Getting Everyone in SE Scotland Back Together Safely

Getting Everyone in SE Scotland Back Together Safely

It’s great to see some Groups/Sections restarting Scouting under Amber conditions.  A few reminders for those who are proceeding in this way or are considering a face to face return:

  • We are at currently at AMBER which allows for outdoor face to face Scouting with restricted group sizes (maximum 15 per group) and this number must include leaders and Young Leaders.
  • To return to face to face Scouting outdoors, you must submit a COVID-19 Risk Assessment to your DC or DESC for pre-approval before then submitting it to the Gilwell Smartsheet to receive a formal approval email.
  • We have produced a South East Scotland Regional model risk assessment which you can use as a framework for your Group or Section’s circumstances
  • Social distancing should be maintained during all activities:
    • Under 12s do not need to socially distance from each other but current Scout guidance is they should socially distance from leaders/young leaders (as an extra level of protection and comfort to parents).
    • Overs 12s need to socially distance from each other and must socially distance from leaders/young leaders
    • Leaders/Young Leaders must socially distance from each other
  • The maximum size of group is 15 and no-one must change groups
  • Separate groups must remain a minimum of 25m apart at all times
  • Ensure all members follow suitable hygiene conditions including washing of hands before and after a session and during activities where applicable.
  • You must accurately record who is in each of your group/separate groups for the Track and Protect programme.
  • There must be written risk assessments by 31st December 2020 for all activities – this short, 8-minute video provides some good guidance
  • When doing an outdoor activity your GSL or DESC must know where you are and what you are doing – sharing your programme and activity risk assessment, where applicable, in advance is recommended
  • UK Scout’s required adult to young people (including young leaders) ratios can be found via this link and should be adhered to
  • External activity providers can be used for programmes post approval of a COVID-19 Risk Assessment (and an activity Risk Assessment as required).

If you require additional information/detail on these matters please refer to this helpful document from Russell Shoulder, Regional Adviser, Safety.

Note also that the FAQs on the UK Scouts site are updated on a weekly basis in regard to all elements of the guidance. As of 3rd September, England amended the Amber readiness status but these changes do not apply to Scotland.

A reminder:

There is no pressure to return to face to face Scouting. You know your young people, you know the limitations of your meeting place, the ability of your leaders to be able to return and what your parents are willing to sign back up to. As you begin return after the Summer, it’s perfectly OK to offer a fully digital programme or a mix of digital and limited face to face outdoor Scouting whilst we are at Amber.

Socially Distanced Programme Ideas

A range of socially distanced Programme Ideas from UK Scouts and members are available via this link.

Virtual Programme Ideas

A range of virtual Programme Ideas from UK Scouts and members are available via this link

Introducing Roseanne Allison

Introducing Roseanne Allison

I am delighted to introduce Roseanne as our new Regional Adviser (Additional Support Needs). She has a fantastic wealth of experience both in Scouting and in relation to additional needs. I am sure she will offer tremendous assistance to any leader who is not sure how best to work with some of our young people. Please don’t hesitate to ask her for her advice.

Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner

I have been involved in Scouting in the Edinburgh area for over 30 years now. I started as an Assistant Cub Scout Leader with the 15th Waverley at St Marys’ Cathedral. Waverley was a small friendly District and was a great introduction to Scouting with so many Leaders offering help and advice.  This is one of the reasons why I’ve stayed in Scouting.

Leaders in Waverley were encouraged to undertake training and I enjoyed my Basic Training at Bonaly and then Advanced Training at Gilwell.  They were great opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with other leaders. I then became a Cub Scout Leader and moved to the 85th Liberton, another small friendly District. I was involved in organising a District Cub Scout camp for Blackford to bring the new District together. This was good fun and a great success. I was then an ACSL at 139th Blackford and ASL at 162nd Blackford.

I was fortunate to be selected as an Assistant Leader with the South East Scotland Unit for the 19th World Scout Jamboree in Chile in 1998/99. This was a wonderful opportunity to take part in an International Scouting Event. We had an amazing group of young people who did Scottish Scouting proud in Chile.

