As Scout groups across Cumbria begin to resume face-to-face activities in a Covid-secure environment, volunteers throughout the county are set to receive back to Scouting packs.
After ceasing face-to-face meetings in March to help save lives and limit the spread of Coronavirus, young people and volunteers alike are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to safely meet their friends in person once again and enjoy adventure, activities and skills for life.
Each group in the county will soon receive a special Re-Start pack, made up of a 500ml sanitiser spray, five personal protection packs (including an apron, disposable gloves, non-woven cloth, waste disposal bag and disinfectant wipes) as well as five litres of hand sanitiser.
“It’s fantastic to see our young people returning to in-person Scouting once again” says County Commissioner Eddie Ward. “It’s been incredible to see how our leaders have adapted over recent months in order to continue Scouting experiences through Zoom meetings and at home camping experiences – all the more important in a county as remote as Cumbria where Scouting is a rare opportunity to socialise and integrate with such a diverse range of peers who all share common values.
“I’m incredibly grateful to all of our volunteers for their ongoing dedication as we adapt to the ‘new normal. The decision to provide every group with a Re-Start pack was made to help remove as many barriers as possible to provide safe Scouting and reassure our volunteers, parents and young people that we take the risks seriously but remain committed to providing skills for life across the county.”
One group which has carefully resumed face to face Scouting is Xenolith Explorer Troop in Ulverston, who met for the first time since March earlier this month.
“It was a great event to have everyone back again” said leader Brian Caine. “After a thorough briefing, we enjoyed four activity bases, including boat and plane making, as two separate groups.”
Another group which has carefully resumed face to face Scouting is 1st Border Scouts in Carlisle, who have adapted to the new normal by meeting outdoors once a month instead of inside their usual location. Their latest meeting was a chill out session, giving their young people the opportunity to socialise with the friends they’d been unable to meet in person over the summer.
“It was great to get together and meet my friends, the chance to chill out with Scout mates was great” said Kirsty (13). “It was awesome to be outside with friends and having fun” added Josh (11).
Cumbria Scouts take the wellbeing of all young people and volunteers very seriously. In line with national guidance, groups are now able to meet in groups of up to 15 young people, plus up to 5 leaders, in a Covid-secure environment, with specific social distancing measures in place, all subject to an approved Covid risk assessment.
The Scout Association has worked with the National Youth Agency (NYA) as the Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body for youth work in England which has, in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, developed youth sector specific advice and guidance. The guidance supports local providers, leaders, volunteers and young people to remain safe when engaging in youth sector activities.
Despite the recent change to social gathering restrictions in England (9 September 2020), the Government has confirmed that as an essential service, youth sector activity can continue unchanged where groups and units follow Scouts restart guidance, which is in line with COVID secure NYA guidance standards.
Scouting in Cumbria is only possible thanks to the fantastic support of volunteers across the county, and local groups are always looking for new volunteers. No matter your skills or commitments, there’s a role for everyone and in exchange you can learn new skills, become part of a worldwide family and help inspire a generation to go out into the world and achieve their full potential.
To learn more about volunteering visit www.cumbriascouts.org.uk or search Cumbria Scouts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.