The statement below captures the overall aims of the UK Scout Association.
Scouts is an inclusive, values based movement. Membership is open to all those who share our fundamental values. The Scouts Equal Opportunities Policy outlines what we do to ensure the movement is open and accessible; and that people are treated equally and with respect. This policy is reflective of the ethos of Scouts, expressed by our fundamental values (integrity, care, co-operation, respect and belief) and our commitment to delivering Scouts for all. By removing any real or perceived barriers to participation, we can ensure that even more young people can enjoy the adventure of Scouts and that Scouts will be as diverse as the communities in which we live.
–The Scout Association
The event planning team has committed to making Suffolk Punch as inclusive as possible.
This page lays out some of the ways in which we are doing this. If you have any ideas which you would like us to consider, please get in touch.
Before the event went live for bookings, a survey was sent out to all GSLs in Suffolk, with the request that they consult with their leadership teams and give honest and constructive feedback around their views of a large Scout event. We were particularly interested in barriers, actual or perceived, which may prevent young people attending a large county event.
This survey received a good response and there were two clear barriers which were identified.
The main barrier identified was cost to participants.
We all recognise that Scouting attracts people from all walks of life, including varied socio-economic backgrounds.
To support all participants in attending Suffolk Punch, our primary focus has been keeping the participant cost as low as possible.
This has been challenging, as we have had to be aware of the impact that external factors (Brexit, Covid) have had on the costs of facilities and materials. We believe that £90 is affordable, and good value for money for a 5 day event.
Another potential barrier identified was a matter of geography – more specifically how to get people to the event.
The event planning team has explored multiple options, including providing full coach travel, but these were deemed unsuitable due to the extra expense, which would have had a significant impact on the final participant cost, as well as being a significant logistical challenge.
Therefore, we have produced a Transport Toolkit which will assist groups in deciding how to get to the event.
Because Scouting is an organisation for everybody, we recognise that some people may have additional individual needs. Because we have committed to making this event inclusive, it would be helpful if we had an awareness of individual needs prior to the event, to aid us with planning.
We have produced a personal profile form which can be downloaded, completed by leaders or parents and returned to the event team so that we have a record of an individual’s needs.
This form will is available below.
There will be a welfare tent on site which will be available to anybody who might like to have a break, or drop in for a chat.
We are planning to have some trained professionals on site who will be able to offer wellbeing advice on subjects such as mental health.
Further details about this will be published in the leader briefing packs issued before the event.
Because this event is taking place primarily outdoors, we are aware that this may cause additional difficulty for those who are less mobile, or those who rely on a wheelchair.
The Hallowtree buildings will all be wheelchair accessible by Summer 2022, and access to outdoor areas is also being improved, with areas being flattened and pathways widened.
We will also have a small number of transport buggies available to move people around site if required.
There will be quiet areas available within a building on site should they be required. These will have the ability to be lit or dark. We will also have some sensory items available should these be required.
The quiet areas can also be used for prayer purposes if required.
Information about the location of the quiet spaces will be published in the leader briefing pack.
Quiet Activity Times
If you have participants who are particularly sensitive to loud or busy spaces, we are offering early morning activity slots for some activities, where your participants can take part before the main programme begins each day.
This must be prearranged, and can only be used where there is a genuine need. Please contact the event team if you would like to book any quiet activity slots.
We intend to produce a social story for the event which will be available on this page a few weeks in advance, so that you can familiarise people with the event site, and let them know what to expect for certain activities.
Feminine hygiene products will be available free of charge to anybody who needs them.
We will let you know exactly where they can be collected in the leader pack, which will be issued prior to the event.