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Thread: Coroner's report on the death of a scout in Wales

  1. #1
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    Coroner's report on the death of a scout in Wales

    See https://www.theguardian.com/society/...k-coroner-says

    I'm guessing that all hell is going to break loose over this.

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    20 point recommendations - scroll down. https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/nor...lives-17709568. Ouch.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    The aspect that intrigued me was the fact they had intended going up Snowdon. From the absence of awareness about risk assessments, I assume non of them had a T2 permit!
    Of course, they could have intended using a third party for snowdon.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mang21 View Post
    20 point recommendations - scroll down. https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/nor...lives-17709568. Ouch.
    Some of these recommendations are made without any understanding of the structure of Scouting or its aims. For example - there would rarely be a direct supervision of a DC ...

    I have allowed kids to roam in Strasbourg, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Colmar, Bruges etc. If I had to chaperone them constantly they would never have explored, got lost, found their way back. I would argue that I had the proper controls and RA in place, but that is only true till something goes awry.

    The sad fact is that as a 16-year-old lad was showing off a bit of bravado (by the witness statements of his peers) and as a result of his error, there was a fatality. Had these three lads gone to the Great Orme of their own volition who would have been responsible?

    Mistakes were made and unfortunately,a life was lost and three Leaders are going to be feeling like crap about this for the rest of their lives. Not to mention the others involved.

    I have been in the dichotomy of being accused of being overcautious when kayaking or walking, yet somewhat carefree when playing with fire... you cannot win when things hit the fan.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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    I`ll be happy to admit I`m out of touch on the detail of current guidelines as I have a purely administrative role these days. Can those "active" explain to me how unaccompanied events work these days if indeed they are allowed at all ? At age 16 four of us did one of the hiker badge hikes (Senior Scouts) in the snow bound Peak District with no Leader present. My sons did Chief Scout Challenges aged 15 on the Dorset Coast Path and the Brecon Beacons also unaccompanied. Times have moved on but are challenges like these no longer permitted ?

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    I am livid, and so frustrated. I have been screaming at the association at any conference or meeting I go to about some of these issues, and when I have time later will explain why I am so passionate. I even went to one conference where a QC told the association they were wrong not to be sharing lessons learnt.. What this is about is dreadful senior management.
    Paul Austin
    Kent Scouts SASU Water team
    G0AXQ, intrests in Scouting, Cycling, Hiking, anything on the water. seeing the young people achive.

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    I think the comments made by the coroner are entirely fair game.

    I suspect the reference to lack of DC supervision of the group are a reference to there not being a DC in post in the district to oversee the management of the group - not specifically about a DC being present or otherwise on this trip. If websites are up to date, the current situation appears to be that the role of DC in the home district of this group and a neighbouring one, are held by one individual who also holds the role of DCC International at County. He's clearly not going to have the time to be on top of what is happening in numerous groups. Whether that came about as a result of resignations after this tragedy I'm not sure but it is a situation that should only happen for weeks - at least put an acting DC in role to do the man hours of keeping on top of groups.

    The safety policies are not well communicated, not understood and as a result not properly implemented. I've mentioned elsewhere that the update this month (18 months after this tragedy) to increase the emphasis on written risk assessments was a link in a routine round robin update email that just took you to the whole of POR - 15 chapters to play spot the updates. If my bank changes a full stop in its terms and conditions, I get a copy of the full terms plus a summary that explains what the specific changes are and what their meaning is. That is the bare minimum TSA should be doing.

    God knows where the bit about "The health and safety training intervals for leaders is said to be every three years with no way of assessing their competencies" came from - if that was the Training Manager during her evidence (in which she also managed to offend the family enough that they walked out) she needs to consider her position as there doesn't appear to be a retraining interval under ongoing learning for safety! (safeguarding is 5 years, first aid is 3).

    Sad to say, this has been coming down the tracks for some time and many (particularly on here) have seen it coming. If the outcome is a load of new rules burden dumped on leaders then the point will have been missed. Most leaders are doing their best, often scraping hours here and there with little support from "above". The starting point should be filling the gaps in the management structure, and then (because there will be enough TA's and LTM's) chase down missing training. At least then you've got a base level. If it means shutting down groups without GSL's for more than 6 months or Districts without DC's for more than 6 months, then that might need to be considered. We can't have a scenario where keeping up numbers by keeping sections, groups and districts running unsafely is allowed to persist.
    Last edited by mang21; 08-02-2020 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Having checked, my training record now shows a 5 year safety renewal requirement
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Coroner's report on the death of a scout in Wales

    Along the lines of this case, I wouldn’t be surprised if a critical coroner’s report comes along at some point following the suicide of a suspended adult.
    Last edited by ntahall; 08-02-2020 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Typo
    Nico Hall
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    76th Sheffield (St Peter's Ellesmere) Scout Group

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    I can't argue with any of the 20 points the coroner makes.

