Here at the 5th Farnham (Bourne) Scout Group, along with all other Scout Groups in the country, we sadly had to pause all face-to-face scouting activities until the change to ‘Amber’ status at the end of March. The Scout Association has monitored the situation and we are back face to face again! We will advise if there is any change in the current advice and interpretation of government guidelines. Each section provided some amazing activities online, with zoom sessions taking place. It was not a perfect substitute for being together in person, but it allowed our young people to continue to develop Skills for Life in a new and different way! We didn’t let this time go to waste, and our Sections were baking, quizzing, building, learning, slime-ing, and making during the lockdown period.
We are really happy to be back to face-to-face scouting – although outdoors only for the time being. Each section has an updated programme, Risk Assessments and Consent Form for the current guidelines, but we are determined to get all of our young people doing as many fun and adventurous activities together as possible and make the most of this summer term. There are plans afoot for water activity days, group-wide get togethers, day camps and the legendary ‘Fifthfest’ in September.
The restrictions on our activities during 2020 had an impact on our budget for 2020/21. As a Trust the 5th Farnham is required by the Charity Commission to hold a financial reserve. Whilst we are financially operating more normally now than we were during the first lockdown last year, we still have running costs e.g. for Taylor Hall, even without there being any face-to-face Scouting activities possible there. We have had to increase the weekly subs level a little in 2021 to reflect that our revenue has been down but our costs, including capitation costs (paid to the Scouting Association) have remained largely unchanged, and in some areas have unfortunately increased. Clearly the impact on the 5th Farnham finances will be greater the longer the situation endures. We will keep parents informed. We will certainly need to vigorously fund raise (along with many other organisations) and hope that parents will be keen to actively engage in organising and running that effort. If you have ideas we would love to hear them.
A gentle reminder re Gift Aid: if you haven’t ever filled in a Gift aid form, or ticked the box in OSM please print and sign this form and return (scan/photo) to firstname.lastname@example.org, or log into your OSM account and update your details.
Every little helps.
Ian Turton/ Liz Chart
Co-Group Scout Leaders