This link goes to the official UK Scouts Corona Virus information page.

Please visit it regularly to make sure you are fully up to date with the guidance we all need to follow.

https://www.scouts.org.uk/coronavirus

The Scouts have brought in a traffic light system to indicate the  readiness state for returning to face-to-face Scouting. Conditions are:

RED  – No return  planned

AMBER – Prepare for a limited return

GREEN – Normal Scouting can resume

Current status is displayed on this page. All details and requirements along with programme support ideas etc. can be found on this page on the UK Scouting website:

https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/getting-back-together-safely/the-readiness-levels-across-uk-scouts/

UPDATED GUIDANCE FROM THE SCOUT ASSOCIATION 2/4/20: Please visit the top two links before running any online meetings.

Taking Scouts Online

Digital Platforms for Scouts.

For volunteer meetings (eg. programme planning, group exec, activity teams etc. )

As adults you may find video conferencing most convenient. Taking heed of the information in the above links. You should NOW use these for document storage or sharing. Other services are available such as but not mimited to Dropbox, Box, Google Drive etc. So you can fully control access to files and you should also review provacy policies for any services you use to make sure they are appropriate for use.

Running your normal Section meetings online:

The Scout Association important guidance that sets out key points for some of the popular platforms. It is essential that we follow the age limits with safeguarding as the number one priority. Please read the newly updated page HERE .

Two key points, Houseparty MUST NOT be used, it is an open platform by default and anyone can join conversation groups. Platforms the require sign up should be done so with caution, minimum ages apply to most if not all. In these cases a parent/carer should be with any young person when they are online using these, this is a great way to get adults involved in the activities too, so encourage them to be online first and “drop off” your young people at the meeting whilst staying with them for the duration.

PLEASE REMEMBER: If you are considering using social media or other platforms, all normal data protection, safeguarding and privacy plocies still apply. Social Media platforms all have minimum age limits which are still in place and MUST be adhered to. Groups on social media that include your young people of the correct ages, should be CLOSED and have some for of verification so you know who is joining. Refer to the following before starting to use Social Media:

Social Networking Sites and Scouting Factsheet: http://www.scouts.org.uk//factsheets/FS103011.pdf

Social Media guidance information on Scouts.org.uk: https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/4109/social-media?cat=419,460,636

Despite the current suspension, we need to continue with ensuring that our volunteers remain in date for their DBS. Provision has now been made by the Disclosure and Barring Service for document checking to be done without meeting face-to-face. The HQ Safeguarding team suggest Commissioners utilise technology available to them to continue with necessary parts of the safeguarding process. Take a look at their recommendations here. The Disclosure and Barring Service’s latest guidelines can be found here.

These are the key websites/pages for official national latest guidelines and information relating to Corona Virus.

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 – use this NHS 111 website to check check if you think you may have symptoms

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

https://www.scouts.org.uk/coronavirus

General Overview

All County organised events have been postponed until further notice. We hope to reschedule these later in the year and will make announcements as soon as we can. Please note, Essex Weekend has been cancelled and will now not take place until 2021 at the earliest and in all likelihood not until 2022 due to the ongoing restrictions.

We appreciate that many of you have booked and paid for events. Please bear with while we process any applicable refunds. We are working hard to get these done, but this takes time as we too, are volunteers.

Other Events

European Jamboree – The organisers have confirmed that EuroJam  2020 has been cancelled, further information can be found on the Europena Jamboree website, see https://ej2020.org

Essex Scouts had been planning to take a contingent to the Australian Jamboree but sadly this event has also been cancelled. Please see the Jmaboree website for more information: https://www.aj2022.com.au/

Until further notice no bookings will be taken and Skreens Park is closed. The team have worked really hard to contact all Scouts, Guides, schools and other groups who had booked to discuss options with them. If you have a booking and have not been contacted yet, please give us a little more time to do so.

All County events planned at the site have been postponed as per list in County Events tab above.

The site is now closed so please contact the Skreens team on info@skreenspark.org.uk if you have any questions, bear in mind response times may be longer than usual as the team deal with the quickly changing situation.

All other activity centres around Essex that are run by local Groups or Districts and not under our control. However, they are listed on our website as they are a great way to get participate in outdoor adventures.

As they are all following national guidelines all have stopped current Scouting activity but will be reviewing this as the readiness for face to face Scouting level changes. We have tried to collate the status for each centre, information is below, for up to date information please go any websites listed or use the contact details on the centres page on our website under the “Activity Centres” – “Local Centres” link.

Remote learning is progressing across the County and in addition some First Response/First Aid training is taking place with a mix of remote and in person learning. Please contact you local training manager or visit the training booking system for course details, link below to the Bookwhen website:

https://bookwhen.com/essex-scouts-adult-training#focus=ev-suyj-20210329193000

For those on the County Teams, you all have your own Essex Scouts email accounts. These have a range of additional services for you to collaborate remotely already. If you haven’t signed in for a while or need support getting up and running please email:  google.support@essexscouts.org.uk

All County account holders can also benefit from features in our services for meetings, messaging and video calling. These are Google Chat and Google Meet. To find them, sign in to your @essexscouts account on any google page in a web browser, click the small nine square icon (top right  corner) scroll down the pop up window to find Meet or Chat, online get started guides are available here:    https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9282720  These services remain part of your account at all times. When you sign in to your email in box you will see link to them appear in the bottom left of the window for quick access and improptu meetings and chats.

As charities, many Scout Counties, Districts and Groups need to carry out certain administrative tasks, organise required meetings such as Annual General Meetings (AGM’s) file annual returns etc. Guidance has been updated to take account of the current epidemic. Some of the key points are below for your attention. The following information can also be found on the Scouts website within the update posted on 20th March – for the full update please visit the page HERE

Key Points for Executive Committees:

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.

We 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 and will be updated in the next update to POR, in early April. 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.

The Government also have some practical advice for in answer to questions from Executive Committees.

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.

Latest COVID-19 Essex Scouts News

County Events Announcement 17th March 2020 2 years ago - Confirmation of County Events postponements ...
Essex Scouts Latest response to Covid-19 2 years ago - Our latest update and link to The Scout Association's latest news ...