All Scout groups have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to support the participation of young people with additional needs. Developing a positive relationship and working in partnership with parents or carers, is key to supporting the successful inclusion of young people with additional needs in Scouting.
Where a young person with additional needs or disabilities is joining Scouting, the advice is that an initial meeting with the parent or carer is held. This will enable you to identify the young person’s individual needs and plan any support needed to enable them to access Scouting.
Ideally, this conversation would take place face to face. The conversation should involve the leader, parent or carer and, if appropriate, the young person themselves. It may be helpful to involve someone in a local inclusion role or who has particular expertise in this area. Ensure that the meeting feels like a conversation, not an interview; it is just the starting point of an ongoing relationship. It is important to be positive but realistic, and to establish expectations by helping parents or carers understand our policy and approach, and the context of Scouting.
Support in having conversations:
Further guidance, along with suggested topics and questions, are available via this link.
Prior to the meeting, it may be useful to gain some background knowledge of the type of additional need the young person has. The Additional Needs Directory has lots of introductory information.
Non-member children Public Liability and Personal Accident insurance
South East Scotland Region has purchased the above policies on behalf of all Districts and Groups. These will be renewed annually.
This is a scheme for children (under 18 years old) who are not Members of The Scout Association, but who attend, or take part in, weekly meetings or events because they are accompanying their parent(s), or with other adults. This can also cover crêches opened by groups. The types of cover included are public liability and personal accident insurance.
If you require further information then please email firstname.lastname@example.org for copies of the policies.
It is important that there are communication systems in place throughout all Scouting activities, allowing leaders to contact parents/carers and parents/carers to contact leaders. This is done through having an InTouch system in place, a system designed to be flexible and suit the needs of your activity, from a section meeting through to summer camp and trips aboard.
We used to have the Home Contact system, but now that (almost) everyone has mobiles, we can use them to keep in touch with everyone.
The Factsheet FS120075 includes a step-by-step approach guiding you through the process of setting up an InTouch system as well as further guidance on areas and issues to look at within this and suggestions on how these can be managed.
Key questions to ask yourself and your leadership team
How will you and the other leaders hold the details of all those taking part in an event, and the contact details of their parents/next of kin, so that they can be accessed as required?
What contact details of the leader or leadership team will you give to the parents?
What advice or guidelines will be given to parents as to the how to contact the event and when / why communication is expected or appropriate?
Please read the Factsheet to understand how the system works. It really is important to have one in place!
And let’s hope you will never need to contact your Commissioner or their designate in the case of an emergency (as per POR Chapter 7 – Emergency Procedures) at any point during your events.
Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner, South East Scotland
We now need a brilliant volunteer manager to take Scouting forward in Midlothian. As District Commissioner you will offer support to Scout Groups, while helping open new ones. You will manage adults, setting objectives and holding regular one-to-ones. Most importantly, you will ensure that Scouting offers an enjoyable and attractive programme for young people in Midlothian, helping prepare them for a bright future.
Although no Scouting experience is necessary, you will know how to motivate people and produce a local development plan and you will have the charisma to inspire your team. And you will be well supported by the Regional Leadership Team. Above all, you will believe passionately in Scouting for All: helping Scouting grow, become more inclusive, more youth-shaped and make a positive impact in local communities.
It’s a challenging role, but the rewards are huge, improving the outcomes for thousands of young people.
Scouting offers fun, friendship and life-changing adventure to over 7,200 young people in South East Scotland Region. But this is only made possible by our talented teams of volunteers – and we hope you will become one of them!
After a bit of a madcap winter caused by some very inclement weather for much of the period, we have now got most of the boats, kayaks and other equipment ready for use once again on the Firth of Forth.
With a new online booking system, it is now much less complex to make a booking, see what’s available, and get your event booked up, or even to make changes to existing bookings!
So far this year, we have fitted in a Powerboat training course and two Dinghy Introductory training courses, with more to follow.
Push the boat out
On Saturday 19 May, Longcraig Scout Centre is participating in a national activity day supported by the RYA, to encourage folks to come along and try a watersport. This year, we are aiming this specifically at adult members of Scouting (there will be a young persons event at a later opportunity!) so please check out the poster on the website and come along for some or all of the day. Aimed at complete novices or even those with a little water experience, it is an opportunity to try a variety of boats and activities so you can see for yourself what the young people get up to – without any young people getting in the way! See full details.
50 Years of activities at Longcraig pier
Not until next year! But it’s time to think about it. If your Group, or anyone you have connections to, has a special anniversary next year we would like to know so we can share it and perhaps link it into our anniversary year programme. Watch this space as the programme of events for 2019 develops! And remember to dig out your old photographs! The competition is still open to find the oldest! See earlier article.
This month the Region achieved its Foundation Youth Approved award from Scouts Scotland. We are over the moon with this award and shall be displaying it on most of our future comms and putting the certificate in the reception of Bonaly.
For those of you not too familiar with the Youth Approved Award, the Region had to:
Have a Regional Youth Advisory Group – and the fact that makes us even prouder about these extraordinary 13 young people is that they represent all 7 Districts giving a true spread of experience and opinions.
Appoint a Youth Commissioner – Euan McFadzean was appointed at the first meeting and has been working his socks off supporting the group and working with the Districts and Scottish to involve more young people.
Have a method of communicating with Young People – Social Media is our gateway to getting young people involved and getting information to them, and with this is mind we will be improving how we use social media to this end.
Above all, we must mention all the incredible Groups and Sections within our Region who have achieved Foundation and Bronze – we are so proud.
Adam Bennett Assistant Regional Commissioner (Youth Involvement)