December 2020 Newsletter from the DC Team 

Date: 11th Dec 2020 Author: Heather Jones

We write this with the countdown to Christmas well underway.  As with so many other conventions in 2020, the tradition of putting Christmas decorations up in December have gone out of the window and social media in mid November was full of Christmas trees…shocking. Most section leaders will have one week of meetings to go, whether virtual or face to face, and we are all looking forward to a few weeks off.

December is not traditionally the end of the Scouting year but we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers, in and out of uniform, for all their efforts this year.  The hard work so many of you have put in to running your sections during the pandemic has been awe inspiring.  Who knew that running Scouting from our living rooms or kitchens could be so hard?  Whether it be controlling 25 beavers, cubs, scouts or explorers over zoom; or keeping 15 young people socially distanced when meeting in person; or having to deliver all the equipment for Christmas Card making; or hand sanitising constantly we thank you.  Please take a break, make sure you switch off (unless the DC Team contact you ?), and recharge your batteries for another tough, covid impacted term.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the vaccine roll outs gather momentum and we can all start to plan for a return to the Scouting we are used to.  Thank you.

Here’s a quick summary of this month’s Newsletter.

  • Our District

    • Awards Presentation

    • Explorer Belt

    • The 2021 Membership Fee

    • Financial Support

    • Young Leaders

  • GLMW

    • GLMW Virtual Christmas Party (for adult volunteers)

    • PACCAR – floodlit for evening activities

    • Training – and/or Validations

  • National Scout HQ

    • Reminder re HQ notification of COVID cases

    • Reminder – Written RAs for all activities from January

District items

Awards Presentation

As many of you are aware, HQ furloughed their Awards team at the start of the pandemic and they only recently returned to work.  We have received a number of certificates in the post and with the next formal event, St George’s Day, being 4 months away we have decided to hold another virtual presentation ceremony.  This will be on Sunday 20th December and we hope as many of our volunteers as possible can attend.  The ceremony will start at 7.30 and will last around an hour.  Registration is required and the link to register is

As with our June Awards Presentation, we will be publishing the Award Recipients and a video shortly afterwards.

Explorer Belt

Are you ready for the expedition of a lifetime? The Explorer Belt is one of the top awards in Scouting and a lot of members’ favourite; it’s an international expedition where you get the chance to explore their culture and take in all the country has to offer. The expedition location is to be decided by you, so if there’s a place you’ve always wanted to explore, this could be your opportunity! We are looking to start the ball rolling on a late 2021 or summer 2022 expedition.  To find out more, join the Zoom presentation on the 17th December to register your interest in taking part – there will be a second zoom meeting on the 13th January if you can’t make it. Click here to join the Zoom presentation.

 The expedition is open to those aged 18-25, but I am inviting those aged 16 and over who will be 18 come the date of the expedition to the presentation. If anyone has any questions about the Explorer Belt, please email me at

2021 Membership Fees

As a result of the financial challenges facing Scouting HQ are increasing their element of the membership fee by £7.50 of which £1.50 will be ring-fenced for financially challenged groups.  As you may be aware, the total membership that is charged for each young person includes a HQ, County and District element.  However, to lessen the impact on our Groups of such a large jump at this particular time, both GLMW and Ealing and Hanwell have taken the decision to absorb some of this increase – for one year only – by temporarily reducing the portions taken by County and District respectively. The GLMW portion is being discounted by  £3 pp and our District portion by £1pp. Overall, this means that the total level of increase per young person, which Groups (and our Explorer section) will need to find in April 2021, will be an additional £3.50pp rather than £7.50. The breakdown is HQ: £36; GLMW: £8.75; District: £6.25 – so the total membership fee per young person will therefore be £51 for 2021.

Please note that after the census in January 2021, the annual census is moving to October every year going forward. So that will mean a census in October 2021, with the young person numbers at that point being used to determine April 2022 membership fees.

Financial Support

We have refreshed the application form for District Financial Support and this is now on our website at  This fund is for young people and adult volunteers who wish to take part in Scouting but may have financial challenges holding them back.  We WANT to spend this money to help people do Scouting so please make sure your section leaders and exec know it exists.  We’d like to thank the 25th Ealing who donated an extra £10,000 to the fund this year.

Young Leaders

– Reminder from Nuria & Sergio to all the GSLs to email them on to say who they have in each section as YL, so we can make sure they are enrolled and they get access to the training and support.

– 15th December, module A on Zoom.

– More info about YL program for 2021 to follow in due course.

GLMW items

Virtual County Christmas Party – for all adult volunteers

Join us on Tuesday, 22nd December from 8.00pm for an evening of festive fun, crazy Christmas challenges and a bit of healthy competition in our County quiz.

The invitation is open to all adult volunteers in GLMW. Register by using this form  and we’ll send you all you need to join in with the party!


PACCAR Scout Camp, Chalfont Heights – floodlit

From the PACCAR Facebook page – “We don’t let the cold winter evenings stop the fun! If you’re looking for floodlit outdoor activities, run in a COVID safe environment drop us a message or give us a call! #f2fscouting #outdoor #highropes #Archey  #zipwires #abseil #axethrowing #leapoffaith.” Email or phone: 01753882640


Training – and/or  Validation

The GLMW website has a very helpful page on validation. In cases where there’s sufficient experience and knowledge, it may be possible to go straight for validation on a specific module, rather than being required to complete a particular training course first. Please contact your  Training Adviser or GSL to discuss further.

National HQ items

Notification to HQ – usual online incident reporting applied to confirmed COVID cases

Where someone has been confirmed with COVID and has attended a face to face Scouts activity within the previous 14 days, you need to notify headquarters using the online incident reporting form and selecting COVID test in the medical interventions section.

Written Risk Assessments – reminder (required from Jan 2021 onwards)

In our November newsletter we briefed you about the change to the rules regarding written Risk Assessments and the transition period (no Brexit joke) ends in December.  From January all Scouting activities are required to have a recorded RA.  Although it sounds difficult and a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be.  Those of you using OSM can use their risk assessment library feature, as the 1st Ealing North Group are doing, to keep a central record.  Contact the DC Team if you need any guidance.

Yours in Scouting

Heather and Ben

DC Team, Ealing & Hanwell

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