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Coronavirus Update: Suspend all meetings and activities

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Last updated: 20th March 2020 @ 9.30am

BB Companies, Battalions and Districts MUST suspend all meetings and activities across the UK from Monday 16th March 2020.

The Boys’ Brigade has been carefully monitoring the outbreak of the Coronavirus across the UK and keeping up to date with advice issued by UK Government and other relevant authorities.

Following Government advice issued on Monday 16th March that everyone should stop non-essential contact with others and stop all unnecessary travel, it has been concluded that all BB weekly meetings/activities, events and trips must be immediately suspended.

Although we may not be meeting face to face, we are currently exploring how we continue to provide opportunities for children and young people to learn, grow and discover through an exciting and varied BB programme over the challenging weeks and months ahead. Our staff team is working on providing programme resources with activities that children and young people can do at home, supported by parents/carers. We will also be providing guidance on how to stay in touch with members during this time. More details will be shared in the coming days.

A range of frequently asked questions can be found below.

We will continue to use this page and our social media channels to provide updates, so please check back regularly for updates.

If you have any questions please contact BB Headquarters by email at support@boys-brigade.org.uk or by telephone on 01442 231 681 or your Regional Headquarters.

We wish every member of the Brigade family every blessing. 



Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below some helpful questions and answers . . .
Last updated: 03/04/2020

Do we have to close? What if we choose not to?
As per the statement which the Brigade released on 16th March all BB Companies, Battalions and Districts must suspend all face to face meetings and activities with immediate effect. This means that no face to face BB event or activity is to take place, including Battalion and District meetings for leaders.

Where can I find the Brigade’s advice and update on the current situation?
All of the Brigade’s latest advice can be found on this page and we would suggest checking back regularly for any updates. In addition to this, we will be sending out a weekly communication to all leaders by email.

How do I keep in contact with members in my Company?
To help support leaders, on Friday 20th March we launched #BBatHOME – a new programme concept to enable BB leaders to continue to engage our members with opportunities to learn, grow and discover through a balanced programme of activities in their own homes, supported by their parents/carers. Find out more about #BBatHOME by going to boys-brigade.org.uk/bbathome including guidance for leaders on keeping in touch with members.

We have also put together guidance to support leaders in running ‘Virtual Sessions‘ with children & young people during this period. Click here to read the guidance.

Leaders need to be clear about their boundaries and good safeguarding practice when it comes to making use of social media and electronic methods of communication. Remember that all communication with children and young people should be through their parents/carers. If you have any questions please contact BB Headquarters.

What do we do about events, residentials and trips due to take place?
All activities and events scheduled to take place up to the end of June 2020 should be cancelled. In terms of activities and events beyond this period, we would advise leaders to consider contractual/financial obligations and where necessary make contact with venues/providers to review contracts/terms for cancellation to understand the options available should events/activities have to be postponed or cancelled.

Which events being run by the Brigade and England & Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland are being cancelled or postponed?
Given the recent announcement, we are cancelling the following events:

