Tomorrow, Monday 29th March is a big day in the Government’s roadmap out of current restrictions, and an even bigger day for us across South Ribble. We move back to the Amber-level within our Getting Back Together framework. This is brilliant news and means that Section and Unit meetings can take place outdoors.
What can we do in Amber?
Outdoor activities for young people, for which you have an approved Amber COVID risk assessment in place can resume. There’s no limit on the group size for activities involving young people but each activity should remain as only one section meeting independently of others. Programmed activities for Scout Network (non-social) can take place outdoors, and again there’s no limit on group size, but each activity should remain as only one section meeting independently of others. Where small sections may struggle to be viable to operate independently they may join with another section. The number of adults present should be limited to those who are required to be present to support the activity. It’s important to remember that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic and we all have the duty to make sure we’re following the letter and spirit of the guidance. It’s not yet possible to run indoor activities or residential activities.
Any non-social, developmental activities for adults without young people present must operate in line with government guidance.
All activities should be planned to minimise risk by limiting travel at all times.
Do things change on 12th April, when the Government currently expects to further ease restrictions?
In line with the government moving to Step 2 (no earlier than 12th April 2021) we are anticipating further changes that would then allow for meetings indoor, outdoors, and day trips and visits (overnight and residential experiences will remain prohibited). It is expected that maximum group sizes will be in place for indoor activities, this will be confirmed the week before the move to allow indoor activities.
What are we focused on to support our Sections, Units, and Groups?
- COVID Risk Assessments: supporting both the completion and approval of risk assessments for Sections and Units that don’t already have an approved Amber risk assessment in place for the venue you’re able to use and the activities you’d like to deliver. We’ve updated the Risk Assessment and help files section on our site.
- Volunteer Training: we know a lot of our volunteers need to refresh their First Response training, working in partnership with the County Team and Hampshire Scouts we have been able to create an online module, which would need a future short face-to-face validation session when restrictions allow. Our County Team has a full range of both Section Leader and Manager and Supporter wood badge training, via online remote sessions – and we’ve retained a focus on mandatory safeguarding and safety training.
- Programme Support: as well as still encouraging online Section and Unit meetings, and Scouting at Home, we’re moving to focus on enhancing the quality of our programmes, top awards, young leader support, and planning for when events can resume. Don’t forget if your struggling with programme ideas, check out the pre-made programme ideas
- Preparing for Nights Away and Activity Permit renewals: we know that Nights Away and Activity Permits will have expired over the last 12 months. We’re working to understand the numbers that will require renewal and to begin preparations for this.
- Recruitment and Marketing: COVID-19 has presented a unique challenge to Scouts and young people need Scouting now more than ever, Across the UK we’ve seen many people volunteer for the first time, whether for the NHS or local community organisations like ours, so now is a great time to focus on creating opportunities for new people to join, both young people and adults. We will be doing this:
- Re-engage our existing volunteers
- Engage with our local community
- Getting more young people involved
- Getting new volunteers involved
- Celebrating Success
We will be sharing more shortly about how we will be doing this across the district. But if you have any questions, need that added support, please reach out to Jon Nutten – Lead Volunteer Communications
- Does the limit on numbers still apply to indoor meetings? At the moment we don’t know the answer to this. We are expecting more guidance before 12th April. We suggest that risk assessments still state these limits – they can be amended by yourselves following their approval if needs be.
- Social distancing and the wearing of masks are not mentioned. Is this still required? Please continue to put these measures into your risk assessment as they still apply to some of the guidance.
- Can adults move between sections and nights? Yes, but young people cannot.