It’s just over a year since we first went into lockdown and had to suspend face-to-face Scouting. We know this has been a difficult year for everyone. As a County, we’ve been committed to supporting you throughout the Coronavirus pandemic in every way we can. That’s why we’re pleased to announce that the County Board of Trustees has approved our Coronavirus Response Programme, releasing much needed funds to support local Scouting.
The Hampshire Scouts Coronavirus Response Programme is designed to support Scout Groups and Explorer Units to overcome any financial impact they’ve seen as a result of COVID-19. We’ve designed our grant programme to be responsive to the needs of your Groups and Units and so we’re encouraging all groups to apply if they feel that they need support. We’re ready to fund rent, safety costs, costs associated with building youth membership numbers back up, and a range of other costs that Groups and Units have incurred. While we have some ideas about what we think may need funding, we’re open to funding need wherever it lies.
Do you have any eligibility criteria?
The only definitive criteria we have is you are a Scout Group operating in Hampshire. The Grants Sub-Committee has not set detailed financial criteria. Applications will be considered on the information and need they present.
However, funding will not ordinarily be made to Groups with available reserves equivalent to more than six months operating costs after the payment of the 2021/22 UKHQ (UK Scout Headquarters), County, and District Membership Fee. If you do not fall under this category but still feel you need support, please continue to apply.
What will you fund for Explorer Units and Scout Network?
Funding for Explorer Units and Scout Network will normally only be made for “Direct Response Costs” (as defined below), where the District can demonstrate that meeting the cost directly will affect the District’s ability to operate and/or support its Groups.
How will you assess applications?
When assessing applications, the Grants Sub-Committee will have regard for the way in which membership changed between the 2019 and 2020 census and the 2020 and 2021 census, whether the Group is in an area of deprivation, and the diversity of youth membership in relation to the local community.
Are you involving Districts in this process?
The Grants Sub-Committee believes that the best way to support Groups is to build partnerships with Districts. The Grants Sub-Committee will engage with District Commissioners about each application including the viability of applicant Groups and any support being offered by the District.
District Commissioners will be asked to endorse each application. Applications without their DC’s endorsement will be presented to the Grants Sub-Committee with a note saying they are unendorsed. Groups will be told their application was not endorsed but that it will still be considered. The Grants Sub-Committee will have a follow up call with the DC once the application has been considered. A grant may still be awarded.
How will you award grants?
Awards will be made either for specified costs (“restricted grants”) or unspecified costs (“unrestricted grants”).
Restricted grants will be made for the exact amount required, as evidenced by the Group. Grants will either be paid to the Group or, in some circumstances, paid directly to the supplier of the item or service which is being funded.
The maximum amount for a restricted grant is £5,000 with no minimum amount.
Unrestricted grants will be made where a Group demonstrates a need for financing that they can use to respond to other financial need. Unrestricted grants will be between £500 and £5,000 at the discretion of the Grants Sub-Committee.
Groups will be eligible to receive both a restricted grant and an unrestricted grant, subject to a total maximum award of £5,000.
Each Group or Unit will be eligible to receive up to £5,000 per grant round, over one or more grants.
What will you award grants for?
Restricted grants will be made in respect of Direct Response Costs, Operational Costs, and Associated Costs.
Direct Response Costs are costs incurred as a direct result of adjustments made in order to operate through the Coronavirus pandemic.
Operational Costs are costs incurred in the normal running of the group, including where such costs have increased or the Group’s ability to meet the costs have been affected by Covid-19.
Associated Costs are costs which must be met for the Group to operate, but which do not fall into any other category.
The examples given below are an indication of what the Grants Sub-Committee may look to fund and are not an exhaustive list. Groups are encouraged to apply for the support they need.
Examples of Direct Response Costs
Adjustments to meeting places (owned or rented) to allow for meetings to take place according to Government, UKHQ, and NYA (National Youth Agency) guidelines, regulations, and legislation.
Purchase of marquees and other equipment to facilitate the provision of open-air and outdoor programme.
Supplies and equipment required for ensuring safety, enhanced cleaning, and enabling social distancing.
Examples of Operational Costs
Rent for meeting places (the Grants Sub-Committee will normally only consider funding future rent and not reimbursement for rent that’s been paid).
Rent for storage (the Grants Sub-Committee will normally only consider funding future rent and not reimbursement for rent that’s been paid).
Utilities and other bills for Scout-owned meeting places and storage (the Grants Sub-Committee will normally only consider funding future rent and not reimbursement for rent that’s been paid). The Grants Sub-Committee will consider a meeting place to be Scout- owned where it is wholly owned by a Scout Group or District, or where the Scout Group or District are members of a management committee which has the ability to raise and spend funds independently of other authority.
Insurance (the Grants Sub-Committee will fund insurance which covers the current period or upcoming renewals, including reimbursing the cost of premiums).
Zoom Pro licences in order to facilitate a digital programme, where purchased to supplement the UKHQ provision.
Examples of Associated Costs
Materials, including printed material and digital expenditure, aimed at recruiting young people or adult volunteers.
While the Coronavirus Response Grants are designed to offer flexible funding when needed most, in order to ensure the fund is used for its designated purpose they have decided that applications will not be considered for funding the following:
• Payment of membership fees.
• New provision/sections (the County has an existing grant programme for this
• Hardship funding for youth members (the County has an existing grant
programme for this purpose).
• General expenses that would normally be met in the normal running of the programme and which have not been impacted by Coronavirus.
• Replacing things that have already been funded through this grant programme or another Coronavirus response grant programme.
• Loss of income from reduced or waived membership fees where reductions and waivers were issued on a blanket basis to all members of a Group or Unit regardless of need.
• Capital expenditure where the expenditure was not incurred as a direct result of adapting to government, UKHQ, or NYA guidelines, regulations, or legislation arising from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Application is submitted by the GSL or Group Chair using the online application form. Applications for Explorer Units should be made by the DESC or DESA. Applications for Scout Networks should be made by the DSNC. If these roles are vacant, the person fulfilling the role locally is welcome to apply.
County Office collate the responses and send the information to a nominated member of the Grants Sub-Committee at the end of the application window (the current window closes April 30th).
The nominated member will contact the DC of each applying Group to talk about the applications, viability of applicant Groups, and support available from the District. DCs will be asked if the endorse the application. Applications will still be considered if they are not endorsed.
Anonymised applications will be distributed to the Grants Sub-Committee for review prior to their meeting.
At the Grants Sub-Committee meeting each application shall be discussed, including any additional information obtained by the nominated member.
Following the meeting, an email will be sent to the GSL and Group Chair (or DESC or DSNC) informing them of their award and requesting bank details for payment. Bank details will be sent directly through to the County Bookkeeper.
The amount and total value of awards will be reported to the County Board of Trustees at each meeting. The amount and total value of awards for each cluster will be reported at the relevant cluster meetings.