Towards the start of July, quite a few lockdown changes were announced by the UK Government. These vary heavily between the four nations, and further differ across sectors such as hospitality, retail, education and youth organisations. UK Scouting has been liaising with many agencies and has prepared a framework to enable recommencing face-to-face Scouting.

What is fundamentally key and essential to note is that there is no rush or requirement for Scouting to recommence face-to-face meetings. As a volunteer-led organisation, whose primary purpose is focused around young people, we will only return to face-to-face Scouting when it is both safe to do so and sustainable to host.

Whilst virtual Scouting has been taking place, we’ve been in close contact with HQ leadership and more locally, those in our Scout County and District teams. Lots of preparation, planning and webinars have taken place leading up to UK Scouting reducing their readiness level from Red (no face-to-face Scouting whatsoever) for England.

We want to keep you informed as to how we’re planning to progress this at Penistone Scouts’. To share what these “readiness levels” mean and how we’ll keep both the young people and our volunteers safe. A number of preparatory steps are necessary to make such an update meaningful and as unambiguous as possible. Our Group Executive Committee (the trustees of the charity) met earlier this week. All of our adult volunteer team have been invited to a virtual meeting on Monday 13th July. On the evening of Wednesday 22nd July, we plan on holding a joint Group Annual General Meeting (AGM) and a Parent/Guardian update regarding Scouting in Penistone. In the latter part of that meeting, we’ll be able to explain the readiness levels, what they are likely to involve and how we anticipate Scouting looking.

We will be sending out an invitation to this AGM/Coronavirus update meeting next week. Details will arrive via your young person’s Online Scout Manager profile. Unfortunately, some of you may get the invitation more than once – this is purely down to you having more than one young person in the group or more than one email defined. You only need electronically respond “Yes or No” to the digital invitation once per family.

We would like to expand the Group Executive Committee (the trustees of our local group) and if this is something you’d like to put yourself forward for, we would love to hear from you. Similarly, we are keen to expand our wonderful volunteer team who support young people directly. In the coming days we will be sharing some profiles of the gaps we feel we have, plus what a typical volunteer might get involved with and how often. If you don’t feel you need to wait for those details you can contact us now by email, text or phone.

Thank you for all your wonderful support – we hope the young people have an excellent last week of virtual Scouting (next week) and enjoy the summer break.