  • Raise the Bar Roadshows (due to take place between March – June):
    • Stafford, 28th March
    • Felden Lodge, 6th June
  • All Training Courses for Young People and Leaders being run by UK & ROI/Regional Headquarters (due to take place between March – June):
    • Queen’s Badge Residential at Newport, 20th to 21st March
    • Queen’s Badge Residential at Newport, 21st to 22nd March
    • DofE Training Day at Greenmoor, 21st March
    • Youth Leader Training Part 2 Wales, 21st March
    • Camp Craft at Newport, 1st April
    • Captain’s Training at Newport, 1st April
    • Holiday Leadership at Newport, 1st April
    • Holiday Leadership at Felden, 4th April
    • Campcraft at Felden, 18th April
    • EOL Assessment at New Forest, 24th April
    • Expedition & Outdoor Leadership at Carronvale, 8th to 10th May
    • Youth Leader Training at Newport, 6th to 7th May
    • DofE Gold Expedition at Glen Doll, 17th to 22nd June
  • Other events including:
    • Finals for all National Competitions
    • Scottish Cross Country at Buckie, 21st March
    • NI District Executive Meeting, 23rd March
    • NID Chaplain’s Gathering at Banbridge, 24th March
    • NID CE&CR Committee Meeting, 26th March
    • NID Juniors Stool Ball Final, 28th March
    • NID Consumer Badge Launch, 2nd April
    • NID Queen’s Badge Celebration, 9th April
    • NID Juniors 5-a-Side Football Final, 25th April
    • NID Anchors Committee, 11th May
    • NID Juniors Committee, 11th May
    • NID Company Section Committee, 11th May
    • Newport Management Sub-Committee, 20th May
    • NID Training Committee, 20th May
    • NID Administration Committee, 20th May
    • Cumbrae Camp, 22nd-25th May
    • Unite Camp, 22nd-25th May
    • NID Executive Meeting, 10th June
  • We are also aware of the following events that have been cancelled (these events are not run by the Brigade or England & Wales/Scotland Regions):
    • Waltham Walk, 16th to 17th May
    • National Band Championships in Stoke, 6th June
    • Life 2 the Max Fun Day & Camp at Felden Lodge, 20th to 21st June

If an event due to be attended is not listed above, then please get in touch directly with the event organiser. Other events beyond June will remain under review and we will advise as and when any decisions are made.

Events organised by The Boys’ Brigade UK & RoI Headquarters and/or Regions will offer a refund on all registration/booking fees. Unfortunately, The Boys’ Brigade is unable to cover costs for travel or other expenses. The relevant course organisers will make contact with the person who made the booking in due course regarding these arrangements.

Can young people continue to work towards the Brigade’s Major Awards?
Where young people are working towards the Queen’s Badge or DofE Awards encouragement can be given to continue activities which the young person can still do at home. This could include the Skills and Physical sections or similar depending on the activity. It may be appropriate to consider changing the activity and encouraging young people to choose something that can be done at home during this period. Leaders should agree how activity should be logged and evidenced in consultation with parents/carers and the young person.

We have agreed that where a Queen‘s Badge Completion Course has been cancelled, that in these circumstances it should not prevent a young person from attaining their Queen’s Badge this session. Where this is the case, the requirement to attend a residential course will be removed. Your Regional Headquarters will be able to provide more advice around this and supporting young people in completing the award.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award are reviewing the situation as it evolves and will review programme requirements and consider temporary modifications to minimise the impact on participants’ ability to continue and complete their programme and we will share more information about this as soon as possible.

How will BB Headquarters operate during this period?
The Boys’ Brigade UK & ROI and Regional Staff Team will continue to offer support to the membership through the usual channels. We do not expect there to be any significant impact on the support we are able to offer based on the contingency plans and systems we have in place. This includes the staff team being able to work from home as necessary during this period. BB Supplies will continue to operate as normal, again contingency plans are in place.

All general enquiries should continue to be directed to 01442 231 681 or support@boys-brigade.org.uk.

Can we return forms to HQ in a different way?
We recognise that completing and send forms by post may become more difficult. We already receive a large volume of registration and disclosure paperwork from BB Companies where it is scanned and e-mailed to the Support Team and would like to encourage more Companies to do so. Adopting this approach of completing the paperwork will also mean that this can be done between all parties involved in the completion of paperwork, who can scan and e-mail forms to one another locally. All completed forms should be sent to support@boys-brigade.org.uk, or you can also now directly upload these completed forms to us by using our website contact form at boys-brigade.org.uk/submit-forms-online/

On lots of printers now there are in built scanners which can be used. However, if you don’t have a scanner then there is another alternative. On smart phones/devices there are lots of free scanner apps available which can be used to take a snap of the completed form. Go to your app store on your phone/device and search for a scanner app; one app we have found and used ourselves is ‘Scanbot’, but there are lots of other apps that also do the same job.

 

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