups may want to double check their property and take action now before eggs and babies appear.
Due to the prolonged period of closure upon reopening it may be necessary to consider legionella risks if water has been left standing. Venting spaces to encourage 3 complete changes of air to help reduce risk from spores which may have formed in still air.
Waste may not have been able to have been put out for collection, this will need to be resolved ASAP in order to reduce risk to public health.
Gas safety checks - typically people tend to book these with annual service, these are often programmed for the spring as we switch off systems for the summer. It may be that these essential checks need to be re-planned now so they are not forgotten later.
If you wish to plan and promote ideas to parents and young people for a possible camp or event in the summer or autumn, we suggest that you collect expressions of interest and estimate costs, but do not at this point send deposits or commit to an event that may have to be cancelled.