Late August/Early September 2020 Newsletter from the DC Team

Date: 1st Sep 2020 Author: Ben Pearson

We approach the new term with mixed emotions, which I guess is understandable after what was undoubtedly the most unusual term in Heather and Ben’s 20 odd years’ Scouting in E&H.  Since lockdown commenced in late March many of us have viewed the reopening of schools as a return to some sort of normality and for most young people in our District this is just around the corner.  Excitement, nervousness and worry are all there, and sometimes reading the posts on the various Scouting Facebook groups can allow more negativity to creep in, but we remember why we Scout and who we volunteer for, and we bury that one.

With this term bringing a number of changes we will be holding a District ‘All Leaders’ Meeting’ on Tuesday 8th September at 7.30pm for a 7.45 start.  This will be virtual, via Zoom, but we ask all uniformed members to join us so we can talk you through the changes and help you understand how they impact on your role..  Please register at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUoce-grT8tGdcfRZlr6vR9q4VrKCJN8QUi. Non uniformed members (Executives) are also welcome to join us.

We also invite you to our first ever virtual District AGM but more on this later.

As we distribute this we are expecting changes in the definition of ‘Amber’ to go live from Thursday 3rd September.  More on this later.

In this month’s Newsletter

  • National Scout HQ Updates 
      • Covid RA Updates
      • Safety Updates: Written Risk Assessments & Activity Notifications
      • Training Updates
      • Census
      • Gilwell Reunion 2020
      • Webinar videos
  • Our District 
      • District AGM
      • Submitting your Covid Risk Assessment
      • Walter Davies Campsite
      • First Aid Training
      • District Vacancies
  • GLMW News
    • Update on Race Across Europe Competition (Scout Section)
  • District Diary Dates (including remote meetings, and links to remote training options)

National Scout HQ

Covid RA Updates – Proposed changes from 3rd September.

It has been announced that HQ are anticipating changing the definition of Amber.  If you are about to finalise your covid RA and submit it is probably prudent to incorporate the changes.  These are:

  • Indoor Activities will be allowed
  • Numbers change to 15 young people and up to five adults (carers will not be counted in these numbers)
  • Young people must stay in their batch but adults will now be able to move between batches at the same time, i.e. across the 25m spacing and to a section meeting at a different time on the same day
  • Adults who are delivering activities do not need to wear a face covering.
  • Scouts and Explorers will need to wear face coverings indoors
  • All young people do need to maintain 2m social distance from each adult

Note: these are not live yet so are liable to change.  Check https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/getting-everyone-back-together-safely/ You will need to amend your risk assessment to incorporate these and submit the updated version to covidapproval@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk.

 

Safety – changes from September

Talking through this will be a key part of our All Leaders’ Briefing.

  1. Written Risk Assessments (not part of the COVID 19 RA Approvals system!) – written RAs for everything we do – phasing in by 1st January 2021
  2. Activity Notifications – All adventurous activities or meetings away from the normal section HQ are reported to the DC 
  3. Revised Online Safety module.

Training Updates

  • From 1st September Safety and Safeguarding (S&S) training will no longer be part of Module 1 – Essential Information.  New adults in roles that require S&S will now have to complete Module 1 and the separate S&S training.
  • Module 1 – Essential Information for Executive Committees is also being replaced and there will now be an executive committee ‘top up’ in combination with the standard Module 1 (that same ‘top up’ will also be very useful for leaders who are also ex officio trustees)
  • More on this as the training documentation gets updated.

Census – January 2021 after all (NOT October 2020!) 

Just to confirm – in case you hadn’t picked up this latest change. The census will be in January 2021 (the same timing as in previous years) as HQ agreed to delay the ‘shift’ till the Census after that. So  it’s one less thing to worry about this Autumn – panic cancelled!

Gilwell Reunion 2020

This annual-get together is going digital for the first time ever!  On 5 and 6 September, you’ll be able to connect with thousands of volunteers from across the globe for an online weekend jam-packed with interactive workshops, training sessions, and the all-important socials.

