It's hard to believe that it's more than 8 weeks since the last group left Auchengillan and we took the decision to close both Auchengillan and 21 Elmbank Street to members of the public. While we have been unable to meet face2face, a wide ranging programme of work has been undertaken by the staff and volunteer team during this time and it's been a few weeks since our General Purposes sub-Committee (Scott Ballantyne, Regional Chair, Stuart Yuill, Regional vice-Chair, John Moffat CA, Regional Treasurer, Marion Rankin, Regional Commissioner and Gary Bainbridge, Chief Operating Officer) last updated you on the ongong work being undertaken since face2face Scouting stopped.
Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who has adapted the way in which you are delivering Scouting. We are delighted to see that so many sections have been undertaking activities online through Zoom, using #TheGreatIndoors and #CampAtHome materials and a whole variety of challenges. The General Purposes sub-Committee has been meeting regularly and maintained almost daily contact in between meetings to keep abreast of the information coming out from The Scouts and the Government about what we can and cannot do and to look at the challenges that face Clyde Region and its Groups and Districts.
For those Groups who own their own Scout Hall, you will be aware from the national call and emails from The Scouts and Scouts Scotland that there is funding support available, based on the rateable value of your Scout Hall. We have written to the Chief Executives of the 5 local authorities and are pleased to report that we are receiving positive responses from them. If you own your own Scout Hall and have not yet applied for funding from the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund or Coronavirus Business Support Fund, please do so via your local authority. It would be good to know whether or not Groups are being successful in receiving grants.
We have maintained regular contact with Scouts Scotland and our General Purposes sub-Committee will shortly be meeting with them to discuss how we can work closer together at this time of challenge. We have reviewed and discussed the content from the all members calls that were led by Tim Kidd and Matt Hyde from UKHQ to ensure that we are aware of the impact of the challenges that they are facing, on local Scouting.
Support for Groups and Districts continues to be available from the volunteer and staff team so please do get in touch if there is anything that we can do to assist you at this time. We have held a fortnightly drop-in cafe using Zoom with District Commissioners and members of the Regional Support team. We surveyed our membership to find out how we can support you at this time and arising from that have been sharing programme ideas on our social channels.
As Auchengillan and 21 Elmbank Street were closed to the public and once the details of the Job Retention Scheme were clarified, we furloughed members of our staff team to reduce our staffing costs. Our Treasurer, John Moffat and our Accountant, Ailsa Milne have been working tirelessly to look at the costs that Clyde Scouts incurs operationally in supporting Scouting, in running our regional office, at The Glasgow Scout Shop and at Auchengillan Outdoor Centre, to identify which of those costs we still need to incur and which can be deferred or cancelled in the interim. They are providing regular support to members of the General Purposes sub-Committee to enable us to steer our way through these challenges financially while minimising our financial risks. We have met with Scout Store to discuss and review the ongoing relationship between The Glasgow Scout Shop and them as they are both the supplier of many of our products and a competitor to our online business. The Glasgow Scout Shop continues to trade online with internet orders being dispatched regularly, supporting volunteers who continue to deliver programme activities. We have written to the Directors of Education of the 5 local authorities to engage with them in discussions about how Auchengillan Outdoor Centre can play its part in the delivery of outdoor learning as a phased return to school begins for our young people in August.
We submitted applications to Stirling Council and Glasgow City Council and have been successful in receiving funding from the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund with us receiving 100% of the available grant for Auchengillan and 75% of the available grant for 21 Elmbank Street as our second property. We have made a successful application to the Third Sector Resilience Fund for financial support for the salaries of the 3 members of staff who were not furloughed to allow us to maintain our basic finance, HR, administration and governance functions during this time.
We know that there are challenging times ahead for us all as we steer our way through the easing of restrictions and consider what future support for Scouting will look like. While the First Minister of Scotland has published the route map out of lockdown, we are still considering what this means for how we operate and of course guidance about how and when face2face Scouting might restart will come from The Scouts and Scouts Scotland in due course. There will be challenging discussions and difficult decisions in the weeks and months ahead as we look at how we might work towards achieving what we'd like to deliver balanced with how we can become financially sustainable again, in the time beyond lockdown. We will share more about these challenges and what the future looks like in further updates as the Trustees of Clyde Region consider our route map out of lockdown.
Thank you for all that you are doing and we hope that in the midst of this busy time for us all in Scouting and in our family and professional lives, you are taking time for yourselves. It feels as though on some days life is going even faster than it did before lockdown but this needs to be a marathon and not a sprint for us, so that we are ready for adjusting to life beyond lockdown.
If you have any questions in connection with what we have shared, please do get in touch via the regional office.Author: Gary Bainbridge