Following the announcement on Friday 11th September of additional restrictions being placed upon the Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell areas in respect of Covid-19, we’ve made the decision to move Birmingham and Solihull Scout Counties and a number of Districts within West Mercia County back to the Red readiness level, meaning that no face to face activities, meetings or residential activities can take place at this time. We are releasing this information on our website and Facebook pages at 5pm today.
This change takes effect from tomorrow, Sunday 13th September and covers all of the groups in Blythe and Cole Districts, plus 1st Meriden and 1st Salter Street from Warwickshire County, and 53rd Coventry and Rough Close Campsite from Coventry County.
The decision to change our readiness level hasn’t been taken lightly. The County Commissioners and their teams from all three Counties have met and discussed how to best respond to the worsening situation in the Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell areas, and have consulted with The Scouts National Restart Team before reaching a final decision. The safety of our members and adult volunteers has been at the forefront of our discussions in considering the impact of the increasing risk of infection in the areas concerned, and the need to play our part in helping bring the spread of the disease back within acceptable levels.
For those Groups who have previously had risk assessments approved to be able to start meeting either outdoors or indoors following the national move to an Amber readiness level, approval for these risk assessments is currently suspended. If the restrictions currently being introduced change and we’re able to move back to Amber within the next 4 weeks without any significant change to our risk profile, then approval for these risk assessments will be reinstated. However, in line with The Scouts national guidance, if we remain at a Red readiness level for more than 4 weeks then all previously approved risk assessments will need to be reviewed and re-approved.
Where Groups are currently drafting risk assessments to enable them to restart face to face Scouting (either outdoors or indoors) we would encourage them to continue to do so in order for them to be reviewed and any feedback provided before being submitted for formal approval once we’re able to confirm we’ve returned to an Amber readiness level.
While it’s disappointing that we have to return to a Red readiness level, we would strongly encourage all Groups to look at how they continue to support their members through virtual meetings and activities. There is a wealth of information available through scouts.org.uk, OSM and 1st Virtual Scout Group on Facebook that can help you in designing and running a virtual programme.
Guidance on Coronavirus Risk assessments can be found here: https://solihullscouts.org.uk/coronavirus/
If you have any questions following this communication please contact myself, Paul Webb, Liz Rashvand or Alison Lowe.
County Commissioner, Solihull