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How you can support local communities

Throughout our history, Scouts have helped other people and supported their communities in times of crisis. We're proud to say we stepped up and played our part when it counted most.

However, the Coronavirus crisis like no other. Our priority is to keep young people and volunteers safe. It’s clear that the best and most effective way we can respond is by supporting young people at home. We’re the experts in providing activities and skills for young people and this should remain our key focus.

We’ve got off to a great start, launching #TheGreatIndoors, a collection of over 150 activities and our new pages have been visited over half a million times so far. Many of you have also provided ways for Scouts to meet digitally while face to face meetings are suspended. Thank you for this.

Thank you

A huge thank you for all your great efforts. Our movement has already been praised for the positive way we have responded in these challenging times, fulfilling our promise to help other people.

How you can play your part
  • Promote #TheGreatIndoors. By sharing the 150+ Great Indoors activities you’ll be supporting families at home, helping young people stay focused and keep learning skills. Please share these with your contacts, especially on social media, reminding them that the activities are for all young people and not just Scouts.

  • Deliver Scouts at home. By offering activities and opportunities to meet digitally you are helping provide continuity and stability to our members, supporting their wellbeing and helping them continue to take part in the programme. We know it’s also a great help to hard-pressed parents, carers and families too. Take a look at our guidance about delivering Scouts at home

  • Prepare for a return to face to face Scouting. Now could be a good time to catch up on your training (for example, the online ongoing learning modules for Safety and Safeguarding), admin and catch-ups before it’s safe to return to face to face meetings and activities.

  • Socially Distanced Scouts Activities. We know that lots of people are keen to get back to face-to-face Scouts, but that it can be tricky to know exactly what you can do. We’ve put together some ideas to get you started (if you feel ready). There’s a mix of digital and socially distanced ideas for meetings, activities, and adventures.
How young people from your sections, and their families might choose to play their part
Staying safe

If you are being asked to do other things locally, or if you’re approached by any organisation, we advise that you read the government’s advice on how to do this safely

Remember, everyone’s situation is different and the safety of you and your family must come first. It’s vital therefore that we follow expert advice when it comes to volunteering. We’re talking with organisations at a national level and we’re passing on the advice we receive, which is to signpost you to organisations who are already set up to help communities at times like these.

Key points to remember

  • You can, of course, support other organisations in a personal capacity, but you should keep this separate from your role in Scouts. Please do not offer the services of other members on their behalf.
  • Keep young people safe at all times. Please don’t volunteer young people to carry out tasks on behalf of other organisations.
  • Keep yourself safe – read the government’s advice on how to help safely 
How you can support other organisations

We understand that some members will want to do more to support their communities. We’re therefore signposting other organisations calling for volunteers or asking for other kinds of support.

However, we know that everyone’s situation is different and we all have different responsibilities. You may be a key worker, for example, or supporting your family, and have little extra time. You may be struggling through illness yourself. No one should feel any pressure therefore to offer extra support in this way and the safety of you and your family must always come first.

Please note that you will be signing up these organisations as an individual rather than as Scouts. It’s important to know that your usual Scout insurance doesn’t cover activities you do in a personal capacity. Please therefore make sure you know what the terms of engagement are before you sign up or register for opportunities. Also make sure you read government advice on how to help safely. There is also specialist advice available for NI, Scotland, Wales, Jersey and Guernsey.  

Here’s how you can help:

  • Donate food. The Trussell Trust is asking for donations to foodbanks at supermarkets. Here’s a list of things that are urgently needed: UHT milk, tinned fish or meat, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables, tinned spaghetti, long-life juice, pasta sauce, soup, tea and coffee, pasta, rice, noodles, beans, cereal, rice pudding, custard and biscuits.
  • Give blood. Giving blood is more important now than ever. Find out how.
  • Become a NHS Volunteer Responder. This is a new group that will carry out simple, non-medical tasks to support people in England who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions. Please note that recruitment is currently closed due to the phenomenal initial response. Thank you to all of you who have supported this scheme so far.
  • Help older people. Find out ways you can help older people during the coronavirus crisis by following this advice from Age UK.
  • Volunteer for St John Ambulance. Our friends at St John Ambulance are looking for logistics and volunteer manager support as well as frontline line clinical/first aid support.
  • Support British Red Cross. Here’s how you can share your kindness with those who need it most.

A note on insurance

We recognise that as Scouts many of you will want to do all you can to support communities and critical organisations like the NHS. However, our insurance policies are based on standard Scout activities rather than these exceptional ones. Therefore, if you do decide to help out in your communities, then thank you, but you'll need to do so in a personal capacity.

If any outside organisation wants to use your premises, such as your Scout hall, they'll have to accept full liability both for property damage and any bodily injury claims which may occur during the time they occupy and operate out of it. We strongly recommend you keep a copy of the third party's Public Liability certificate for your records. Your management team will also need to work with the organisation concerned and conduct relevant risk assessments etc., show them how to set alarms/lock up at the end of the night and any other guidance that you would normally provide. Please also remember to follow the Government's advice on safety and social distancing.

Tell us how you’re doing

We’d love to hear about how you’re supporting young people, families and communities.

Let us know