Update from Richard
December brings shorter days and darker nights as we head towards the end of year festivities and celebrations. Our weekly meetings at this time of year have traditionally been indoors and focused on building those craft skills, practising our gadget building, planning for the new year and closing off the last. Thankfully, these are things that transfer easily to the virtual world of Zoom. Most, if not all, of us will be happy to see the end of 2020. It has challenged every aspect of our lives.
The recent news about several vaccines to counteract Covid-19 means that we can contemplate a much brighter year in 2021.While the journey to a more ‘normal’ life may be slower than we would like, there is a realistic probability that we will be returning to more of our outdoor and adventurous lifestyle as Scouts. The work we have been putting in to writing our Risk Assessments for a return to face-to-face Scouting will begin to pay off. More of our time will be spent enjoying time in the real rather than the virtual world. Now is the time to complete those assessments and make the action plans for a reinvigorated Scouting. We can take advantage of the end of 2020 to complete those mandatory training modules so that nothing can stand in the way of getting out and active again.
Celebrating Outstanding Service
I’m pleased to be able to tell you about several higher adult awards that have been announced this month. They recognise great, long-term service by the recipients over many years. Please join me in congratulating each of the recipients as we recognise their highly valued and dedicated service.
Paul Christopher John Huntley – ADC (Activities) Stanmore & District; County Adviser and Assessor
Alison Janet Jacobs
CSL 16th Edgware; District CSL and District Executive Committee member Stanmore & District
Christopher Alan Pope
ACSL and Executive Committee Member 1st/6th Edgware; ASL 9th Kenton
GSL 1st Harrow + Weald
Bar to Silver Acorn
Ian David Chick
District Chair Greenford & District; Member of the County Training Team
Nigel Anthony Riordan
District Executive Committee Member West London
Member of the County Training Team; LTM for Uxbridge District; DDC Uxbridge & District
Ian Maitland Clarke
District Treasurer West London District; County Training Adviser
Brunell (Badger) Sweeney
Formerly BSL 4th Ruislip and ADC (Beavers) REN District
Malcolm Basil Douglas Turner
Deputy GSL 1st Ealing North; County Training Adviser
If you think someone should be recognised with an award, please do not hesitate to contact your district Awards panel, DCs or myself directly. Details of the awards can be found on the Scout Associations Website
Richard Williams – County Commissioner GLMW
As we end the 4 week lockdown in England, The Scout Association have revealed that in line with the National Youth Agency Guidance, the majority of the country will be moving back into the Amber Readiness Level.
What does this mean?
- Activities involving young people: 15 young people plus 5 adults are allowed, anyone Scout age and above should be wearing facemasks unless medically exempt.
- Scout Network remains in RED. Meaning they cannot meet.
- Adult activities with no young people present: volunteers over the age of 18 can meet in-line with restrictions in your tier for adults meeting together, to carry out essential volunteering tasks like campsite or building maintenance.
Find out more here!
It’s been a long time since we could get together in person and we miss you! This year we wil be celebrating virtual style!
Join us on Tuesday, 22nd December for an evening of festive fun, crazy Christmas challenges and a bit of healthy competition in our County quiz.
Get your glad rags on, have your favourite tipple to hand and get ready to party! Staying in is the new going out!
The invitation is open to all adult volunteers in the County.
Register by using the link below and we’ll send you all you need to join in with the party!
All County Section Meetings
Join us for our virtual section meetings as we countdown to Christmas!
Beavers – Wednesdays 5.30pm
Cubs – Thursdays 6.00pm
Scouts – Wednesdays 7.30pm
Explorers – Thursdays 8.00pm
Register by using the link below to receive details of how to join.
Join our County section meetings this week as we begin our Christmas countdown!
New Appointment: ACC International
We would like to extend a warm welcome to Sanjay Chandarana on becoming our new ACC (International). Sanjay comes with a great background in Scouting and last year he was one of the Jamboree Leaders on the ground in West Virginia at the World Scout Jamboree. For any ACC International enquiries, Sanjay can be contacted on: Sanjay.email@example.com
Sanjay will be taking over from Keyur (Kiwi) Patel who is stepping down after four great years in the role. Thank you so much for everything you have done Kiwi, you’ve certainly left some big shoes to fill!
