In this your second newsletter from your County Team, we have quite a lot of information to share with you this week. This is a challenging and difficult time for all of us, so we thank you for your ongoing support of Scouting in Suffolk.
Please remember that the key communications over the coming months will be the weekly email newsletter and our new website portal for all related Coronavirus Activities . Our Facebook and Twitter pages will be updated from time to time but are not our official source of news. All content we post will be based on UK Government and The Scout Association guidelines.
Scouting at Home
Suffolk Scouts is proud to announce our own programme ideas to help you manage remote scouting. Details can be found on the Suffolk Scouts website under the Coronavirus tab or by clicking here.
There are many ideas for Scouting at Home on Facebook, you might like to investigate some of these. Many groups and sections have set up their own Facebook groups as a tool for continuing Scouting activities. Do remember to ensure any Facebook groups are closed groups, and continue to consider the principles of Safeguarding. You can find general guidelines for using social media here .
If you subscribe as a group to Online Scout Manager, the OSM team have put together a range of ideas to continue Scouting.
Do also remember that “The Great IN-doors” programme is available from The Scout Association and can be found here.
Looking after buildings and other assets.
Just a quick reminder that Capitation is still due and should be paid by the end of this month in order that Districts can forward to the County. Do remember that Capitation pays for a wide range of services including: Safeguarding, insurance of people, buildings and assets, complaints management and programme development.
For Executives you might like to consider the fixed costs of running a group even though you are not meeting face to face. If full subscriptions do not appear appropriate you might like to consider asking parents for part subscriptions at this time, depending on your group finances. We recommend Executives meet soon, make a decision and communicate with parents quickly thereafter.
Just a quick reminder regarding completion of DBS checks. We are still awaiting guidance from The Scout Association on this but until we get any updated advice. You can access the home office advice here.
COVID-19 and Young People with Additional Needs.
Did you know there are at least 14,000 young people in Suffolk diagnosed with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)? With over 300 Sections in Suffolk, most Scout Groups will be likely to have young people who need some additional support. You can find more information on our website as well as details for contacting SEND who are happy to answer any questions about dealing young people with special educational needs in our current COVID19 environment.
Now that we are no longer interacting face-to-face, we need to think proactively about how some of our young people will cope. Within the innovative ways Groups and Sections are continuing with Scouting, there are some things you may need to consider
· All badges may be tailored to the abilities of the individual, so it is important to consider this if you are sending out badges to do at home
· Not all families have access to the internet and associated equipment such as PCs and printers. Even if they do, they may not be confident with setting up video conferencing for example.
· Routine may be very important. Monday is Cubs! and any deviation may find the young person reluctant to partake at other times.
· Similarly, some young people look forward to the weekly interaction with their Leaders. It may be worth considering if there is a way of keeping this going using social media subject to safeguarding policy.
· If you are unsure of a young person’s capabilities, parents hopefully will be able to provide guidance.
Suffolk Parent Carer Network have put together a comprehensive 'Family Support Pack' which you may find helpful – https://spcn.org.uk/parent-carer-support
All the best
County Commissioner – Suffolk