News and Blogs

Corona Virus Update 11September 2020
27/06/2020 By Angela Knight


District events cancelled due to Corona Virus .

District Camp - Rearranged for the 30th April to 2/3rd May (Bank holiday weekend) 2021.

·         HQ’s framework and guidance on getting everyone back together safely is out and County’s aim is: to ensure that every adult volunteer and young person can return to face-to-face Scouting confident that it is safe to do so.


·         Join the HQ webinar on 2 Jul to find out more about the approvals process.


·         County is already working on how to support Districts but there is more to do. Cluster meetings in the next two weeks.


·         We need a collaborative approach to share expertise and meet the County’s aim by getting 251 groups and 27 districts to work together.


·         Risk assessments are key, and Districts have a central role.


·         Safety, safeguarding and, where required, first aid training are compulsory. Risk assessments can’t be signed off until those leaders delivering face-to-face Scouting are in date.


·         There is no rush and remember, face-to-face Scouting is still suspended.  We are at Risk Level RED.


1.         National framework and County aim.  On Thu 25 Jun, you received HQ’s framework that outlines the overall approach – with guidance documents – on how face-to-face activities could take place safely.  There is a lot of information to take on board, but it is clear that Districts have a big part to play.  We are conscious that there will be a range of experiences in the County with some people being professional experts in risk assessment whilst for others, given the importance of getting this right, they might find the whole thing overwhelming.  County’s aim is: to ensure that every adult volunteer and young person can return to face-to-face Scouting confident that it is safe to do so.


2.         National approvals webinar. On 2 Jul, HQ will be running a webinar explaining how the approvals system will work which I recommend that you, your Executive teams, and your GSLs join.  So that we can work together on this, we will be arranging Cluster meetings in the next two weeks for DCs and District Chairs to discuss how we share best practice, experiences and expertise.  I truly see this as a time to work across Districts and not just within Districts.  I also think that Groups will need to take the same approach.   


3.         What is County already doing?  Some things that County is already doing to help are:


·         Communicating the readiness level.  Our County website will be updated to reflect the current readiness level. This will also be communicated in HSU. I encourage you to regularly remind people what the readiness level is and what it means.

·         Activity site risk assessments.  The Ferny Croft team will look at their own site risk assessments for each of the readiness levels and will be available to work with all camping and activity sites in Hampshire on their risk assessments in order to share best practice and to enable economy of effort.  If you would like sites in your District to be part of this approach please contact:  The Ferny Croft team will be hosting a webinar for all Districts with Camp Sites or Activity Centres so that they can discuss the requirements needed for these facilities to be reopened.  Please reach out to them for any advice or guidance. 

·         Our pitch. As we start preparing for a return, Matt Hyde (CEO TSA) talked about ‘our pitch’. The County media and communication (perception) team will be working on the following areas in Hampshire: 

  • Our 'pitch' as Hampshire Scouts - securing public support. Who we are and what we do - and why the public should support
  • Retention of volunteers 
  • Retention of young people 
  • Digital content - both for Programme and general promo 
  • How can we be more proactive to find, and share positive stories? 
  • Positive publicity / good news stories for local news outlets 
  • Cohesion with other county teams, such as the growth and development team, to support their intentions moving forward

4.         A collaborative approach.  We will be arranging Cluster meetings over the next couple of weeks to discuss and agree our approach.  We need a collaborative approach to share expertise and meet the County’s aim by getting 251 groups and 27 districts working together. We need to share expertise and economise our effort.  Let’s do this together especially where Groups don’t have a full Exec Committee or a GSL in place. 


5.         Compliance training.  Page 5 of this document under the people section is clear.  Not in date for safety, safeguarding or, where required, first aid training, then a person can’t deliver face-to-face Scouting.  As DCs need to approve Risk Assessments, they now need to make sure that all adults are in date when we start face-to-face Scouting.  Now is the time to push that message and, where people are not willing to do so then they can’t deliver Scouting.  A risk assessment can’t be approved unless people are in date for compliance training.


6.        There is no rush.  There is a lot of information to digest, but there is no rush.  As you will read in the documentation, our return to Scouting will be progressive so our plans need to prepared in the order of the readiness levels.  One thing that we have spotted in the Getting back together safely framework document (paragraph 3.4) is that ‘Adult volunteers may meet together in line with current Government Guidance regarding adults in social settings’.  You may wish to encourage your adult volunteers to take up this opportunity to meet to discuss their plans for a safe return to Scouting in line with the current guidance. 


7.         Talk to people. As per the Scout Headquarters calls this week please take this opportunity to reach out to all of their members, both Adult and Young People and confirm with them that they will be interested in becoming involved in Scouting when face to face activities are able to restart.  Please take the time to update OSM with this information and also details of any new members that have become involved in your online activities over the last three months.


8.         Census update.  Please note that Scout Headquarters have informed us that the Annual Census will be moved to 15th October, so please do ensure that your membership records are up to date.  If your OSM records are up to date it will make taking the Census numbers a much easier task.  Payments for the Annual Subscription will still be made in April each year. 


9.         2021 HQ fee.  The National Scout Council is due to vote over the coming weeks on whether to increase the Annual Subscription fee to £6.00 or to £7.50 (which will include £1.50 ringfenced for hardship funding for Groups).  As soon as we have the details confirmed we will let you know.  Please do let your Group Executive, District Executive know of any impending funding issues or hardship cases and feed them back up to the County level, we can only act on what we know.  


10.       And finally, to repeat my comment above, face-to-face scouting is still suspended (we are at readiness level RED) and we should not expect that to change in the very near future.  The work that we all now need to do is about preparing for a safe return. I therefore respectfully ask you to hold the HQ line and do not side with those who argue we should be opening up now.  Instead, please explain to them the steps we, along with other Youth Organisations, are taking to ensure that we all make a safe return to face-to-face Scouting.


Together we will return to face-to-face Scouting safely and ensure everyone feels confident enough to do so.


Thank you and keep well. 






Martin Mackey

County Commissioner

Hampshire Scouts


A couple of Risk Assesments for Guidance



Covid hike


Meon Valley Scouts
c/o Lyons Copse Scout Campsite, Sandy Lane, Shedfield, Southampton, Hampshire, SO32 2HQ

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