Key Information for Volunteers and Parents

Last updated 05.05.2020 09.03am

Before reading the information below, please ensure you're up to date with the guidance available at and

The Scouts have also produced guidance on supporting anybody who has experienced a bereavement during this period available at scouts/

In Birmingham, we're doing all we can to support local Districts and Groups during this time, by providing access to systems and resources from across the County Team. Check this page regularly, as it is being continuously updated with new information. If there is a topic that you need advice on that isn't listed here then please contact us by email and we will get back to you -



The County Programme team are currently working to produce/signpost resources and challenges for you all to use and get your Young People to take part in. Information on this will be circulated via your District Facebook pages.

Please also remember that all Birmingham sections can take advantage of the OSM Gold subscription feature and OSM have just launched a huge variety of the activities that can be undertaken by the Young People remotely and work towards their badges.  If you haven’t already- log on and take a look and utilise this great set of resources to keep as many of our Young People engaged with Scouting during this period.

The Scouts have developed 'The Great Indoors', which features (quite literally) hundreds of activities for you to try at home. Take a look here.

Badge ideas to do at home and links to ‘A million hands’ related activities. Click here.

There are lots of different video calling platforms. As a County we have tried and tested a number of different solutions. The three main solutions we have tried are Google Meet (attached to the County Gmail), Zoom and Microsoft Teams. It has been agreed that most of the solutions offer fairly similar options. As such, we understand that if there is one that you are used to, then you will likely continue using it. If you have not used any before then we have produced the following which will assist:

Creating a virtual meeting using Google Meet

Creating a virtual meeting using Zoom

Running a virtual meeting Hints and tips

While technology is an important part of the virtual meetings, it is just as important to note that virtual meetings have a completely different vibe to the face-to-face meeting. It is important to lay some ground rules down to the young people. Below we have included some top tips:

  • Always follow Scouts HQ Yellow Card
  • Have a practice first with friends or leaders
  • Write off the first 5 minutes for hellos
  • Mute people when they aren't speaking
  • Turn off private messaging (if available)
  • Do dress appropriately
  • Do make the session animated
  • Do be yourself and have fun!
  • Don't carry on side conversations
  • Don't cover the microphone
  • Do try to set some “offline” challenges to give you something to talk about when you get back.

As you will be running meetings for young people, it is important to remember Safeguarding still applies. The link below is designed for schools but it is very informative and worth a read before running a meeting. Although the young people are not on site and as such ratios for different sections are not needed, at least 2 leaders minimum should be on any meeting.

The Scouts also have some excellent guidance here
With specific guidance on the different platforms that are available - here

The platforms above are all about hosting a meeting, there are some useful tools that you can use while running your meeting:

The NCVO has published some useful guidance to help Executive Committees consider how they can best support Scouts locally during this time.

Any charity that needs an extension to their annual return deadline can contact the Charity Commission to ask for one. Please see their guidance here.

Headquarters have approved an amendment to the standard constitutions in POR which allows meetings to be held remotely. It also allows decisions to be made electronically. This is valid immediately and will be updated in the next update to POR, in early April. The wording is as follows:

• Electronic voting (such as email) is allowed for decision making of the County/District/Group Executive Committee and its sub-Committees when deemed appropriate by the Chair. In such instances at least 75% of committee members must approve the decision.
• The County/District/Group Executive Committee & its sub-Committees can meet by telephone conference, video conference as well as face to face in order to discharge its responsibilities when agreed by the appropriate Chair.

Annual General Meetings
We've received the following advice from the Charity Commission:
"If you feel that in the best interests of your charity and to follow the governments public health guidance it is necessary to cancel or postpone your charity’s AGM (or any other key meeting) that will be fine. You should record the decision you have made to show good governance.

As long as you as a trustee body are satisfied that the decision to not go ahead is in the best interests of the trustees, membership and beneficiaries the Commission will support you in this.

More information can be found here.

Blackwell Adventure is currently closed following government guidelines. They still have office staff working from home so they can continue to keep in touch. Direct emails are being sent to any existing groups who have bookings with any relevant information. If you would like talk to a a member of staff please request a call back via email

All activities, events and training courses have been cancelled through to the end of May.  Meetings are being held virtually where possible, and the situation is being monitored on a regular basis. Where events are cancelled all costs will be refunded to participants. If this is the case then we will contact you directly.

News Flash – Faiths for Fun
The County is pleased to announce that Birmingham Council of Faiths and Birmingham Scouts will be holding our 12th annual Faiths for Fun event on Sun 3rd May from 2.30pm. This year it will be a virtual event on Zoom. This is a free App which you can download on your computer or smartphone.

The event is for any youngster 7-12 year olds, whether, or not, they are are a member of the Scouts or Guides. The baseholders will give a demonstration on 3rd May, then there will be 2 weeks for participants to carry out an activity to submit by photo or video. All participants will receive a certificate, and there will be a prize for the best submission in 3 categories - 7-9 years, 10-12 years and a youngster with with a Special Educational Need or Disability. To register please click here for full details about the event and registration.

