Dear parents and carer
Sorry I haven’t been in touch over the past couple of weeks, each week I’ve been about to write with some great news for Scouts and then something crops up and changes the plan! Finally, I can share some really positive news and make some slightly firmer plans.
Our restarting plans will follow all government rules and guidance from Scouts’ UKHQ. Our priority is to keep young people and adults safe.
An outline of how we will operate, following Scouts’ ‘COVID Code’:
- New control measures will be in place for all activities
- Additional hygiene measures will be put in place
- Social distancing will be observed
- Group sizes will be limited
- Adjustments will be made for young people vulnerable or affected by COVID
Returning to Scouts will happen in phases, the first of which will let us resume outdoor activities in small groups. Returning to face-to-face Scouts is voluntary for all young people, parents/carers and volunteers and will be accompanied by a strict set of rules for us all to follow.
To make sure it is as safe as possible, the team will be putting together specific risk assessments for all activities that have to be approved by the District team before we can run any sessions. The Scouts have set up a national readiness system which will tell us when we can return and the level with which we can do things. It’s a simple colour system: RED (which remains our current level at the time of writing) – no face to face activities, Amber – small groups outside, Yellow – small groups outside and inside and Green – face to face and overnight activities can resume.
The trustees met and discussed our return policy, agreeing on the framework and sourcing the additional equipment and resources we will need. They have also agreed that even if the readiness level changes to Amber in the next week or so, the earliest we will return is September as we feel that will enable us to have everything in place to make it as safe as possible for everyone.
On Thursday 23rd July, I will be holding a Facebook Live information session where we will share everything we have in place with parents/carers and give the opportunity to ask questions you may have. This will be at 7pm until 7.30pm on our Group’s Facebook page (the public one).
We’re currently building a page on our website which will be the go to place for information each week, including meeting times/venues and which groups of young people it will be for (we haven’t yet worked out all the kinks in this bit as we haven’t been told yet what a ‘small’ group is!). Our parent handbook will also be here with all the bits and pieces we need our members to do to help us keep everyone safe. This will be quite a fluid document, so the website is the best place for it to allow for easy updates.
I will continue to update you via these emails each week to the end of July and then updates as necessary over the summer holidays. Depending on what the world looks like in September, I will either continue these or look at more appropriate communication method to suit the circumstances at the time. My key aim is (and has been since the beginning of lockdown) to keep everyone in the loop as much as possible to make sure the return to Scouting is as safe and easy as it can be for everyone. Please do let me know how I’m doing.
I do also need a bit of help from you this week. To assist leaders in the planning and risk assessing for their sections could you please complete the very simple (and secure) questionnaire to let us know how many young people we are expecting back. It should take no more than two minutes (hopefully, much less than that!) per young person you have with us. We really do appreciate the support.
All data is stored securely within our systems following our usual data protection policy.
I hope you’re all as excited by this as I am and I know the team are and as always, I encourage all parents and carers, young people and volunteers to raise concerns, ask questions and provide feedback – everything helps us to make this is as safe as possible.
Group Scout Leader