With the National Youth Agency (NYA), UK Scouting has been in dialogue with the UK Government throughout the pandemic. This information is based on their latest discussions.
From 17 May, we move to Yellow status (Stage 3). There is very little change in the general guidance from Amber (Stage 2, which we moved to in March 2021). The main differences are that residentials can occur, but only in groups of up to six people (this is a combined total of six with young people and leaders). Our adult volunteers are now allowed to meet (non-social) for Scouting without being in a setting where young people are taking part.
We expect that the changes around overnights will only be practical for older sections to complete key components of awards, such as Duke of Edinburgh. Please note that these groups (of six) cannot mix with other groups, including travelling, sharing food preparation areas or accommodation.
These dates are at the earliest based on the Government roadmap.
What does this mean for Penistone Scouts?
Since Easter, other than an occasional virtual meeting, all Penistone sections have been meeting face-to-face. We have a virtual programme prepared to fall back on should any local restrictions be imposed.
Whilst, we hope that stage four of lockdown easing occurs on the 21st of June, our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts are not scheduled to have any residential trips until the other side of the summer holidays. Should there be any change to this, we will share details via our Online Scout Manager system.
Keeping everyone safe
Our top priorities are the safety and wellbeing of both the young people and our volunteers. It is essential our volunteers, the young people and the parents/guardians of the young people are comfortable we are safe.
As a reminder, we can only have young people attend face-to-face sessions where a suitable adult has given explicit written permission for their young person to take part. We achieve this through Online Scout Manager event invitations.
All our activities are thoroughly risk assessed, documented, and require Rob’s approval as the Group Scout Leader and then a District team representative. This has to be in place before any invitations are sent out.
Our adult volunteers, as a minimum, undertake safety and safeguarding training. They also either hold a valid first-aid certificate or, as new volunteers, are in the process of attaining one. No event or meeting can take place without a suitable number of first aiders present.
We have COVID specific measures for our meetings and suitable protections in place. Appropriate information is sent out before face-to-face meetings, so it’s both timely and relevant.