Getting Everyone Back Together Safely

Getting Everyone Back Together Safely

As lockdown measures start to ease, UK Scouts/SHQ are working with youth sector partners and other Government bodies to understand what a safe return to face to face Scouts may look like when the readiness level reduces from red.

A framework and set of guidance on how elements of face to face Scouts could take place and the safety measures we would need to take into account has been produced.

 You can also watch a webinar explaining more on how you can re-start Scouts. 

Please remember, face to face Scouts is still suspended as the readiness level for Scotland is still red – but this is guidance to help you prepare for a for a time where restrictions may ease enough to allow it. 

If you wish, you can review this guidance now and start to make local plans for how you would implement some face to face activities once the readiness level in the nation is reduced but please ensure you adhere to the guidance and the associated sign off processes BEFORE engaging young people in any indoor or outdoor face to face Scouting. In addition, please check with your Group/District about other local requirements e.g. who approves risk assessments.

However, please do not feel pressurised to take any action at this stage if you prefer not to.

We will continue to update you on advice given going forward.

 

Mike Treanor
Scouting Support Officer
michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk 

Appointments Advisory Committees Go Online During Lockdown

Appointments Advisory Committees Go Online During Lockdown

The advice from Gilwell is that we should continue to hold Appointment Advisory Committee (AAC) interviews for potential leaders and adult supporters during lockdown. We do need to attract and recruit new leaders despite the lull in face-to-face Scouting. And we are all now learning how to do Scouting in different ways because of the lockdown.

So AAC interviews can be done online, as has been successfully shown by the Craigalmond AAC.

Here’s some advice from Aileen Thomson, Chair of Craigalmond AAC, on how they did this.

Craigalmond, being a large District, often has a number of potential leaders and others needing to attend AAC meetings. We had three AAC meetings set up for March which all had to be cancelled for Covid 19 reasons. By mid-April we had 41 candidates needing to attend an AAC meeting and so we decided to try holding one online.

Here is what we did:

  • We set a date and booked that on Zoom.
  • Put together an AAC Panel – with a slight difference in that all had to have access to Zoom and we had one extra member to run a waiting room for participants.  (This would not need to be a member of the AAC team).
  • Set up a Doodle Poll for the times of the appointments on a first come first served basis.
  • Invites (including the Doodle Poll link) were sent out to possible participants (we only invited 12 for the original one as a trial) The six appointments filled quickly.  We used an updated version of our usual invite.
  • Confirmation was then sent to the six successful candidates with the link to the Zoom details.
  • The AAC panel were supplied with the names of the candidates, a potted version of the AI form, their PVG status and their training status to help with the interview.
  • Candidates joined the Zoom meeting at their allotted interview time and were held in the waiting room until the panel was ready for them. This helped with privacy.
  • After the interview, the AAC panel had its usual discussion and one member recorded the outcomes.

How did it go:

This all turned out to be successful and easier than we expected! And we have scheduled in more! We are also having discussions about using this method for some more AAC interviews in the future.

Candidates seem to appreciate we were trying to do something, and that they didn’t need to travel. The AAC panel members felt comfortable to ask all the appropriate questions. It was possibly harder to create a friendly atmosphere.

What did we learn:

We had allowed 20 minutes per interview as we felt they would be shorter than a face to face session. This proved wrong in fact – some were longer than normal as some candidates seem happy to talk to a screen! So, need to revert back to our usual 30 minutes.

The fourth person was crucial to run a waiting room, to stop the next candidate interrupting the current interview. It also allowed the three panel members to concentrate on doing the meeting and not worrying about the technology.

Needed someone with a Zoom licence to host meeting to stop having to re-join after 40 mins. Some Districts may have a member who can access Zoom. However, the Scout Association has done a deal with Zoom Pro for all to have access for the next few months – coming soon.

I would be happy to answer any questions. You can contact me at ian.harrower2@virgin.net

Do think about it – it does work very well!

Aileen Thomson
Chair of the Craigalmond AAC

South East Scotland COVID-19 Information & Advice

South East Scotland COVID-19 Information & Advice

During this difficult time please remember to keep looking at our COVID-19 Information and Advice page on the SES Website – https://sesscouts.org.uk/covid-19-information/

You can get information and advice on:

  • Regional Commissioner’s Updates 
  • Governance – including help for Executive Committees to consider how best they can support Scouts locally during this time
  • Programme – information on how to deliver activities to young people in a safe and interesting way – this is updated on a regular basis 
  • Regional Office and Regional Scout Centres – including who and how to contact Regional staff at this time, and the status of Bonaly and Longcraig Scout Centres 
  • Training – advice on how you can progress and keep your training, including mandatory requirements, up-to-date – please see Assistant Regional Commissioner Mary Dick’s article and this link also provides helpful advice:
    https://www.scouts.scot/members/training/scoutin/
  • Supporting adults and young people – advice on how to maintain your physical and mental health at this time – see separate article within this Newsletter

If you need any further information or support at this time please let us know. You can contact Mike Treanor, Scouting Support Officer at michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk

Safeguarding Update

Safeguarding Update

Policy:

It is the policy of the Scouts to safeguard the welfare of all young people by protecting them from neglect and from physical, sexual and emotional harm. All members have a duty to report concerns or suspicions and a right to do so in confidence and free from harassment.

