Our volunteers should be having just as much fun as the kids – but it’s only possible with the right kind of support. We’ve collated some useful resources for our Managers that will help them carry out their role.

Activity Approval

Appointments Panel

The Appointments Panel, is a small group of people who meet with new volunteers to make sure they are suitable for their role. It’s a very friendly, informal chat, but they’ll ensure the new leader understands the responsibilities of the role as well as provide some pointers and guidance on what help is available.


During Coronavirus lockdown

To continue to welcome and support our adult volunteers in Scouting we will be running online versions of the Appointments Panel.

The first of which will take place on:

  • Wednesday 15 April – 11:00 to 12:30
  • Thursday 16 April – 19:00 to 21:00

The idea is to offer daytime sessions and evening sessions to cater for people no matter their current circumstances. We recognise a lot of families may be using their evenings to catch up with family who are self isolating.

The appointments panel chat will be with three members of the advisory committee and will take place using our Microsoft Teams video conferencing system. Each chat will last 20mins. Attendees will be sent invitations to participate in the online meeting directly.

To participate in the appointments panel attendees must have a working video camera and microphone on their phone or laptop. Please connect to the meeting a minute or so before the assigned time. When you first join you will enter a virtual “waiting room” and then brought into the meeting when the panel are ready.

Awards & Recognition

We want to thank all our volunteers for their contribution to Scouts – we know how important it is to recognise their brilliant achievement.

Census

Learn more about Census and how to complete it. Access FAQs, downloads and more.

Disclosures

Due to current measures that have been put in place as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the UK Government are aware that organisations are having difficulty following the DBS ID checking guidance.

Processing disclosure applications and re-checks 

While all face-to-face Scout meetings and activities across the UK are suspended, we have taken the decision to stop processing disclosure applications and re-checks. This will be the case until the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted.

The disclosure bodies’ advice clearly states that the workarounds for effective identity checking have been primarily put in place to ensure disclosure checks can be processed for frontline key workers needed to contribute to the Coronavirus situation. While Scouts remains important, clearly, we do not meet this criteria.

Scouts volunteers are not engaging in Regulated Activity while face-to-face Scout meetings and activities are suspended. Therefore, there is no requirement for disclosure applications and re-checks to be processed during the Coronavirus situation.

What this means during the Coronavirus situation

  • Volunteers will not be suspended when a disclosure re-check has not been undertaken and a valid disclosure obtained. 
  • Volunteer line managers will continue to receive the reminder and suspension emails as these are automated through Compass. While this isn’t ideal, it isn’t practicable nor cost effective at this time to stop these being sent. During this period please disregard these emails (although they may be of use to create a list of those volunteers who will need to process a disclosure re-check when the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted).   
  • Volunteers whose disclosure expires during this period may continue to meet digitally, following the advice and guidance issued on holding virtual meetings to make sure we keep all members safe.   

Processing disclosure applications and re-checks when the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted 

Once face-to-face Scout activities and meetings resume, new disclosure applications can commence and volunteers whose disclosure has expired will be able to continue in their roles for a limited period before suspension will be necessary if a valid disclosure is not obtained. We will set a date when all volunteers who don’t have a valid disclosure must start the process to renew their disclosure. 

The limited period will be 90 days from that date for those volunteers to obtain a valid disclosure. We will keep this period under review based on processing volumes both for the respective disclosure bodies, who anticipate a peak in demand immediately following the Coronavirus situation, and the Safeguarding team’s ability to process disclosures returned with information. Please note we will be increasing capacity in the Safeguarding team to meet the anticipated demand.

It goes without saying that keeping young people safe is our number one priority and volunteers whose disclosure has expired should make every effort to start the process to obtain a valid disclosure as speedily as possible to avoid suspension.

How these arrangements have been agreed 

These interim arrangements have been approved by the UK Chief Commissioner, the Chair of the Safeguarding Committee, the Chair of the Risk Committee and the Chief Operating Officer (who is the Scouts’ Lead Signatory for all of the disclosure bodies across the Nations).

Support for you 

If you have any questions relating to disclosures, please let us know at vetting@scouts.org.uk or by emailing the Scout Information Centre at info.centre@scouts.org.uk. We can then provide clarity and co-ordinate enquiries with the disclosure bodies if needed. Whilst we will aim to respond to questions as speedily as possible, please note that due to the planned furloughing of a number of staff it may take a little longer to get a response.

Group Scout Leader support resources

As well as the resources available on the national websites we are producing useful local resources. A few of them are available here:

  • Link to District welcome pack – draft – work in progress
  • Slides used at October 2019 round table Read More>
  • Notes and resources mentioned at October 2019 round table Read More >
  • AGM Checklist Read More >
  • Updating Charity Commission register Read More >

How is Scouts managed locally?

Each Scout Group is comprised of different ‘sections’ – which may include a

  • Beaver Colony (for 6-8 year olds),
  • Cub Pack (for 8-10 ½ year olds),
  • Scout Troop (for 10 ½-14 year olds),
  • Explorer Unit  (for 14-18 year olds) and
  • Scout Network (for 18-25 year olds).

Group Scout Leader (GSL), is responsible for overseeing and supporting volunteers in each section, should manage the Scout Group.

In Explorer Scout Units, a District Explorer Scout Commissioner (DESC) takes on this role.

Both Group Scout Leaders and District Explorer Scout Commissioners are responsible to a District Commissioner (DC). Where a group does not have a GSL, Leaders report directly to the DC.