If you fancy joining in, save the date and sign up to:

  •       Help shape the programme by letting Scouts UKHQ know what you’re interested in
  •       Receive weekly updates about what’s happening (some sessions will have limited capacity so you’ll be the first to hear about them)
  •       Be entered into a prize draw to win a selection of Scouts goodies

 You can find out more here – scouts.org.uk/reunion

Recordings of recent important Webinars 

There have been many useful briefings over the last few months.  HQ is now storing all these webinars for anyone to access on a common page.  To access the recordings, go to https://vimeo.com/showcase/7353819

Our District

All Leaders’ District Meeting – Virtual

To talk through the new term and some of the changes.  Tuesday 8th September at 7.30pm for a 7.45 start.  This will be virtual, via Zoom, but we ask all uniformed members to join us so we can talk you through the changes and help you understand how they impact on your role..  Please register at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUoce-grT8tGdcfRZlr6vR9q4VrKCJN8QUi. Non uniformed members (Executives) are also welcome to join us.

District AGM –  Virtual

The District AGM is on Wednesday 23rd September at 7.45 for a 8pm start.  We will be running the meeting via Zoom and invite all adults within the District.  Please register here https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYpcOCvrjwoHtAUIucK-VDGAxxvv3xtDd1r

 Submitting Your Covid Risk Assessment

The District panel of approvers has settled to a weekly meeting on a Tuesday.  If you are ready to apply to move to Amber, or would like to know more about the process, please visit https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/getting-everyone-back-together-safely/ where all the guidance exists. There is also now a helpful video which is well worth watching if you are wanting to make a start on your Covid Risk Assessment https://scouts-news.org.uk/31ME-12GJW-5YAIY2-O71IF-1/c.aspx

Once your Covid Risk Assessment and Action Plan is complete and checked by the Group Scout Leader/Exec or nominated parties, please email a copy of this to our dedicated email address covidapproval@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk so we can precheck it. The Approval Panel will review the documents and once satisfied, ask you to submit it via the HQ process for formal approval.  We will also tell you who to enter as the approver out of Heather and Ben…this will change depending on our links to specific groups or for workload balancing.

When you prepare your initial Covid RA, it may be helpful to think forward and include different locations so that less information will need to be changed – otherwise you’ll need to submit a new RA for each different location not previously mentioned on your approved RA.

If you wish to pre-prepare a Covid RA for Yellow, by all means share this in advance via the same dedicated email address above, but we will not be issuing any actual approvals for Yellow until/unless Yellow has been declared for our region. This is also because of the possibility of changes to the requirements and rules as time goes on. 

Walter Davies Campsite 

Another hard day’s graft was held on 15th August – many thanks to all those who came to help! A lot of digging was involved.

As mentioned in the last Newsletter, in September we are restarting the process of applying for planning permission to build the maintenance sheds and are holding a public open day on Saturday 5th September.  We will be inviting local residents and parish councillors along to view our plans in advance of a formal application.  If you are a regular user of the campsite and would like to come along to talk about why it’s a great facility then please email DC@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk to ‘book’ a place.  2-4pm.

We have submitted our Amber RA to County and hope to reopen WD soon.  We are planning on running multi-activity sessions for you so you can bring your beavers, cubs, scouts or explorers along on a Saturday or Saturday.  More news on this very soon.  In addition, you will be able to use the site for your normal section meeting, perhaps moving to a longer Saturday or Sunday meeting in lieu of your normal weekday. (if so, do include this as a possible location on your Covid RA)

First Aid Training

Until the Scout Association gives the green light to all activities first response training can not be delivered.  County would like to reassure all leaders that their out of date first response training will not be an issue. 

Until the green light….

After that County will deliver a month long series of first response courses both at the week-end and during evening sessions at Greenford HQ.  After the green light, if your first response is out of date, you will have a maximum of six months to get it done.

If you have first response training of 16hrs, from your workplace or other situation, and would like to help the County trainers deliver their full on package, please contact Jenny Foxwell.  She can put you in touch with a County contact who can give you more details

District Vacancies

Sharon and Dominic Lunney, our Young Leader leaders are moving out of the District and are having to vacate their Explorer Scout Leader (Young Leader) roles.  We are keen to recruit replacements as soon as possible so that the hard work that Sharon and Dominic put in over the past 2 years can be carried on.  Please contact Ben on b.pearson@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk if you have any questions or are interested in the role.

GLMW News

GLMW Race Across Europe.  Congratulations to the 1st Ealing North and 7th Hanwell who came first and third respectively in the first ever GLMW Race Across Europe.  Thank you to Howard Branley, our new ACC (S), for running this and keeping us well informed.

Yours in Scouting

Ben and Heather

DC Team, Ealing & Hanwell  

dc@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk

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