I have also held several positions in Leith and then Edinburgh North East District including District Secretary and Deputy District Commissioner.

I have been an SHQ Adviser for Additional Support Needs since 2016 and have been a member of the Training Team for a number of years, latterly as a Safeguarding Trainer.

For nearly 25 years, I worked at the Royal Blind School, which has given me an understanding of a variety of additional support needs as well as vision impairment. A few years ago, I was involved in supporting the leaders to restart the Scout Group at the school.

If anyone needs any advice or information regarding young people with additional support needs, please contact me by email at:

I would be happy to chat on the phone or when Scouting is back face to face, come along to your meetings & discuss any issues and try to find solutions.

Are your Personal Details up to date on Compass?

Are your Personal Details up to date on Compass?

When did you last look at your Compass record? Last week? Last month? Last year?

Do you know if it is up-to-date? Or have you changed your telephone number, your address or your role recently? If you have and you have not changed your details on Compass, then you may not be getting the most recent information sent to you. And if Gilwell is sending out reminders about critical matters such as PVGs, you may not be getting them. So, then you may be automatically suspended. We know of at least one person who was just about to find out about this the hard way.

It is very important that you keep your Personal Details up to date in Compass, such as your contact details, address and any other additional details you wish to provide.  So please check your Compass details as soon as possible. If you can’t remember how to do this, please drop Mike Treanor an email and he will talk you through the process – in complete confidence!

  • For details and support on how to Register/Log In:

  • For details and support on how to update your personal profile:

Go on – check it now!

Mike Treanor
Scouting Support Officer

Where There’s Muck There’s Money

Where There’s Muck There’s Money

One of the consequences of the period of Lockdown this year, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, was that many Scout Groups – especially those with their own premises – lost vital income usually gained from external users through hall lets. Obviously, most, or all, of these external users were also placed into Lockdown and ceased meeting.

The 21st Craigalmond in South Queensferry was no exception.

But, for the last 9 – 10 years, the Group as operated an annual sale of compost bags, started initially by the Cub Pack then adopted and widened into a Group activity and run by the Executive through its fund-raising team.

We buy in bags of Green Goodness compost (made from the recycled garden waste of Edinburgh and the Lothians) and then sell this through local connections to keen (or not so keen!) gardeners in and around South Queensferry. For most of the preceding years, we have sold around 250 – 400 bags, generating an income for the Group of several hundreds of ££££.

Customers like it, because we offer free delivery around Queensferry and Kirkliston, for many of our customers don’t have their own transport or are unable to get to garden centres or to carry bags of compost home on the bus.

And it seems to work – there are some great examples of baskets, pots, raised beds and vegetable patches using this product.

This year began much as before. We took in our first delivery of four pallets of compost. We had some new fliers printed this year and had just started to pop these through a few letterboxes when along came LOCKDOWN – so we stopped! In addition to the fliers, we utilised the local newspaper, Facebook, the Group website, and we got in touch with last year’s customers to remind them we were here again this year.

But it became obvious that many people were still looking for supplies of compost as it was by now early spring, the sun was out, and it was one of the warmest, driest and sunniest springs for many years. And everyone was at home – many looking to their gardens for things to do!

After a few weeks of hesitation and locking down ourselves, we devised a process whereby we could continue to supply the compost to people’s doorsteps or garden gates, with payments made electronically through the Group’s website or through bank transfers. Orders were made by the existing order process on the website, or by phone and e-mail – and even folks waving us down in the streets some days!

Of course, we couldn’t ask any parents or leaders or Exec members to help out this year like we normally do. So, all the compost was received, re-loaded and delivered by one family unit.

The result – instead of 250 bags like last year, we topped out at just over 1000 bags in 2020! And people were keen to add donations for delivering, and ‘just to help the scouts’ so by the end of July we had raised over £2000 from this activity alone! Over 270 different customers (some of them several times over) made use of the service, and we managed to deliver the entire lot without any direct contact with any of our customers!