The DC is the volunteer manager responsible for a wider geographical area – such as a town or area of a larger city or county.

If you’d like to contact your GSL, DESC or DC, ask your local leader for their contact details or speak to the Scout Information Centre on 0345 300 1818.

Leadership

Whether you’re the peace-keeper, the big-thinker, the motivator or the tea-maker, leadership is all about setting a positive influence for those looking your way.

Management best practices

Our volunteers should be having just as much fun as the kids – but it’s only possible with the right kind of support.

Microsoft Teams / Office365

Office 365

In Mersey Weaver, we require all volunteers to use a Scouting email address issued by our Technology ASU. Not only does this allow you to maintain a Scout/Life balance and but it also allows us demonstrate to parents that we take all reasonable steps to protect personal identifying information and comply with GDPR. It is important that you have access to this account so you don’t miss any important communication.

Office 365 provides anywhere access to professional email, calendar, HD video conferencing, and more. Designed to help charities do more good, this fantastic suite of tools provides volunteers with access to Office Online and Microsoft’s best-in-class cloud-based productivity and collaboration software. This is provided to all all all leaders and exec members for free!

  • Outlook – email, address book and calendar
  • OneDrive – 1TB of cloud storage to securely store scout documents
  • Sharepoint – group document storage
  • Teams – Instant Messaging, Calls, Video Conferencing and integration with Sharepoint, Planner, Forms and more..
  • Planner – Kanban (think trello style) project management software
  • Forms – securely collect data, surveys, forms
  • Yammer – a private social network just for leaders
  • Power Automate – automate processes and data without code
  • Sway – produce interactive newsletters and presentations

Login to your Scout Office365 Account

All volunteers in Mersey Weaver have an Office365 account. To login use the link below. If you need assistance setting you account up contact our Technology ASU for support.

If you are not sure if you have access, you will either need to reset the password or if you’ve never had access get in touch with the Technology ASU. Ideally your line manager should have requested an account for you prior to attending an appointments committee. If not you can ask a them or a colleague to request a new account for you. The process is automated, so once your account is approved you will receive setup instructions and a text message with a temporary password to your mobile phone.


Microsoft Teams

During this period we expect an uptick in volunteer meetings as well as the need for leaders to safely host virtual meetings online. Teams will allow groups to securely communicate with volunteer across the district.

Microsoft Teams is a unified communication platform that combines chat, video meetings, file storage and application integration. The service integrates with our Office 365 system and also features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products. Microsoft Teams is a comparable to services such as Slack, WhatsApp and Zoom and is the evolution from Skype for Business. Teams allows communities, groups, or teams to join online voice or video meetings through a link or invitation. Presenters are also able to host live broadcasts. Every leader and exec member has access to this software for Free.

Every Group, Group Exec and Section in the District has been setup with their very own ‘Team” which can be used to host video conferences as well as instant message about Scouting in the private and secure way.

We have setup channels for cross collaboration across Mersey Weaver for people in the same role so you can share tips, best practice and ask each other for advice or support. There are also some social spaces for leaders to chat with one another. E.g. on the “District All Leaders” Team there is a channel called the “District Café”.

Setting up Teams

Download the App

First you’ll need to download the teams app on your PC, Mac, Android or iOS device. Make sure you login using your district or group email account. Not got access email the Technology ASU for support.

You will then need to login in with your Scout issued Office 365 account. If you don’t have access to it you will either need to reset the password or if you’ve never had access get in touch with the Technology ASU.

Once you are logged in, you will be able to see any upcoming meetings you have been invited to, send direct messages to other leaders in your group (or the rest of the district) and have conversations in Channels that have been setup for you that are relevant to your role.

New to Scouting and don’t have an account?

Your line manager or another leader in the district can request an account for you provided they have access to your profile in Compass. The process is automated, so once your account is approved you will receive setup instructions and a text message with a temporary password.

How to Join a Meeting / Live Event

Once you are logged in your can join an online meeting or Live Event. In some cases you can join as a guest too but its best to login as you get access to more features. Some meetings will not allow guests to join if they have been set to private.

How to Schedule a Meeting / Live Event

From the calendar tab, a button appears that says “+ New Meeting” from there you can select a Meeting (video conference) or Live Event (broadcast). Select what kind of meeting you want, schedule it in and invite any guests or generate a link. 

You can also schedule meetings within existing channels. e.g. a group camp ‘Channel’ in the section leaders ‘Team’ to plan an upcoming camp.

Help & Support

If you need assistance or help don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Technology ASU who are happy to support you in getting up and running.

Getting Started with Microsoft Teams

Interactive Demo

We’ve also collated some videos that will help introduce Microsoft Teams

Our Values & Key Polices

Part of being a Scout is going on a journey to understand who you are and what you stand for. Everyone is unique, but there are some things all Scouts can agree on. We call these Scout values. They’re at the heart of who we are and what we do. And we think they’re rather important:

Integrity – We act with integrity; we are honest, trustworthy and loyal.
Respect – We have self-respect and respect for others.
Care – We support others and take care of the world in which we live.
Belief – We explore our faiths, beliefs and attitudes.
Co-operation – We make a positive difference; we co-operate with others and make friends.

Recruiting and appointing

You don’t need to be Bear Grylls. You don’t even need to know how to put up a tent. Our door is open, so here’s how to walk on through.

Systems Support

For assistance with District Systems such as Office 365 and Online Scout Manager, please contact technology.asu@merseyweaverscouts.org.uk