We have today been given the sad but not unexpected news that from tomorrow, Thursday 5th of November, the readiness level for Scouting in England will return to RED. This means that no face-to-face Scouting can take place for the time being. Whilst this will be a disappointment for the very many leaders and young people who have started to meet again, this decision is designed to reduce transmission of the virus and to keep us all safe. Here in Suffolk we are fortunate to have one of the lowest rates of transmission in the country at present, so we will remain hopeful of an early return to face-to-face Scouting in the near future.

During this time, we can continue with remote scouting activities. Over the past few months there has been a vast increase in the volume of material and ideas for remote scouting, both from our own Adventure Continues programme, and on the Scouts at home pages from HQ. Do get involved in the Race Round the World initiative to raise funds to support the most vulnerable scout groups, who may risk closure. This is an ideal activity to keep our young people connecting with scouting.

Funding remains an important aspect for Groups. The previous hospitality grant for groups with their own HQ proved an important lifeline to keep on running when there are still costs but no money coming in from events such as bag packing. The Government is re-introducing the grant scheme and other grant funding may be available for Groups who do not have their own HQ. We will send out further details once we have them.  

For groups and sections who are still in the planning stage of getting back to scouting, do continue to submit your risk assessments as this is a great opportunity to get these completed ready for whenever we are able to return to face to face.

Yours in Scouting

Mark Pearson

County Commissioner – Suffolk