March 2021 Newsletter from the DC Team

Date: 18th Mar 2021 Author: Heather Jones

Afternoon all,

Spring is in the air and things are looking brighter. Quite a few arms have already received their first jabs, and most of our young people recently went back to school.  In just a few weeks the clocks will spring forward (on Sunday 28th March) and the very next day Amber-outdoors face-to-face scouting is due to become possible….just as the school Easter holidays start.

While many of us will be relishing the switch from virtual to (mainly) real-world scouting next term, neither big get-togethers nor camping will be possible for quite some time – hence the plans for a special E&H St George’s weekend (24th-25th April) as outlined below.

NB There’s a planning meeting for this whole St George’s event on Monday 22nd March – details below. (And also see below for the link to the St George’s Week-end’s sign-up Google Form – covering not just the camping bit but also the Sunday morning. We really need your help to promote this and help us get an idea of numbers well in advance please!

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

  • District.

    • Preparing for face-to-face (Amber rules)

    • St George’s Week-end District Camp-at-home, Sat 24th-Sun 25th April

    • District Appointment News

    • Congratulations to ….

    • Recent Training

    • LTM: Get Well Soon!

    • Ordering Badges

    • District Vacancies

    • Group News

  • Info from elsewhere –

    • GLMW

      • Elevate

      • Beaver 35th birthday

    • National

      • Recruitment Workshops

      • Section Leader Advice Sessions

      • World Scout opportunity


Preparing for face-to-face

We now know the likely date for meetings in person under Amber rules (initially outdoors only from 29th March, then with the addition of the indoors option from 14th April) For some, sessions during the school holidays may be an option, but for most of us, this means starting to plan for the beginning of the summer term, week commencing Monday 19th April.

Each section and Group will be assessing what they feel able to offer during the summer term. We know how much the young people are looking forward to real-world sessions, so we are hopeful that many sections will be in a position to offer at least some face-to-face scouting. Please do check the Amber rules on National website carefully and review any previously approved Covid RA to update it if necessary. Of course we are also aware that much will depend on the individual circumstances of our leaders, the level of cases in this area and the roll-out of vaccinations.

We want to re-emphasise the strong encouragement from HQ to run sessions outdoors as much as possible – even once the indoor option becomes available.

Reminder checklist  – you will need:

  • Approved Amber Covid Risk Assessment

  • All section team with in-date Safety & Safeguarding;

  • Written regular Risk Assessments (Shared with all section leaders & helpers)

  • Submit Activity Notification*

  • Bags of excitement and enthusiasm…which won’t be hard.


* If you hold any meetings/events away from your normal meeting place or if you are running an event that requires an adventurous activity permit you need to complete an Activity Notification via our website. We define “away from your normal meeting place” as a location not directly linked to your premises so, for example, if the 1st Ealing North visits Montpelier Park or the 7th Hanwell the grassy area next to The Warren, then this is considered the “normal meeting place” but if the 25th Ealing visited Ealing Green then this is not so a Notification would need to be submitted.

St George’s Event – District-wide Camp-at-home, Sat 24th-Sun 25th April – TIME TO HELP WITH PLANNING AND TO REGISTER

THE GOOGLE FORM TO REGISTER  FOR THIS IS NOW LIVE (we really want to get this into everyone’s diary prior to the school holidays please!) The form covers all parts of the event separately – so non-campers please also use it to register for Sunday morning.

Yes, we’re well underway – the initial planning is looking good for our inaugural Ealing & Hanwell Camp-At-Home to be held over the week-end Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th April.  In addition to our Sunday morning ceremony, we want  as many young people and their leaders to spend the Saturday night outside in their gardens or balconies celebrating Scouting. (But for younger ones particularly, using indoor dens is fine too!)

Even a camp-at-home needs a team to organise and we have a meeting (via Zoom of course) planned for Monday 22nd March, 8pm.  The help needed – to plan the challenges and help organise the Ceremony on Sunday morning – is at least one Beaver leader, Cub leader and Scout leader and ideally even an Explorer leader (although we know Explorers might be too “cool” for the Saturday & overnight bit).

The Zoom link is below – but please do get in touch to let Heather know if you’ll be attending. (Group Reps also welcome!)

Mar 22, 2021 08:00 PM London  St George Planning Meeting     Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 962 5574 8700    Passcode: 99412970

Here’s a quick outline of the structure of our St G week-end so far.

In addition to the overnight camping option…..

On Saturday – from 5pm onwards until bedtime (by age-group) – the idea is to provide a series of challenge options (suitable for each section), with activities being mainly away from the screen and preferably outdoors. We will also offer a few short check-in Zooms.

On Sunday morning at 9am we have a special visitor booked to join us via Zoom – St George himself! Will it be the mythical figure or the ‘real’ one? Either way, come and meet St George as portrayed by historical re-enactor Richard White. (NB We definitely need to know our numbers for this portion –  to plan which type of Zoom to set up)

Once St George departs to slay another dragon we will hold a brief renewal of promises – and celebration of achievements and some presentations – before closing the event. Exact timings to follow,  but we’re aiming to be finished by no later than 10:45

NB If Groups would like to link with this umbrella event but run as their own Virtual Group camp within that, that’s obviously great – but we are also happy for parents to book in individual young people directly. Please let your parents know which option will apply.