The following Birmingham events have been cancelled or postponed:

Higher Awards Evening - moved to the 18th October
Programme Support day - Cancelled
SWAP - postponed new date TBC
Birmingham Pride - moved to 5th and 6th September
4th July Scout and Guide event - Cancelled
European Jamboree - moved to 2nd - 13th August 2021
BrumJam - moved to 31st July - 7th August 2021
NSGSO - Cancelled
Hillwallking permit training days - Postponed until 13th September, 24th/25th October & 21st/22nd November. Details to follow
County climbing days in May and June - Cancelled

The following National events have been cancelled:

• Day of Celebration at Windsor
• Beaver and Cub Fundays at Gilwell Park and Woodhouse Park
• Gilwell 24

If you are attending an event organised by Birmingham Scouts that does not appear here, please contact the County -

All face to face Training due to take place from now until 30th April has been cancelled however, the team are looking into another way of delivering this to you, where appropriate, via online conferencing. Many of the modules do have either e-learning or a workbook that you are able to work through and to discuss with your TA for validation. Please see the link below to all the training Scheme Modules should you wish to look at an alternative method of training.

Training Modules

The Training Team are currently investigating how we support Training Advisors with supporting Leaders with any online/telephone validation ensuring Leaders do not fall too far behind at this time. Members of the team will be in touch with TAs in the near future to discuss this.

All First Aid courses are cancelled for the foreseeable future. If your qualification had expired before we had cancelled our courses, you will be prioritised on one of our courses as soon as we are able to run them again. If your qualification expired, or is due to expire over the period we have stopped face to face scouting, a 3 month extension has been granted. Due to the practical nature of many of the elements First Aid/First Response training has, there is no e-learning option for this training at this time.

A decision will be provided closer the time around any face to face Training scheduled for May and beyond.
Under new measures, Chairs, Secretaries and Treasurers must now complete mandatory ongoing learning if they have been in post for more than 5 years.

As mentioned in National Communications, now is the time to focus on any Safeguarding and Safety training which can be completed on-line and we encourage our leaders to do this ensuring they are up to date. The links for this training can be found on the pages below:

Safeguarding TrainingSafety

Should you have any questions regarding your training, particularly during this time, please contact Steph Fawdry, County Training Manager on

Processing disclosure applications and re-checks 

While all face-to-face Scout meetings and activities across the UK are suspended, Headquarters have taken the decision to stop processing disclosure applications and re-checks. This will be the case until the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted.

What this means during the Coronavirus situation

  • Volunteers will not be suspended when a disclosure re-check has not been undertaken and a valid disclosure obtained.
  • Volunteer line managers will continue to receive the reminder and suspension emails as these are automated through Compass. During this period please disregard these emails.
  • Volunteer line managers should not add any new adults during the Coronavirus situation and should not process the suspension of volunteers during this period.

Processing disclosure applications and re-checks when the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted 

Once face-to-face Scout activities and meetings resume, new disclosure applications can commence and volunteers whose disclosure has expired will be able to continue in their roles for a limited period (expected to be 90 days) before suspension will be necessary if a valid disclosure is not obtained. HQ will set a date when all volunteers who don’t have a valid disclosure must start the process to renew their disclosure.

The team at HQ have created guidance which can be found here.

To support Appointments Committee and Panel meetings to take place virtually. For more support in providing this please contact Simon Cardall, Chair County AAC -

Want support with OSM? Need help getting started or just want a few pointers?

This Saturday (2nd May) Birmingham County is running a short set of 30 minute webinars to help you get the most out of OSM

Getting set up with OSM (10:00 - 10:30)
This session will cover how to add, move and remove members with their personal details. How to use the attendance register and how to get the most out of your section size planning.

Program and Events (10:45 - 11:15)
This session will cover setting up your program in OSM and how to get the most out of creating events.

Badges and interaction with your section (11:30 - 12:00)
This session will cover getting the most of the badge recording system in OSM and how the parent portal can be really helpful especially during this time.

Join us

Meeting ID: 869 3095 1440
Password: osm

The health and wellbeing of our youngsters and adult volunteers is very important to everybody involved in Birmingham Scouting.

This new section aims to collate the great resources that are available to keep us all safe and well during these challenging times.

We will be adding in content over the next few weeks so please revisit this page

Headquarters has now put in place a framework which all groups and sections must consider and follow before they are allowed to restart face-to-face scouting. There is a dedicated page on the Scouts website containing all of the information that you now need to digest, in order to start your preparations for the return to face-to-face scouting.

In summary, the move towards a return to normal scouting will be governed by a four level system which will be regularly reviewed and updated on the above webpage.

Red – current level – no face to face Scouting is allowed
Amber – face to face Scouting in small groups (likely a patrol/Six) in an outdoor location with the necessary adult ratios
Yellow – face to face Scouting in larger groups (possibly up to 20) in an outdoor location with necessary adult ratios
Green – face to face Scouting can take place indoor, subject to any social distancing rules in place at that time.

Any questions?

Please contact

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