COVID-19 update

You will all be aware of the government’s changing response to the threat of COVID-19. You will be aware that this response is likely to change again in the coming days and weeks. This may have implications for all civil society in the UK and hence for all Scouting activities. As Mr Kidd notes, we must continue to respond to the developing situation in a calm, measured and appropriate way.

Members in East Surrey have already asked pertinent and valid questions about how Corona virus (COVID-19) will affect how we operate Scouts.  In all the possible answers to those questions, your primary source of advice should be the Government’s Corona virus (COVID-19) webpage which is frequently updated as things develop – please check it regularly at www.gov.uk/coronavirus  as we will be doing, to support you in your decisions. Please feel free to ask me any questions.

Weekly meetings

The safety of everyone involved in Scouts is our number one priority. As always, that should be at the heart of our decision making. Please regularly check the Government advice, monitor the situation in your local areas, and make proportionate local decisions relating to Scout activities. For example, if a local school has closed due to Corona virus (COVID-19) risk, it is probably appropriate to stop meetings, activities and events in that area temporarily.The decision whether or not to meet or not can be made locally at Group level, with District support – we will help where we can with the decision-making process. Of course, your decision could be taken right out of your hands by the Government – as may yet happen.

Forthcoming Group events

If you have forthcoming fund-raising events, at the moment, the decision whether or not to hold them can be made locally. Where necessary you should then update your risk assessments and as appropriate, ensure you have considered appropriate steps in relation to insurance. We shall all need to monitor the situation and again, make proportionate local decisions.

Please feel free to seek advice from District at any time. If you ring me and I don’t answer right away, please just message me.

My own view is if you are in any doubt whatsover – cancel! No sensible person will criticise you for cancelling any event this year.  These are unprecedented times.

This may also impact the Group AGM season (also) and we at District, as well as your Executive committees, will need to start thinking about that also.

Forthcoming District and County events

  • St George’s Day Parade, Sunday 26th April THIS IS CANCELLED. It will not now take place. Apologies -but I don’t think it will be an acceptable thing to do at that point. Insofar as you may care to meet at Group level, do try, and District will try to support you – but we may not be able to hold such meetings.
  • Cub District Camp, 15-17 May – please watch your email; the decision whether or not to go ahead will be made nearer the event.
  • Scoutabout, 26-28 June – at present this is still on. Again, please watch for further emails from Tony Pearson the ADC (Scouts). 

Finally: stay safe, be calm, wash your hands and don’t use too much loo-roll.

Many thanks,

Nick Hough
District CommissionerEast Surrey District Scouts