Early July 2020 – MX News

Date: 7th Jul 2020 Author: Richard Williams

 

Welcome to this early-July edition of MX News…

In this MX News

  • Preparing for the Restart
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Duke of Edinburgh Updates
  • Jack Petchey Awards
  • Race Across Europe

 

Preparing for the Restart

There is a ray of light on the horizon for all of our Scouting friends as the storm brought on by the appearance of COVID-19 begins to pass. The national lockdown is beginning to ease gently and some of our friends and family are seeing the outside again for the first time in many weeks. And, now, face to face Scouting can take the first steps along the path to our normal world while continuing to make the very best of all that the virtual world of Scouting can offer. I can’t thank you enough for all that you have been doing to keep Scouting alive and kicking throughout this time.

We can now begin to make realistic plans for the restart of Scouting together. Over the last two weeks, the Scout Association working with other national youth organisations has published a framework that gives us a pathway to restarting Scouting face to face. There is much to do to prepare the way and now is the time to begin to do it.

The Scouts Framework – for face to face activities

The Scouts Framework is aligned with Government-approved guidance for the Youth Sector developed by the National Youth Agency. This framework will apply in every nation within UK Scouting and walks through:

  • the permissions process for restarting any face to face activity
  • the key considerations to be ready to restart face-to-face activities and how these will be phased
  • Legal and liability conditions
  • Key control measures for everyone to follow

You can read more about the Scouts Framework here.

The brief detail of the framework is that, in line with government-approved Youth Sector Guidance, we can expect to see a phased approach to returning to face-to-face Scout meetings and activities. This is broken down by four levels:

As of yesterday, 6th July 2020, we have moved to the Amber level where small group sessions can take place outdoors and larger group activities should remain in the “Virtual Scouting World”. Assuming that the rate at which the incidence of COVID-19 continues to fall, we can hope that at some point over the summer, we may even be able to move to Yellow. So at Amber, there is the possibility of some limited face-to-face Scouting in smaller groups of up to 15 operating outdoors. To prepare for this we must work to follow The COVID Code of key control measures.

“We are currently at the Amber level “

Getting back together safely: The COVID Code

  1. A COVID-safe risk assessment has been completed and we have communicated control measures to volunteers, young people and parents and all are encouraged to raise concerns
  2. Additional hygiene measures are in place
  3. Social Distancing will be observed (check current distance determined by Government rules in our area)
  4. Maximum group sizes will be limited and determined by the Scout Association and displayed on the website scouts.org.uk and members will follow it consistently where possible
  5. Make adjustments for young people and adults vulnerable or affected by COVID, and consult to make sure return plans are accessible and inclusive

Right now, this means that we need to be working on the preparation of our risk assessments that will describe how we will operate our face to face meetings in a COVID-safe manner. There is plenty of guidance available to do this and you can read more about it here. There is also a downloadable template with some of the example risks and mitigations that you could put in place here.

For every Section, the risk assessment will need to be prepared by and share with all of the leaders in the section. It will also need to be approved by your District Commissioner or an individual or team designated by them before any meetings can take place. We have people in every district and in the County team available for you to talk to if you need help with this so don’t worry if it all seems a little daunting at the moment.

At the same time, We’re working really hard as a County to get our campsite at PACCAR prepared for when some face to face activities can resume. The Risk Assessments have been updated and the necessary organisational and process changes are being prepared to keep visitors to the site COVID-19 safe. Hopefully, it will not be too long before we are able to welcome you back to the site and on to all of the fantastic activities that we have available there.

As that ray of light beckons us back out in to the open, let’s “Be Prepared” now so that we can hit the ground running. With luck and a following wind, Green will not be far away.

Thank you for all that you are doing

Richard Williams – County Commissioner GLMW

 

Funding Opportunities

As we start to ease out of the lockdown controls and towards the Summer Holidays, a number of organisations are offering grants to charities to help provide services for young people. Here are two such grant offers that may help Scout Groups.

London Community Response Fund

Details including the guidelines and application form are available here.

Groups that are registered charities can apply for a small grant of up to £10k (simpler application and faster decision process) or a large grant of up to £50K. (There are other constituted groups that are also accepted as defined in the guidelines). Grants can be requested for items such as:

– deep cleaning a scout hut in readiness for indoor activities;
– virtual scouting activities that require funds (e.g. for 3rd parties);
– face to face scouting activities.

The funding can cover costs over 6 months from the date of approval. Applications have to be submitted before the end of July but the process may close earlier if all funds have been allocated.

As there is still a lot of uncertainty about what we can do face-to-face and when, it may help to document some reasonable assumptions in the application form, and if a grant is awarded then keep the grant administrators informed of any changes that are required.

John Lyon School Holiday Activity Fund (SHAF)

Details including the guidelines and application form are available here.

Grants are available to registered charities for the cost of delivering activities between 1st July and 31st August. The maximum amount of a grant is £6,000.

Groups applying will need to be a member of a local Young People’s Foundation.

Applications must be submitted by 1st August at the latest and can include retrospective costs incurred from 1st July.

 

Duke of Edinburgh Updates

DofE Certificate of Achievement

Despite the pandemic, many of our young people have continued to work hard to complete their top awards. To recognise their amazing efforts
and achievements during this time DofE have launched their Certificate of Achievement. This can be presented to young people who have completed their Skills, Volunteering and Physical sections until such a time that they can reschedule their expedition plans and for Gold, their residential.

Full details can be found here.

Leader Training Opportunities

There are a number of virtual leader training opportunities available with DofE. Please visit their website for more information.

Assessor’s Reports

Please remember that assessors reports can be completed via the online portal as well as the booklet.

#DofEWithADifference

At present there are a number of additional activities DofE are allowing young people to do. These will be time limited options but for the moment they allow participants to continue to work towards their award. They can also split activities and chose another more viable activity whilst in lockdown. More information can be found on the DofE website.

Jack Petchey Awards

Our young people are doing amazing things at the moment and the Jack Petchey Awards are a brilliant way to celebrate their achievements and also receive additional funds to support your Group.

If you would like to nominate a young person for this award, please contact your District Coordinator with their name, age, why you think they should be recognised, how the award money would be spent and your Group bank details. For details of your District Coordinator or for more information on the scheme, please contact Claire.

Race Across Europe

Don’t miss out on your chance to take part in our virtual challenge as GLMW races across Europe to KISC!

In the summer of 2021, Scouts from across GLMW will be making their final preparations before setting off for Kandersteg. To get ready for the adventure of a lifetime, we are really excited to launch our Race Across Europe where we’ll be challenging you to make your own virtual journey to The Kandersteg International Scout Centre.

Up for a challenge?

Check out the website for full details and how to enter.

 

 

Virtual Animal Adventure

On 21st June, PACCAR Scout Camp held it’s very first virtual event. During the day we met alpacas, birds of prey, some of the patients recovering in a local wildlife rescue centre and got to see some agility dogs in action. As well as all of this, some familiar faces from across the County shared craft ideas, made bug hotels and baked so that Beavers and Cubs could join in at home. During the day, over 1000 people tuned in and young people from near and far shared photos of their efforts.

If you missed the event, not to worry as all of the videos are available on the PACCAR Facebook page for you to watch and share.

Event badges are available to purchase in packs of ten, email Karen to place your order.

 

 

 

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls