NOVEMBER GLMW NEWS
News from around Greater London Middlesex West
IN THIS EDITION
- Covid Update and Second Lockdown
- Race around the World
- Remembrance Day
- Top awards of D of E
- Meet the district!
- Update from the County Commissioner
Covid Update and Second Lockdown
On the 5th November, England went into a four-week lockdown. This decision by the Government has led to the National Youth Agency issuing guidance that Scouts along with all other youth activities will move to Red readiness level and consequently no face-to face activities until further notice. For all the very latest, check out the latest advice from HQ:
Race around the world!
Covid 19 is the biggest crisis we’ve faced in a generation! An apt moment to start #RaceRoundTheWorld We’re racing to save over 500 groups hit hardest by the pandemic – and Scout Groups will be able to keep 20% of what they raise, too. Have a listen to some words from our very own Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, about why this our moment.
How can you help? All you need to do is just travel a mile or more, get sponsored and log your miles. Simple. Oh, and there are a whole load of related (COVID-19 safe) activities you can do with your young people, too. If you missed our last email with the details on how to get set up, you can read it here.
Now GO, Team Scouts! https://vimeo.com/user98735371/review/472951776/cf163f7b21
You’ll be led all the way to the finish line (in mid-December) by our amazing ambassadors Ed Stafford and Saray Khumalo. Track your team’s journey on a digital map – our new activities relate to the countries you’ll travel through.
We hope you enjoy this epic, international challenge (from right here in the UK).
Thanks for helping us keep our groups open. Now, let’s #RaceRoundTheWorld
This year, we‘ve had to re-think our plans to mark Remembrance Day. Usually, we’d be marching through the streets, but Covid restrictions has meant we’ve had to be more creative with our plans this year. Here’s a variety of creative poppies made by the Cubs of 25th Ealing during their zoom session.
Getting the latest news about Duke of Edinburgh top awards
Lots of changes have been made in the past 6 months to ensure that the Duke of Edinburgh awards are more accessible and achievable to all young people at all levels during these challenging times. We held a zoom meeting last week to go through these changes last week. Thank you to those of you who attended. If you have any questions, about Chief Scout Awards or D of E in Scouting, activities, expeditions, submitting evidence, assessor’s reports, please email me on email@example.com
Linda Brown – County DofE Adviser
Meet the District
There are so many fantastic sessions taking place every week, each month we’d like to shine a spotlight and share the brilliant work and news from districts around the county. To kick this off, we’ll be starting with Uxbridge and District – the home of one of the Media and Comms team!
Over the ‘Summer of Lockdown’ the wonderful leaders of Uxbridge and District have been busy delivering a great range of e-programming from D-I-Y Slime all the way to learn new knots to weave a Woggle!
There have also been some excellent adaptations to the traditional Scout we all know and love. Endeavour held a virtual Sunflower Growing Competition, Karen Tempest led a great St George’s day sectional design competition and 2nd Uxbridge have been hosting Live Weekly Campfires on their Facebook Page, led by their Beaver Leader Chris Troughton and his three Explorer children, Aidan, Jake and Izzy. The Weekly campfire is still ongoing, please take a look at the county Facebook page for the link!
Many of our groups were chomping at the bit to get back to face to face, with several groups around the district not only getting all sections back to face to face but in some instances even gaining new members!
In the last week of October, Uxbridge + District attended Brunel University Volunteers Fayre to encourage Student of the University to come and learn about Scouting and hopefully join many of the Leadership Teams!
Looking ahead, we’re hoping to continue working hard to deliver exciting and dynamic programmes, and thank all our volunteers for their hard work continuing Scouting during this turbulent time!
To share what you’ve been up to in your district, get in touch with Nisha and Georgia at firstname.lastname@example.org
The GLMW Media Team are joining Instagram and hope to start sharing highlights from all around the County every Friday!
Please tag us at #GLMWFeelGoodFridays and we’ll be sharing them on our grid every week!
Update from the County Commissioner
Thinking Before Speaking and Doing
In the current environment, we are increasingly aware of our duty of care to our leaders to ensure a safe environment in which to volunteer. The factors that are important in this regard are not just limited to the physical safety of the space we operate in but also to ensure the best possible environment for personal well-being and support. This includes emotional and mental health support.
