Dear 5th Farnham (Bourne) Scout Group members and parents,
As a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and the risk of young people and adults transmitting infection to each other, or picking it up from surfaces and equipment at section meetings we have reluctantly made the decision as co-GSLs to suspend the section meetings for the remainder of the term (3 weeks), plus the jumble/sustainability sale which had earlier been planned for 21st March. This will take effect immediately.
We don’t wish to cause alarm, we have read as much as possible, looked at the available advice, and noted the current status of schools etc. However, it is our view that there is significant risk of infection, and consequential harm. We have a member of our leadership team who works in the emergency healthcare industry and he has stated firmly that it is the right thing to do to reduce the risk of transmission and it is, on balance, in the best interests of the young people and adults, to take the action now and not wait until we have confirmed cases.
We do have young people, leaders and parent helpers with underlying conditions including asthma. Other vulnerable family members may also be at risk if they contract the infection brought home by a member of the group from a section meeting. All the leaders and helpers are volunteers and we do not have a critical need to continue meeting when ‘social distancing’ is one of the key ways to reduce infection rates and #flattenthecurve. As there is an incubation period and testing everyone is not possible, we do not know who is currently infected without knowing it.
We propose that we will offer a refund of the subs if parents request it (£14.65), but also do offer the chance to decline the refund as a donation to support our future activities, for which we would be most grateful.
We propose to review the situation in mid-April and make a decision at that point about whether we will re-start after the Easter Holiday or extend the break even further.
We understand District are currently considering the prospects for Family Camp in April, and if you have booked they will contact you with a decision should it be cancelled, and we and the section leaders will have to make decisions about camps planned for the next few months. Explorer meetings are not included in this announcement.
In the spirit of Scouting, we hope that all our members will remain calm, contribute to their community at a time of crisis, be kind and help other people, and we hope to find creative and innovative ways of communicating and sharing ideas and even doing badge work and learning new skills whilst being physically separated. We would welcome all ideas and skills (eg. internet solutions) which could help us keep Scouting in a new way.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org , or contact your section leader, if you have any questions or comments.
We wish you all health and strength and courage at this time. Please let us know if there is anything that the group can do to help at any stage if your family is affected by illness or isolation. We really do want to help each other.
Ian Turton/Liz Chart
Co-Group Scout Leaders
5th Farnham (Bourne) Scout Group