Girlguiding are following the Government advice where it talks about schools, childcare facilities and other educational providers. They see us as another educational provider. Currently that means that as schools are open our units can run, subject to local factors.

They are putting together a list of FAQ’s for leaders and that should be on the website over the weekend on the coronavirus page:-
 
 
They are also looking to develop frequently asked questions to help you complete a risk assessment for events and sleepovers where factors such as the venue, the programme, the attendees, the geographical spread, timing and number of local cases of coronavirus for instance should be taken into account. So for instance if it is a small local event, with girls and adults who are all well, then it could be safe to go ahead. If however it was a large scale indoor event with girls, leaders and Trefoil guild who were elderly from a wide area where coronavirus was prevalent, then it may be wise to cancel. If it was an outdoor event where there was little coronavirus locally, it may go ahead, for instance.

If you need advice please let your Division Commissioner, Shiona or Helen know. (DC Names and email addresses are below)

Girlguiding have asked that we collect information about international trips that are planned for 2020 so they can support and give advice to leaders of the trips and keep up to date with FCO advice. Please forward any to Louise and Helen asap. 
 
Over the next few days and weeks things may change but Girlguiding are monitoring the situation and ready to react to any changes and update their members. There are to be weekly Ops Board calls and the plan would be to suspend units if schools close. Doing this sooner could lead to difficulties and this is to do with trying to control the rate of spread of the virus which is now past the containment phase.
 
It is a fine balance between allowing it to spread at a rate which the NHS can cope with and letting it spread too quickly now and overwhelming things or, equally as difficult, containing it completely now and then letting everyone go about their business again and getting a second sudden rise in cases which could overwhelm the NHS at that stage. Children seem to cope well with the virus and get it in a relatively mild way while the elderly are much more badly affected. Each unit will have to make their own decision after a risk assessment. Local factors such as the health of the leaders and some members with medical conditions may make a particular unit a special case and they may decide to close now. I am happy to discuss with you individually if you need advice and help.
 
Girlguiding don’t have insurance to cover cancellation of your events and it is unlikely that any insurance will cover the pandemic unless you have a very good policy.
 
The other thing that came up was talking about what we in Girlguiding can do to be kind and help those who are going to be lonely and affected by this pandemic. I have seen the great things that units have done to help the Australian wildfires. Is there something we could do to support older members of our community who may be isolating themselves to protect themselves without putting our members at risk? Could we send cards, drop off pots of flowers, notes to cheer them up and let them know we are thinking about them. I know you will have lots of ideas. Girlguiding members are known for their compassion and we could turn this difficult time into an opportunity to show some of our most vulnerable residents that we are thinking about them.
Just a thought…
 
And remember wash you hands and get your girls to do that too. There are badges and resources that can help reinforce this too.
 
 
 
 
Ayrshire North Commissioners
Helen Shedden (County Commissioner)
Shiona Gilmour (Assistant County Commissioner)
Irene McIlwain (Irvine & Dreghorn Div) irvineanddreghorndivision@gmail.com
Kirsty Wilson (Kilwinning Division)
Margaret McGrath (Kilmarnock Division)
Janet Mooney (Stewarton Area Division)
Ailsa Morrison (Kelburn Division)
Ruth Winning (Upper Irvine Valley Division)
Joanna Blane (North West Cunninghame Division)
Angela Hunter (Garnock Valley Division)