As the understanding of and need for mental health awareness and better support is growing at all levels of our society we are learning that we need to do better.
On occasion, some of our leaders disagree with each other over issues that can vary widely. They can include: things relating to the operation of a group or section, the way in which meetings are conducted, the finances managed by an executive committee, simple personality clashes and a vast array of other subjects.
Similarly, if we ask someone to take on a role in difficult circumstances, we need to provide suitable backup and emotional support. On these occasions we need to continue to behave with due regard to our Scouting values and discuss things in a calm, rational and supportive manner. Our Scouting policies and values compel us to focus on the facts of the situation and avoid any temptation to make personal and individually negative comments. This is the ideal but does not always happen. Very often when things reach such a position it leads to a complaint.
When things break down in such circumstances, we need to be aware that the things we say; to the people we may disagree with; to the people we are working with to resolve a complaint and to those around us who may feel the need to contribute unhelpful comments or observations. Such things can have a significant effect on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. Moreover, this can lead to other health issues if not addressed properly.
I am writing this today because I wish to apologise on behalf of the County for a failure to take full account of somebody’s mental health and well-being over a two-year period. While following the process of dealing with a complaint relating to the operation of a Group where they were volunteering and the behaviour of people within and around it. We did not fully appreciate the extent of the impact it was having on their family. So on behalf of GLMW, today I am saying sorry to Roger and Penny Rixon for the distress they have felt during this period.
I am pleased to be able to say that the situation has now been resolved and that Roger is operating successfully in his role as the County Safety Advisor. Many of you will be aware of his safety updates here in our Monthly News. He has also been working together with District Chairman, Ernie Lunn, on a project that has provided the County with a range of Risk Assessment templates that can now be accessed via our County Website and Sharepoint folders. Roger continues to volunteer also with the St John’s Ambulance and the Royal British Legion.
Positively Looking Forwards
It is one of the strengths we gain from Scouting that we have the capacity to look forward with a positive attitude and a desire to succeed. 2020 has certainly tested this resolve beyond much that we will have normally experienced.
With the new circuit-breaker lockdown that will be in place for the remainder of November and perhaps longer, we need to dig deeper than ever in to our personal reserves. Now, more than ever before our young section members will need all the support that we can provide. Moreover, we need to offer our adult colleagues the best of our positive help and support so that we can ensure as many of us as possible can look forward to a full return of the Scouting we know and love.
The journey to this point has been harder than we would have liked. We had to learn new skills for the virtual world. We have needed to develop a greater awareness of how to support each other in a time when we are all individually stressed in ways that we may not have appreciated. At the same time, many of us have seen how the tools of the trade in virtual world can bring out the keyboard warrior in some.
Thankfully most of us have resisted this tendency and responded with a positive approach and a warm heart. I have been consistently impressed by the creative and supportive approaches to Scouting shown by the leadership of our Sections, Groups and Districts right across GLMW in 2020. Thank you to everyone who has done so much to keep our Scouting positive, vibrant and looking to the future. Without your hard work and commitment, our Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Network would have seen a much more challenging year.
Attracting More People to Scouting
The work we have all been putting in to this year has not gone unnoticed by people outside Scouting. Our online Scouting has brought many positive contacts that have seen just how valuable Scouting has been to young people during the pandemic months. The positive contributions to skills, maintaining friendships and good mental health have transmitted a strong message out in to the wider community. I was really pleased to be able to attend a taster event for a potential new Group in Harrow last week. With over 100 young people interested to attend with potential adult volunteers coming with them and many more wanting to apply, the group has the potential to be a significant new addition to the district. There were also approaches restarted for a second group in the district too.
It is clear that in the depths of this difficult time, we have the capacity to bring more young people and adults to do more Scouting in more places in the County. I encourage everyone to keep telling the world around us about the great things that Scouting brings to our world. Maybe the person socially distanced right next to you is just waiting for someone to ask them to join. Go on, give it a go and let’s make 2021 a better year to look forward to for everyone.
Richard Williams – GLMW County Commissioner