South East Scotland Scouts are committed to:

  • Taking the interests and well-being of young people into account, in all our considerations and activities
  • Respecting the rights, wishes and feelings of the young people with whom we work.
  • Taking all reasonable, practicable steps to protect them from neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
  • Promoting the welfare of young people and their protection within a position of trust.
  • An adult in Scouting also has a responsibility to ensure that they do not put themselves in a position where they could have an allegation made against themselves.

All adult members in Scouting who wish to work with young people, are responsible for putting the above policy into practice at all times.

Courses:

During 2019 the safeguarding team delivered 21 courses throughout the region and trained 376 adult members. The team wishes to thank all those that attended and hope that they are putting what they have learnt into practice.

One of the main topics that delegates raise during courses was related to travelling with young people. The following guidance from Gilwell that is consistent with the Yellow Card Version 7 November 2019 is as follows:

  • An adult in Scouting cannot be alone in a vehicle with any young person who they are not the parent of
  • However, any adult involved in Scouting can transport their own child to a meeting or to a Scout camp.
  • An adult involved in Scouting can also collect a friend or another Scout on the way to a meeting/camp and drop them off on the way home, as long as they won’t be alone in the vehicle at any time with the young person who isn’t their child.
  • If an adult leader needs to transport a group of young people (i.e. more than one) to a Scouting event in their own vehicle, this is also acceptable, as long their insurance allows for this. But in these circumstances, they must ensure that they are not alone in the vehicle with any one of the young people. Therefore, make sure they pick up the group together and drop them off together.
  • In relation to activities outside of Scouting, if the child is involved in Scouting, the Yellow Card rules still apply. However, if the child is not involved in Scouting, this is a private matter.

Requesting a Safeguarding Course

It is the responsibility of the District Commissioners or ADCs Adult training to request courses via the Safeguarding Awareness Coordinator as and when they are required for their districts. Please provide a couple of alternative dates and venue. The courses normally run from 7.00pm to 9.30pm, weekdays and 2.00pm to 4.30pm weekends. Once the date and venue has been agreed the course will be available on the SES Scouts website for delegates to register. It would be appreciated if a screen (or wall suitable to project onto) is available along with tea / coffee and biscuits. The Safeguarding team require access to the facility 30 minutes before the start of the course to allow for set-up time. Note, if an adult member is unable to attend a local course they may attend a course in any of the other Regions in Scotland.

Russell Shoulder
Safeguarding Awareness Coordinator
South East Scotland Scouts

Regional Adviser, Safety: Could you help us be more safety aware in the Region?

Regional Adviser, Safety: Could you help us be more safety aware in the Region?

(And can you spot the mistake in this photo of Scouts on a winter hike in the hills? – Answer at the end of the article)

We need a Regional Adviser who will assist leaders to think about making sure all our activities with young people are safe.

It could be a question of prompting leaders to do the 20 minute Safety Module online. It couldn’t be easier!

Or helping us build up a bank of risk assessments for all sorts of activities and camps, so no-one need reinvent the wheel. Leaders can then use one of them and customise it to fit their activities and camps. Just think how much that could help our time-stretched leaders!

As the Regional Adviser for Safety, you would join the Regional Leadership Team and be part of an active team working to support leaders to provide great fun and adventure to our young people – safely. You would get advice and support from one of our Deputy Regional Commissioners.

Above all, you would know that your input would be of enormous benefit to leaders and young people.

Here is a brief role description:

  1.  Outline: To promote The Association’s Safety Policy within South East Scotland. To advise the Regional Commissioner and Executive Committee on the implementation of the Association’s Safety Policy within the Region and to assist District Commissioners in operating the policy.
  2. Main Tasks:
  • Work with District Commissioners and leaders to promote awareness of the Association’s Safety Policy and ‘good practice’ procedures for all adult volunteers involved in providing Scouting activities.
  • Provide practical support and assistance to District Commissioners and leaders in managing safety issues within Groups and the District, including at Scout campsites.
  • Work with trainers to ensure that the Safety Policy and its implementation are effectively covered through training and workshop programmes.
  • Ensure that Appointment Advisory Committees are fully briefed on the need to ensure that new adults coming into Scouting are fully aware of the Association’s Safety Policy and their associated responsibilities.

 Here are some helpful links about the role:

If you are interested in this role, please contact Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner, margery.naylor@blueyonder.co.uk or Simon Cocker, Deputy Regional Commissioner, simon.cocker@sesscouts.org.uk

 Answer: Jeans are not suitable for winter hikes!