DC’s blog – 12 Feb 2018

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It’s good to see that 2018 Scouting programmes are into full swing.  There is lots going on already, despite the really cold weather, and lots being planned for later in the year.

In this blog:

  1. Scout Census
  2. First aid course
  3. County Safeguarding Coordinator
  4. A plea around DBS checks
  5. Recent events

Scout Census

The annual census process is now well underway.  Huge thanks to the following who have completed their census information really quickly and made it so easy for us:

  • All Explorer units (How impressive is that – well done, all)
  • 1st Lyneham
  • 1st Malmesbury

All other Group returns are in various states of completion from looking fairly complete, but needing confirmation, to not looking started.

Group Scout Leaders – please can you each contact us to let us know your plans for completion of the Census.  Even if you’ve asked someone else to handle this task for you, please let us who will be doing it and when they plan to have it complete.

This year there are separate return pages for each section (Beavers, Cubs, Scouts etc).  Once the section page is complete, the Group needs to approve the section’s return.  There is then a Group return, to declare people who are members of the Group but not involved with any one section.  We’ll approve the Group return when you tell us it’s complete.

First aid course

A last-minute place has come up on a full First Aid course this weekend.  If you need a First Aid course and can attend this Saturday (17-Feb-18), then please let Guy Livingston know.

The course will take place at 3rd Chippenham Scout HQ, from 09:00 – 16:00 on Saturday, 17 February.

County Safeguarding Coordinator

Wiltshire County Scouts is currently looking for a Safeguarding Coordinator.  This is an important role to support adults and young leaders in Scouting as they do all that they can to protect the welfare of young people.  This includes promotion and training around all things related to safeguarding across the County.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in exploring further, please let us know and we’ll put you in touch with Steve Barley, the County Commissioner, to discuss more.

A plea around DBS checks

We have the somewhat unpleasant task of dealing with the fallout when adult DBS checks expire and new ones aren’t put in place.  For existing Adults in Scouting, these need to be renewed every 5 years.  An automated email is generated 90 days before the expiry date and again several times before it actually expires.

For new adults (or those where there is a gap since their previous Scouting role) there is just 30 days from having the person added to the system to having the DBS request submitted.

In both cases, we know that the processes and systems can be difficult.  It’s often not straightforward to record identity documents and there are several steps involved.  Experience suggests that its easiest to complete ‘in one sitting’ if that’s at all feasible.

When a DBS has expired and a new DBS request is not submitted in time, we are required to suspend the adult.  The email from the Scout Association about this is harshly worded, but these steps are necessary to protect young people.  Please understand that there is nothing we can do about this.  We have to comply with national Safeguarding policy.

To help reduce (avoid) these nasty suspension emails, please can all those involved in DBS renewals – the adults affected; Group Scout Leaders; section leaders; administrators in each Group – make every effort to start the process early and follow it through to completion?  If you’re having any trouble, let us know and we’ll try to help.  The worst thing you can do is put it off!

Recent events

Congratulations to the team from Crudwell who won the Wiltshire County Cub Scrapheap challenge.

Well done to the hardy souls at Aye Four ESU, getting away to Fire and Ice despite the freezing temperatures.