Last updated 20.09.2020
Before reading the information below, please ensure you are up to date with the guidance available at scouts.org.uk/coronavirus
The Scouts have also produced guidance on supporting anybody who has experienced a bereavement during this period available at scouts/org.uk/bereavement
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 - email@example.com
Looking for some simple quick activities or even some more involved ones? Remember that the Youth commissioner’s daily challenges and iJam weakly challenge videos are all still online and contain a range of quick challenges and some more challenging activities. We have also mapped all the weekly challenge videos to Scout badge work requirements so you can easily tick off your members achievements.
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.
There is a whole section on socially distanced ideas on the Scout Association website.
The national programme team at Gilwell have put together a wide range of programme ideas and activities for you. There is the excellent programme planning tools at https://www.scouts.org.uk/programme-planner/plan as well as a range of activities specially chosen to be suitable for online Scouting at https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/running-your-section/running-a-scout-troop/scout-socially-distanced-activities/
If that wasn’t enough, Online Scout Manager has their excellent “badges on line” which can be accessed by every group using the Free OSM access paid for by the County. And of course there is always the 1st Facebook Scout group which is always full of great programme ideas!
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:
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 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. 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.
All activities, events and training courses have been cancelled through to the end of December. 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.
The following Birmingham events have been cancelled or postponed:
County AGM - Monday 12th October 2020
Higher Awards Evening - moved to Sunday 21st March 2021
SWAP - postponed new date TBC
European Jamboree - moved to 2nd - 13th August 2021
BrumJam - moved to 31st July - 7th August 2021
NSGSO - moved to Sunday 1st August to Sunday 8th August 2021
If you are attending an event organised by Birmingham Scouts that does not appear here, please contact the County - firstname.lastname@example.org
All face to face Training due to take place has been cancelled however, the team are looking into another way of delivering this to you 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.
First Aid training is now available as a 3 hour online module which means that on completion of this, once available you will then need to complete the face to face section. Please click here to book onto the next online course.
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
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 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.
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.