Customer Notice: Return to residentials
Updated: Friday 24 July 2021, 17:46
Since April our centres have been supporting the return to face-to-face Scouting, providing over 550 group evening and day bookings, with almost 11,000 visits by members of Scouts and Guides. Until now, we have focussed ensuring the maximum possible opportunity for this type of usage by our members. Moving forwards, as well as evening and day visits, from this weekend we will again be offering residential experiences at Phasels Wood and Tolmers, for those Scout and Guide Groups who wish to run them.
Alongside the return to residential experiences, we will be increasing the range of activities on offer, with more rope-based activities at Phasels Wood and Water Activities available on Burt’s Pond at Tolmers. Activity timings will now allow 30 minutes for a thorough clean down between users.
A number of groups have run “Day Camps” rather than residentials over the past few months, and to cater for those who would prefer this format we are introducing 12 hour day camp packages to sit alongside the activity day packages that we have previously offered.
Please check each individual centres web site for details of activities and packages that are available at that centre.
For your safety…
As many individual restrictions have relaxed, it now passes to us as a provider to assist you in delivering as safe an experience as possible. Whilst many of the guidelines such as bubbles have now been removed and facilities may now be shared, we are increasing our focus on cleaning and ensuring any buildings we use have suitable space and ventilation. Over the next few weeks our newer buildings and toilet blocks will be re-opened, after they have passed all required safety checks and any maintenance required is carried out.
Some of our older buildings will remain closed whilst we adapt them appropriately.
Why can’t we re-open all activities?
A number of activities will not re-open immediately – mainly those that require external safety certification. In order to keep expenditure to a minimum, like many others in the outdoor sector, we have let our annual inspections lapse on these until we know that they will be used. There is now a significant backlog and inspection cost to returning these to use and we are working with our various suppliers to develop a plan for re-introduction.
Will instructors be available?
Where we can, yes. Please keep in mind that during Summer 2019, we had over 30 casual instructors and 11 full time staff employed to deliver our activities and look after our Centres – this has reduced to 3 lead instructors at present and many of our casual staff have found other jobs.
Our amazing Centre volunteers – both Service Team and International Staff continue to support us and we are working hard with them to get ready for your return and to support you during your visits.
Will we be keeping any of the processes introduced over the past year?
Several of the processes that we have introduced have been incredibly useful to us and we believe retaining them will benefit all users.
Going forward, whilst we will no longer require the details of young people in your group, we will continue to ask you for details of all adults and Young Leaders over 16 on site with your group through our group information form system. Clearly, for those just dropping off we won’t require details and ideally we would like you to continue nominating a leader to greet your parents as they drop off. Knowing which leaders and helpers are on site with each group will greatly enhance our ability to help you and your young people when they have queries and our Safeguarding efforts.
We will also continue to encourage invoicing and payments by card and bank transfer, managed by our bookings team. This should allow you to focus on your experience and reduce time spent queuing in our receptions.
What about residentials at Well End and Harmergreen Wood?
We will continue to offer day time use of Harmergreen Wood and Well End and review how we might extend this to residential experiences as we move forward.
How do I book?
For those with existing bookings over the next few months, our bookings team will be in touch soon to understand how you would like to proceed with your booking. For those who would like to make a new booking, follow the Book Now link on the Centres web sites or contact our bookings team on 0208 236 0040.