As you will see, the form asks for an idea of numbers  for each time-slot  separately :(Saturday pm/evening activities; Sat camping overnight; St George 9am session; plus – MOST IMPORTANT – 10am Final Ceremony, with Renewal of Promises & Presentations)

Group Quartermasters – as mentioned before, we hope you can come up with a covid-safe system to allow your young people to access your tents, tarpaulins or bivi bags.

District Appointment News

It’s terrific to be able to announce the appointment of Cliff Brooke as District Centre Manager for Walter Davies.  As many of you will know, Cliff brings considerable prior experience from his time at PACCAR. We have been scouring the earth since Dave Folkerd’s passing so it’s a big relief to find a replacement just as we are starting to think about returning to our campsite.  Cliff can be contacted on

Congratulations to…

Georgina Horwich. We are delighted to hear that Georgie has been successful in gaining a place at the World Scout 2022 Moot in Ireland as part of the UK contingent.

Local Training Manager: Get well soon!

Unfortunately Jenny Foxwell recently slipped and broke a few bones. She’s recovering fine, but computer keyboard entry is awkward. John is kindly assisting but inevitably some LTM matters, such as Compass updating following training (etc), may be delayed for a little while.  Who knew that one of the few things we are allowed to do under the current lockdown (just going out for a walk) could be so hazardous.

Recent & upcoming Training – First Response 

Huge thanks to Howard. Fifteen of our leaders completed the virtual portion of the First Response training on Sunday 7th March, and more are due to attend on 21st March. Thank you to all concerned for completing this vital training. The in-person practical element will be arranged as soon as this is permitted. (If you still need initial virtual First Response – or renewal – please get in touch; other dates will be on offer in due course, including space on courses run by other Districts.


Manager Training

Several of our GSLs and District Team members covered a big chunk of Manager training with the GLMW training team via Zoom on Saturday 6th March, and many are also booked to complete part 3 on 28th March – a big thank you to all who took this opportunity to work towards their Manager Wood Badge!


Ordering Badges

Our Badge Secretary Roy Gosling is happy to supply badges, so please get in touch. Many badges are available right away from his stocks, others he will need to order for you. Please contact Roy by phone on 020 88667975 (between 9am and 9pm) or email him on Roy will post the badges since personal drop-off isn’t currently an option. Please note that a few badges remain ‘out of stock’ on the National system, but Roy will alert you if that’s the case.


District Vacancies

We still have several vacancies across the District Team.  Please contact Heather or Ben if you would like to know more, are interested or would like to recommend someone.  They are:

  • District Commissioner – Team Role.

  • Deputy District Commissioner (14-25)

  • District Explorer Scout Commissioner

  • Duke of Edinburgh Programme Manager

  • District Network Scout Commissioner

  • IT/Website Person


Group News 

We recently heard some excellent news from Mark Yates, GSL of 8th Ealing.  Their Beaver Assistant, Scott Illman – no longer able to help regularly with Beaver sessions – has agreed to change roles and take the position of Chair instead, while Scott’s father has agreed to become the Group Treasurer. Also delighted to hear that Sam Reidy, previously a leader in Hammersmith, is joining 8th as part of their Beaver Leader team. A warm welcome to all!


More excellent news from 6th Ealing where we are delighted to report that Sarah Mercan has now agreed to take on the role of Group Scout Leader (instead of her previous role of Chair). Thank you Sarah!

Information from elsewhere


Elevate – GLMW Virtual Camp (27th March)

Please pass on: your young people can register directly for this

“Chocks away and prepare for take-off! On Saturday 27th March join us for a virtual day of air themed activities as we explore aviation, space, technology and science, all with the help of some special guests! Marking the 80th anniversary of Air Scouts and 110 years of the air activities badge, we’ll have tour and visits, experiments, crafts and much more. Best source of info is the GLMW Facebook page – timed programme is available there.

Registration is still open for the event

Happy 35th Birthday, Beavers – 1st April 

Information has been sent out by ADC Beavers Sarah Appleby about 1st April, which is Beavers’ 35th Birthday. There’s no plan to issue a badge, but some activity ideas have been emailed to all Beaver leaders (forwarded by Mandy). These could also be used next term (given that 1st April will fall during Easter break for most)

National HQ:

Recruitment Workshops

As we plan for welcoming back new and existing youth members, we can also think about recruiting new volunteers to our teams, to help with face to face and blended delivery of programme. The Regional Services Team are hosting an interactive workshop on a number of dates from 24th March to 29th April, that are aimed at helping all Leaders and Section leaders to recruit new adult volunteers. Further info plus chance to register for any of the listed dates here

Section Advice Sessions

For Section Leaders: Join us to #AskTheAdvisor at our special programme event on 27 March. Our section advisors will be providing you with ideas, answers and practical knowledge to help deliver amazing programmes in these challenging times.

Register for your preferred time slot now.  (Each is 45mins)

10am Beavers, 11am Cubs, 1pm Scouts, 2pm Explorers, 3pm Network

World Scouting – opportunity for someone aged 18-25

UK International Rep Pool

Scouts UK have just launched this volunteer vacancy on the website, where further information on the role can be found, and would love for any of our Leaders aged 18-25 or Network Scouts to be involved! (NB The deadline for applications is 22nd March)

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