Last week, Scouts Scotland announced that the readiness level in Scotland was being reduced from Red to Amber and from what I am seeing and hearing across the Region, there is now a lot of discussion about what it means to be at Amber. Therefore, despite my plan to not send a message this month, we thought it important to provide an update to all our members on what this means for Scouting in South East Scotland.
It is important for us all to be clear that restarting face to face Scouting is not going to be a simple process, but by supporting each other and working together, we will be able to meet together again. We will need to plan how we can offer activities safely, and what procedures we will need to put in place so that we can protect our members as we return to face to face Scouting. We will also need to contact parents and reassure them that any face to face activities will be carried out safely.
Many of you have told me that you are worried about the work involved in completing the risk assessment process and getting it approved. I know from having written one that it seems an overwhelming task – but through utilising the support available both within the Region and from Scouting more widely one that all of us will be able to do. To help volunteers the Regional Leadership Team has now produced a model risk assessment for the Amber and Yellow stages and you can customise it for whatever activity you want to run. As we are in the Amber stage, the only activity that can be organised is a small, outdoor group activity of no more than 15 people, including leaders. One section has already prepared a risk assessment using the model and had it approved by their District Commissioner.
For me, the most important thing is that 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. So continuing to offer a digital programme while we are at Amber is perfectly OK.
Please feel free to contact me or your District Commissioner if you want to discuss any issue. And I have also asked my two deputies, Martin Elliot and Simon Cocker, as well as Mike Treanor, our Scouting Support Officer, to look at how best the Regional Leadership team can support our districts, groups and sections and to ensure that all important information is communicated to members without filling inboxes – so please keep an eye on the Regional website and social media channels for further information, guidance and assistance about what being at Amber means for us in the coming weeks. Let any of us know your feedback and examples of best practice to share as well as any issues and concerns you may have.
Please be aware that volunteers throughout the Region are all working hard to make the process as straightforward as possible for everyone and so I would ask that you be patient with us if things aren’t moving as quickly as you would like.
We all really appreciate the work that so many of you are doing to prepare for restarting face to face Scouting. But do remember there is no rush to make any changes so, as I said in my June update, please do take a break and have some time for yourself over the Summer
Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner, on behalf of all the members of the Regional Leadership Team
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