From pallet to doorstep – outside Group Hall

Some facts and figures:

  • Nearly 300 happy customers 
  • One happy Group Treasurer, as this amount made up for nearly half of our lost hall lets income;
  • One very busy Group trailer (on the back of my car for over 10 weeks!).
  • Many spectacular gardens, flower displays and vegetable plots around Queensferry
  • 1000 bags of compost = 40,000 litres = approx. 20 tonnes (all lifted off the delivery truck, onto our trailer, then off to the customer doorstep = 60 tonnes of lifting.)

This equated to one excellent piece of daily exercise per day (as allowed by the Scottish Government) and many calories burned in the process!


Trailer ready to go, our own planter in front of hall using the compost


Ian Harrower
21st Craigalmond (South Queensferry) Scout Group

Could you help manage Regional Finances?

Could you help manage Regional Finances?

Good with numbers?

Can you help? We are looking for a volunteer who is interested in assisting the Regional Treasurer to manage the Regional finances. Drawing on your skills and experience, you’ll help Scouting in South East Scotland be supported positively and sympathetically. You’ll serve a 3-year term which can be extended. You don’t need formal financial qualifications – just a capacity to work effectively with finances.

What’s involved?

You will have several tasks such as:

  • Check that the payments being made are reasonable
  • Make payments through automated banking of transactions that have been approved
  • Chase subs from each district once a year and then pay the total due to SHQ on time

You will have loads of support from Bruce MacDonald, the Regional Treasurer and you will work with leaders and volunteers to support them in providing young people with great opportunities for fun and adventure.

What’s in it for you?

As well as providing a great support to the work of Scouting in the Region, you will make new contacts and develop new skills. If appropriate, we will sponsor you to have additional financial training. As a volunteer all your reasonable expenses will be met.

How do I apply?

Please contact Bruce Macdonald, who will be happy to talk you through the next steps, if you would like an informal chat first.

Training Update and Support for GSLs

Training Update and Support for GSLs

The Zoom sessions for many of the Wood Badge modules continue to be very popular, and there are quite a few in the calendar at present.  Check your personal learning plan (PLP) on Compass, and if there are gaps in your training see if you can book yourself a place on a course.   The feedback we get is usually pretty positive – you might find you actually enjoy it!

Gilwell are really pushing on compliance with completion requirements for Getting Started, Safety, Safeguarding and GDPR, so if these are not up to date, or your PLP, Essential Information and Tools for the Role are not validated in Compass PLEASE speak to your Training Adviser, GSL, or Assistant District Commissioner (Adult Training) for help with moving it forwards.  Ignoring the emails from Tim Kidd is not an option.

Our Regional training calendar also has some entries for Manager and Supporter training – that’s roles such as GSLs, DCs, ASU managers (and assistants to any of these).  The training is run by Scottish Headquarters, and is really good so please try to get onto those courses if appropriate for your role.  If you’re in one of these roles and don’t know exactly what’s required, sign up for the Overview of Manager & Supporter Training Scheme on 18th September.  It’s being run by the Region, and there’s no such thing as a silly question.

I think every district in the Region is short of Training Advisers, so if you know anyone who’s good at communicating with adults please point them towards the Assessing Learning module on 20th October.  I’m not saying it’s popular, but I see someone from Carnoustie has booked a place!

GSLs may have noticed the webinar being run by Gilwell on 15th September, 7pm – 8pm.  Here’s the link to book your place on that:  I don’t know what the content will be, but strongly suspect a mention of the POR updates regarding training, and the implications for your Group will be included.  Can you afford not to know what’s happening?

We were due to have a Regional GSL Development Day at the Edinburgh Marriot on 21st March 2020. Sadly, we had to postpone this event given the COVID-19 outbreak.    We have decided that we cannot host this face to face development day until Spring 2021 at the earliest (provisional date of 20th March 2021) so in the interim, and post the UK Scouts online meeting referred to above, we will be sending out some support in the form of online material and also some online meetings to ensure you are in the best possible position to continue to do your role effectively. More details to follow. In the meantime, many thanks for the support you provide to your Group members.

Mary Dick
Assistant Regional Commissioner (Adult Training)