VCC Response to Covid-19

Published on 15/06/2021

If you think you have caught coronavirus (Covid-19), do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay indoors and self-isolate for ten days. If you live with other people, you should avoid close contact with others, and they should self-isolate for at least two weeks. Do not attend the VCC if you think you or someone in you have had close contact with, has Covid.

INTRODUCTION

The Government has confirmed that the youth sector is an essential service and therefore the VCC will continue to meet in a Covid-safe way subject to its own risk assessments, ‘Project Regain‘ (the VCC’s detailed response to Covid) and MOD guidance. The VCC will also follow guidance from the National Youth Agency and YouthLink Scotland, and work with parent establishments to ensure the health, safety and welfare of cadets and adult volunteers so far as reasonably practicable.

UPDATES

Please find below the latest updates from the VCC on Covid:

  • 27 Sep 2021: from today the VCC will be able to conduct residential and overnight activities as it moves to Level 5 on its Covid roadmap. Unit Covid risk assessments will be updated and some residual Covid-safe measures will be maintained (eg: use of hand sanitisers, face coverings in unventilated or smaller areas). Overnight and residential activities may also require some Covid-safe protocols and we may ask attendees to conduct LFTs before attending and every 48 hours thereafter (depending on the length of the event). Some restrictions will remain in place in some units depending on parent establishment rules. No overseas activities yet however.
  • 19 July 2021: whilst restrictions in England and Scotland are being eased by the respective national governments the VCC will continue to follow its prevailing Covid-safe measures for the time being. Therefore, all Covid-safe protocols in our units that have returned to face-to-face activities will be maintained. This includes face coverings indoors, social distancing, group sizes and hand sanitisers. Further updates about any relaxing of these measures will be communicated when necessary.
  • 1 June 2021: the latest guidance on Covid-safe measures in the VCC, Project Regain, has been published to VCC units.

CADET ACTIVITIES

There is currently no time imposed on VCC units to get back to face-to-face activities, although as of mid-June most VCC units have returned in some way. Where this isn’t the case we will endeavour to provide virtual activities. As each VCC unit is ready to return, they will contact parents and carers with details of how things will have changed and what the attendance arrangements are (it may be that cadets attend only one night a week in order to achieve social distancing). Each unit will have specific Covid risk assessments and all adult volunteers and cadets will receive an induction on their first night or day back. There is no pressure on any cadet or adult volunteer to return if they feel anxious or uncertain, although we ask they keep in touch with their unit please.

Activities will initially be outdoors but indoor activities will be possible as guidance changes. Hand sanitisers, one way systems and social distancing will all be in place in line with government guidance, but will be relaxed as guidance changes. Where activities take place away from parent establishments we may ask parents and carers to transport their cadet to and from the activity location please.

The health, safety and welfare of our cadets and adult volunteers will remain our paramount priority.

MEMBERSHIP FEES

Membership fees have been suspended during Covid lockdown but once units are back to face-to-face activities we will ask parents and carers to resume paying their £10 per month membership fee please. If this poses a problem please speak to your child’s unit Finance Officer (in confidence) to see how we can help.

JOINING THE VCC

Subject to local restrictions, the VCC is still accepting applications for new cadets and adult volunteers. Processing and response time may be slower than usual so your patience would be appreciated. Where possible we will continue to hold cadet induction nights and adult volunteer interviews, subject to Covid-safe protocols.

COVID-SAFE

What does ‘Covid-safe’ mean in the VCC:

  • Careful planning to ensure the safety of all adults and cadets.
  • Complying with social distancing requirements and implementing one-way systems where feasible.
  • Ensuring hygiene levels are maintained, including hand washing, as well as surface and equipment cleaning.
  • Safely managing risk to volunteers, young people and the wider community.
  • Face coverings when indoors for those aged 11 and over (unless exempt).
  • Where necessary, reducing group sizes and working in bubbles.
  • Making sure vulnerable young people and adults can be effectively safeguarded, both in relation to Covid, as well as other risk factors.
  • Ensuring volunteers, parents, carers and young people all clearly understand what adjustments need to be made to ensure everyone’s safety.
  • Following the different rules in the different UK home nations (namely England and Scotland).

The VCC has adopted a 6 Level roadmap to help manage our response. Most units are on Level 5 (Extended Freedoms) from 27 September 2021 albeit with localised restrictions in some units to adhere to parent establishment Covid-safe protocols.

Sporting activities will take place outdoors and any equipment used will be sanitised after use, with participants asked to sanitise their hands frequently during the activity.

OVERSEAS AND RESIDENTIAL/OVERNIGHT ACTIVITIES

We have also taken the decision to cancel all overseas activities and visits until December 2021. The pandemic has a global impact and we will take this into account when we start to plan future overseas activities and visits.

Overnight and residential activities within the UK are now permitted although we may ask attendees to take LFTs and follow continuing sensible Covid-safe measures. These activities will be subject to our normal risk assessment processes. Whilst our cadets will be attending weekend exercises involving camping, we may ask cadets to adopt single occupancy use of bivvis and tents at least in the short term.

MORE INFORMATION

If you have a concern about the Covid-safe measures in your child’s VCC unit please contact that unit’s Commanding Officer or email us at hq@volunteercadetcorps.org. Please also visit our social media sites for further details of each units’ activities.

Latest update: 27 September 2021