Leaders from Ealing and Hanwell have really got their creative juices flowing during lockdown Mark 2! Scouting is different online, but Cubs across our district have shown they will rise to any challenge thrown at them.
CSL Kerry at 6th Ealing says Cubs have really enjoyed leading sessions ranging from drawing pictures, making poppy wreaths, and German Breakfast muffins!
Whilst Claudia at 5th Hanwell got her Cubs to construct a loom frame from scratch – before weaving a bookmark! Some super skills in action ! And a BIG well done to leaders, giving instructions over Zoom can’t have been easy!
7th Hanwell have shown that there’s a lot we can learn from sessions on Zoom. Their Scouts enjoyed escape rooms so much during their online meetings during the first lockdown, when they were able to resume F2F, leaders organised an outdoor escape room with multiple challenges! The group also built and tested mini-ballistas at their Warren using four knots (reef, diagonal lashing, timber hitch and clove hitch!)
At this time of the year, 25th Ealing usually set up a series of fundraising initiatives. Since this isn’t possible in the same way this year, the group as a whole is collecting donations for Ealing Food Bank and the Met’s Christmas Tree Appeal. This was a great opportunity to also run an online session on the importance of charity and kindness, especially pertinent this year!
Unbelievably we are about to start the month of DECEMBER! Christmas music will soon be in all the shops, the season of goodwill is among us and after quite a turbulent year, we want to share some great DIY Christmas Crafts that can be done virtually or hopefully back in session to share the good will.
We have created a selection of 3 Crafts, ranging in ability levels from Beavers to Explorers. We will be sharing one of these a week over on the GLMW Youtube Channel, starting off with Christmas Stars which will go live Sunday 6th December!
We look forward to seeing all your creations!
With so much uncertainty in a year that has tested everyone in many ways, we thought we would take some time this month to discuss our mental health and wellbeing.
Thank you to DC Tyler from Pinner & Headstone for sharing the below excellent notes that we hope will be of some use to you and your young people.
- Key ways to manage your mental health and wellbeing
- Ways we can help
- Sources of support
Key ways to manage your mental health and wellbeing
Pay attention to the present:
You can check in with yourself to see how you feel. The pandemic has made us all respond to things a bit differently to usual. For many of us our concentration has been impacted and it is easy to lose focus when we are emotionally tired. That can make working, volunteering or general life feel even harder. Break your work/scouting/hobbies into chunks, meaning that you can have bursts of focus and then build in some stretches or cuppa to refresh yourself throughout the day.
Talk about your feelings:
There are many studies that show talking about a problem is important because it helps us to gain a different perspective. When we have problems, it is very easy for them to consume our thoughts and that we get stuck in cycles of thought which can overall have a negative impact. We have left some resources below for anyone who feels like that they need somebody to talk to, but always remember you have the support of your Scouting Family around you.
Ask for help:
We’re not seeing each other week by week at section or leader meetings and can’t pick up on body language so please do ask for help if you need it. From taking a break for a week to flexing a section meeting to suit other commitments to asking for help with a meeting – if others don’t know there is an issue, they can’t help. Scouts, for most of us, is a welcomed activity to do something different so maybe this is your opportunity?
Care for others:
A sense of community keeps us stronger, so reach out to your fellow Scouters. Ask them how they are, and how their week is going. We can be connected in so many ways these days, whether it is over the phone, Zoom, MS Teams or Google Meets! A surprise call at lunchtime or during the evenings might be a nice surprise and can really make a difference.
Sources of support
Mental Health Foundation – Advice and Support – www.mentalhealth.org.uk
Samaritans – Charity for support – www.samaritans.org
Mind – Help, Advice & Support – www.mind.org.uk
NHS Go – NHS confidential health advice & support for young people under 25 – www.nhsgo.uk
NHS – Moodzone – Guidance on coping with Stress, Anxiety and Depression – www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression
NHS help with accessing Mental Health Services – www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/how-to-access-mental-health-services