Guidance and support related to the pandemic. Last reviewed: 18 May 2021
Guidance for parents on getting back to Scouts
How your local Group may be approaching their Scouts activities.Read the information for parents
Getting back together safely - Information for LeadersRead the information for leaders
UK Headquarters Contact Information
Scouts Information Centre: Unfortunately we’re not able to run an inbound phone line at the moment. Our team will triage your request and arrange a call back if necessary. Pease email firstname.lastname@example.org. or click the purple ‘Chat’ button on the bottom right of the page. You’ll be connected to one of our advisors from 09:00 – 16:45 on weekdays, or you can leave a message outside of our opening times.
Scout Adventures: If you have any enquiries related to an existing booking or a new one please, in the first instance, email email@example.com. Our phone lines are currently not being monitored, please email.
Like many charities and organisations during this challenging time, a significant number of our staff have been furloughed but they’ll return to work by the end of the furlough scheme. Most of our staff are working from home as our offices remain closed for all, apart from essential services that cannot be delivered from home Thank you for your patience if it takes a little while longer to respond to your enquiries. Here's an update on how this arrangement affects some of the key services we offer:
- Scout Information Centre: still supporting members but with reduced capacity. We’re not able to take calls at the moment, but contact us by clicking the purple ‘Chat’ button on the bottom right of the page or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Scouts Awards Team: Operating. For information concerning the process and timelines for submitting and sending out Good Service awards, Length of Service awards, Wood Badges as well as Meritorious Conduct/Gallantry awards, the Cornwell Scout Badge or the Chief Scout’s Personal Award, please visit the awards page.
- Scout Store: Operating, but online orders only
- Safeguarding: Still running essential services bit with reduced capacity.
- Scout Adventures: Closed until further notice; customer services still available but with reduced capacity.
- Gilwell Park Hotel and Conference Centre: Closed and won't reopen.
- 65 Queen’s Gate: both the Meininger hotel and our own events spaces are open, with reduced capacity. We are following government guidelines regarding any events.
- Scout Association Trust Corporation (SATC): Operating, but please expect delays due to physical access to deeds and documents being limited
- Scouts Scotland: Many staff are furloughed or working remotely. However, you can still contact them through email@example.com or find individual contacts on the who’s who page. Find out more.
- ScoutsCymru: Many staff are furloughed or working remotely. However you can still contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org or find other contacts on the who’s who page. Find out more.
- Throughout our history, Scouts have helped other people and supported their communities in times of crisis. Find out how you can play your part by supporting young people and the community during the coronavirus crisis.
- Potential funding for local Scouting: There are now a number of alternative funding packages that youth organisations may now be eligible for.
- The Government have shared additional guidance to support people through financial situations.
Claiming on insurance: If your Group receives an income or rent from others using your building and you have property and equipment insurance through Unity you can read their blog for more information.
Rate relief: There may be rate relief available for Scout premises, contact your local authority for details.
If you're thinking of producing a local badge, please read these instructions carefully first.
- Groups, Districts and Counties may produce a badge locally to support fundraising, online events or activities, but it must be clearly identified as a local badge (featuring your Group, District or County name) and have the permission of the relevant local commissioner.
- No badge should be named or styled after the Coronavirus or COVID-19 illness, as this would be inappropriate.
- Any badge which uses Scout Trade Marks and is intended to be distributed nationally must first have written permission of headquarters as per Chapter 14 of POR.
- The Great Indoors Badge is to support Scouts at home. For the first time in history, this badge allows everyone to take part, regardless o
- Reporting a safety incident:
If you have an accident or an emergency situation at Scouts follow the steps on the Purple card – Safe Scouting and what to do in an emergency. Also read, information about emergencies and reporting.
- Reporting a concern: To report a new case call 020 8433 7164 or complete our referral form and send to email@example.com.
- Contact the safeguarding team: For ongoing cases email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Safeguarding Officer using their direct dial.
- Bereavement Support: The following guidance has been created to support you in the event of a bereavement in your group.
Annual returns that are due: Any charity that needs an extension to their annual return deadline can contact the Charity Commission to ask for one, please see their guidance.
We'd recommend that Counties/Areas, Districts and Groups in England and Wales should follow the advice from the Charity Commission which is summarised below.
AGM and other requirements that were due from our Executive Committee
15/05/20 The Charity Commission have provided the following information in relation to holding an AGM during this crisis.
Coronavirus is having a major impact on charity events and the government’s health advice may lead to some charities having no choice but to decide to cancel or postpone their AGMs and other critical meetings. The charity as far as possible should be acting in accordance with the governing document. However, the Commission understands that the charity may not be able to fully comply with the governing document during this current crisis.
- If the trustees, decide it is necessary to hold the AGM by electronic means, they should record this decision to demonstrate good governance of your charity.
- The trustees must assess the risk in postponing the AGM or holding a meeting by another means. They should communicate the decision with the members where practical to do so e.g. via telephone or post or email.
- As a regulator of charities, the Charity Commission will not be taking regulatory action, if the charity has demonstrated the reason for holding a meeting outside of the governing document or postponing the AGM during a pandemic is in the best interest of the charity.
- If decisions are made by a meeting held which are not in accordance with the governing document, the Charity Commission advises the trustees clearly record the decision.
- The Trustees may also wish to think about whether there are any wider or longer impacts of their decision that may need to be considered (independent of the regulator) for any actions during this time.
Please remember it is the responsibility of the individual Charity Trustees to decide what is the best course of action to take for their Charity.
We've also produced a page to give you a few hints and tips for running successful meetings online.
The Government also has some practical advice for Executive Committees. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has also published some useful guidance to help Executive Committees consider how they can best support members locally during this time. These both cover issues such as AGMs, remote meetings and other matters. You can read this guidance.
Charities in Scotland should refer to the advice provided by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), which can be found here.
Charities in Northern Ireland should refer to the advice provided by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland which can be found here.
Annual Report submission
Wherever possible, the Charity Commission asks all Charities to try to get their annual reports submitted on time. However, where the situation impacts on the completion of annual returns and accounts, charities with an imminent filing date may request a filing extension by emailing them at: email@example.com. Delaying the AGM does not stop the submission of the Annual report, which is approved by the Trustees and only adopted at the annual general meeting.
Advice for Executive Committees on decision making
We've approved an amendment to the standard constitutions in Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR) which allows meetings to be held remotely. It also allows decisions to be made electronically. This is valid immediately and will be updated in POR. The wording is as follows:
- Electronic voting (such as email) is allowed for decision making of the County/District/Group Executive Committee and its sub-Committees when deemed appropriate by the Chair. In such instances at least 75% of committee members must approve the decision.
- The County/District/Group Executive Committee and its sub-Committees can meet by telephone conference, video conference as well as face to face in order to discharge its responsibilities when agreed by the appropriate Chair.