Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people - Discover what this means


We’re pleased to let you know that the Welsh Government has confirmed changes in its advice to youth sector provision in Wales. ScoutsCymru will move to the ‘Green’ readiness level from Friday 17th September. This means there are some changes affecting residential and international trips which are explained below. 

Residential activities

Residential activities will no longer be limited by group size or the numbers sharing accommodation. This means more flexibility for Groups when planning their nights away activities, though members are still required to plan activities in ways which aim to minimise the spread of COVID-19. 

What reasonable measures should I consider taking to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus?  

While it is impossible to mitigate the risks completely, there are some measures which are reasonable to take, and members are expected to include these in their planning and risk assessments. There are some examples of reasonable measures below. The measures you take should be informed by your Covid Specific Risk Assessment and aim to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading during your activities or at your premises and should be tailored to your specific circumstances.

Examples of reasonable measures (this is not an exhaustive list)

Reduce the chance of coronavirus being present

  • If a volunteer, parent, visitor, or a child becomes unwell or symptomatic while attending the setting they should leave the setting immediately and follow the advice on Test, Trace, Protect, including self-isolating and arranging a test. 
  • Parents, visitors, and children who are symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID-19 must not attend the setting and must strictly follow the self-isolation guidance. 
  • Rapid lateral flow testing for young people aged 11+  and volunteers at Scouts is strongly recommended for some activities such as for residential activities, as shown in the readiness level tables. 

These tests give a result in 30 minutes using a swab and a small testing strip. If you’re doing lateral flow testing as part of a Scouts residential activity, take a look at the planning a COVID-safe nights away in 2021 guidance to see when and how frequently you will need to test everyone. 

Lateral flow testing is designed to be used by people without symptoms, if anyone is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 then they should return home and have a PCR test. 

Prevent crowding

  • Limit numbers or control movement of people so that where possible people can safely distance themselves from others. For example, use one-way systems to enter or walk around the premises and control the movement of people coming together in confined areas such as toilets. 
  • Maintain social distancing between adults and children over 11 both during and outside of sessions. While it is generally accepted very young children are not good at distancing, other adults and older children should still try to distance from one another. 
  • Control entry and exit points to prevent people coming together. Limit your capacity 
  • Reduce numbers. In determining the capacity of the activity, the number of people who may attend at any one time, remember that lowering numbers will reduce the extent to which close physical interaction will occur, by reducing the potential for crowding. 
  • Spreading people evenly across the venue so that they don’t gather in disproportionate numbers in one room or space. 

Improve your ventilation or go outside

  • Encourage use of outdoor space where this is available. 
  • Enhance airflow by opening windows and propping open internal doors (but not fire doors) where possible and where safe to do so. As children will attend these premises there will be some premises where opening windows or doors may increase the risk of children injuring themselves or leaving the premises unsupervised, so this should form a part of any risk assessment 
  • If there is a lack of natural ventilation, ensure mechanical ventilation systems provide 100% fresh air and do not recirculate air from one space to another. 
  • Make sure mechanical ventilation systems are effectively maintained and have been serviced. 
  • Monitor CO2 levels to identify areas where ventilation may be poor. Poor ventilation may result in a higher level of CO2 within the premises, this can be an indicator of how easily Covid particles can spread within your building. You may wish to use a CO2 monitor to help evaluate this risk. 

Face Coverings

Face coverings must be worn in indoor public spaces in Wales by those over 11 years of age.

Volunteers will need to consider their meeting place and assess if it is accessible to the general public whilst meetings are in progress. 

If YES – Face coverings must be worn by all those over 11 during meetings 

If NO – Face coverings are not required by anyone present. 

If MAYBE – for example in the event of shared premises or venue, then Face Coverings must be worn in communal areas and any shared facility by those over 11. 

Further guidance can be found here FAQs

It’s important to remember to keep involving and explaining the changes to our members and volunteers, some of whom may feel differently about the changes.  Some will be excited and raring to go, others may feel more anxious and want to move at a slower pace. We are excited by these changes and encourage you all to take a measured and safe approach in these important next steps to returning to developing Skills for Life with our young people. 

Thank you for everything that you and your teams have done and continue to do for Scouting locally, you are amazing and together we can get through this. 

For the latest Wales guidance and up to date FAQs please go to the ScoutsCymru website

For further information on getting back together safely, including guidance and templates for risk assessments please see the main Scouts website

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us using admin@scoutscymru.org.uk