Before reading the information below, please ensure that you are up to date with guidance available at scouts.org.uk/coronavirus and gov.uk/coronavirus.

Surrey Scouts is guided by advice from HQ and Public Health England.  All leaders are expected to adhere to the advice given regarding Scouting functions.  If we can help Groups and Districts in any way, please do contact us via the County Office.


Programme

Scouting is all about the programme and, even in these difficult times, there are ways for Scouting to continue.  Headquarters have created a range of support ideas and you can view them here: The Great Indoors

There are lots of ideas circulating online in Facebook groups but please do share in the Surrey Scouts Leaders’ Discussion Group on Facebook.

Meetings

In accordance with HQ policy, all face to face meetings must cease until we are further advised.  This includes meetings between adults for the purposes of Scouting.  Some groups are using online tools such as Zoom to allow internet meetings and others have tried group Skype meetings.  Please consider the age of the group that you are working with.  The usual Safeguarding policies still apply.

Districts should consider using Office 365 (free for charities) or G Suite (also free) to expand a range of possibilities in sharing resources and hosting online meetings for leaders.

Governance

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.

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.

The County Office

The County Office team are operating remotely – if you attempt to contact us via phone, your call may not be answered. Please contact us via email.

Bentley Copse Activity Centre

Following government advice we have taken the tough decision to close Bentley Copse for the foreseeable future.

We will begin the process of contacting affected groups in the coming days and will issue refunds accordingly.

We thank you for your understanding and if you have any questions please contact the team.

 

Events

Following the advice to suspend all face-to-face meetings, activities and events, it’s important to consider any events you may have scheduled locally, including St George’s Day. Events organised by Surrey Scouts are currently under review; as soon as decisions have been made, they will be listed here.

The World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) have announced a special edition of Jamboree on the Internet, to take place April 3-5. Details can be found on their website.

The following National events have been cancelled:

  • Day of Celebration at Windsor
  • Beaver and Cub Fundays at Gilwell Park and Woodhouse Park
  • Gilwell 24

The following Surrey events have been cancelled or postponed:

  • Beavers Go Wild
  • Scoutabout
  • The Expedition Challenge
  • European Scout Jamboree

Training

All face to face training has been cancelled.  Please check with the course leader to see if they have arranged any video training.

Safeguarding

We have been advised by Kester Sharpe and Ross Maloney at HQ that DBS suspensions and DBS checks/re-checks will cease with immediate effect until the resumption of face-to-face Scouting.  Members will have the decision explained via email.

Appointments Committee

The team at HQ have created guidance which can be found here.


Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls