Dear all,

It has been a few weeks since we last wrote to you about the ongoing situation. It is our belief at ScoutsCymru that we should keep you informed, and due to the constantly changing world we have some new updates for you.

We know that Scouting may not be your priority right now, and that is perfectly fine. Everybody is in a different situation, and we wanted to make sure you had all the information when you’re ready.

Providing you with information

Many of you will have joined the other 14,500 volunteers on the UK all-member call in April, thank you for the time that you dedicated on an evening. If you couldn’t make the call and want to catch up then please read this blog from Tim Kidd and Matt Hyde.

There were some difficult topics discussed, but there’s a few points where the situation is slightly different in Wales. In order to explain our position and answer any of your questions, we are looking to hold our own call for all members. The team are currently working out the logistics, but there will be an update soon which will be circulated both via email and on social media.

We will also continue to provide you with updates with what is happening in Wales as decisions are made.

Our commitment to supporting you

During this difficult period, our main priority is supporting you and our groups, whether that be through providing programme suggestions, helping you to contact your local council for grants or simply being there for when you’re ready to get back to Scouting. To make sure that support is widely available, relevant and streamlined, we’ve taken a few different approaches.

We have established a Covid-19 Response Committee, which is made up of volunteers and staff from all sides of the ScoutsCymru family. They are there to ensure we are making the right decisions for our members, in a considered and swift manner. The committee has held two meetings so far and will continue to meet frequently until Scouting has returned face-to-face.

Following the last meeting of the Committee, the decision was made to place 60% of our staff on furlough to ensure that we provide the support that you currently need, whilst also safeguarding our organisation for the future. The staff not placed on furlough are working on new initiatives to provide support around topics such as Gift Aid, funding and remote Scouting. They will also continue to provide essential support and guidance to our members and can still be contacted by emailing or calling 01446 795277.

The programme team continue to work hard, developing ideas for groups and young people wanting to achieve their Welsh Awards. These programme ideas are being shared on our Facebook page every week, or you can check out eight weeks-worth of suggestions for the Welsh Beaver, Cub and Scout Awards on our website if you don’t use social media. We are also excited to announce that All Wales Scout Camp will be delivered digitally this year, so watch this space!

If you’re a Group Scout Leader, you will have received a call from one of the SCHQ team last week asking you a few questions about the support that you and your group needs. These calls were so that we could streamline our support and identify the need across Wales. The team are now going to get in touch to ask what level of support your group needs over the next few weeks, this will be in the form of an email and survey so please make sure to respond.

The ScoutsCymru Grants Fund is still open and accepting applications. If you need any support completing an application, or want to speak to somebody about the eligibility criteria please get in touch with the SCHQ team by emailing or calling 01446 795277

We know that plenty of groups have applied, or are looking to apply, for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant but are getting different responses from local authorities. We’re currently working on a campaign to support you with this but want to know about your experience. If you have applied or are considering applying, please complete this short survey to help us gather information.

Sadly, some of our members may have to deal with bereavement due to Covid-19. As the topic is so sensitive and difficult, we believe that the information should be able to be delivered in the language most comfortable for our volunteers and young people. That is why we have ensured that the UK bereavement resources are available in the Welsh language. You can access them here.

You’re all brilliant

There has been some absolutely amazing Scouting going on across Wales in this difficult time, and it makes us all so proud. We want to shout across Wales about the innovation and creativity that we’re seeing, so please get in touch with the SCHQ team with your stories. If you want to read about what is happening across the four regions then check out this blog. You may not have started digitally Scouting yet, or it might not be right for you and your situation, but if you want to start and don’t know how then why not read this article?

It was inspiring to see so many of you joining in with the Hike to the Moon to support struggling communities. Another highlight has certainly been when we all got together digitally to renew our promises and celebrate being Scouts – you can read all about that

We love getting the opportunity to visit groups digitally as well (and we’re not bad at scavenger hunts either)! If you want a member of Team Cymru to join in your digital sessions then fill out this form and we’ll see what we can do!

We want to celebrate the fantastic work that you are all doing right now, so for this year’s Celebration of Scouting Awards we are adding a new category. The Excellence in Leadership and Resilience award aims to focus on the Scouting that has adapted for this time. Nominations are open now and you can apply here.

Thank you for all that you are doing for our young people and for demonstrating our values to the whole of Wales.