    I think we've been hoisted by our own petard in some regards. The structure is not supportable in a voluntary environment like ours, and the coroner merely held TSA up to it's own self-set standards - which it cannot hope to fulfil because those self-same standards are not achievable.

    That said, I can also see some quite glaring shortcomings among the leader team. I'll accept, that by eschewing written RA's and questioning their effectiveness, I could be seen as someone who is more relaxed than others in this area. But some of the evidence given around leader briefings and dynamic RA's (or lack there-of), to my mind seemed like very lax practice.

    That said. No one - absolutely no one - gives up their time for scouting thinking anything like this would happen. If we are to continue as leaders, but somehow comport our scouting in a fashion which means we never let any young person out of our sight - I'm sure we all have young people who might be prone to poor judgement - it's not going work. It'll just be another pie in the sky directive to add to all the other unobtainable aims mandated by the current structure. I'll be interested to see what they do about it, because I'm not sure they can do anything about it.

    It looks as if there has been fault on all side with this.

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    Notwithstanding the outcome of this inquest.

    We must remember that a 16-year-old will, within 12 months possibly behind the wheel of a car. Possibly having passed a test.

    If we cannot trust a 16-year-old to go for a walk, then we have a serious problem.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



    www.upperdearnevalleynavigators.org.uk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Notwithstanding the outcome of this inquest.

    We must remember that a 16-year-old will, within 12 months possibly behind the wheel of a car. Possibly having passed a test.

    If we cannot trust a 16-year-old to go for a walk, then we have a serious problem.
    I think that is very true.

    When my eldest son was 16 he went to the coast for the day with a small group of friends. My wife and I thought that this was fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Notwithstanding the outcome of this inquest.

    We must remember that a 16-year-old will, within 12 months possibly behind the wheel of a car. Possibly having passed a test.

    If we cannot trust a 16-year-old to go for a walk, then we have a serious problem.
    At 16 I was allowed on the road with a 250cc motorbike. My mate had a 650cc with a sidecar.

    At that age I was also soloing in the hills and walked the Pennine Way.

    Got a few scars from the former and great memories from both.

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    The only difference between this tragic case, and all the examples above, is that we make ourselves responsible for it.

    So when something terrible goes wrong, regardless of cause, we're going to be blames to some extent. It's perfectly understandable that parents would want someone to blame and will look for anything which allows them to do that.

    But as I said somewhere else and I'll say again entirely independently of this current coroners report. Where is the training for young people which explains the position we (leaders) put ourselves in when we organise things for them? Where is the focused, serious, no-nonsense direct program which explicitly tells them that if they **** about and hurt themselves, it doesn't matter that it was entirely their fault - we still get the blame.

    I give this message out at Scouts at least once a month as a reaction to irresponsible behaviour - mostly around not being able to get their attention in case of emergencies. It's a pet hate of mine... The idea that my already slender reputation could be smashed to bits because one self-centred child wasn't paying attention, so couldn't hear any warnings and got hurt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Notwithstanding the outcome of this inquest.

    We must remember that a 16-year-old will, within 12 months possibly behind the wheel of a car. Possibly having passed a test.

    If we cannot trust a 16-year-old to go for a walk, then we have a serious problem.
    This is a very interesting point.

    The same story could equally well have involved a 17 year old on the hill. I suspect the coroners view would be the same - they're under 18, and therefore the responsibility of the leaders.

    And yet in their own free time that 17 year old could be driving anywhere they like with absolutely on adult supervision or even adult awareness of where they are. They could be driving their friends in their car. Potentially driving them to and from camp even.

    Indeed unless license ages have changed that 16 year old could already be riding around on a moped.

    There is no clear line really in this country of where supervision is or isn't required. It's very much left to common sense - but common sense doesnt hold up in a court of law.

    I dont think any of us would have thought twice about letting a group of explorers wander around what is essentially a popular country park area without direct adult supervision - in fact maybe i'd be surprised that the leaders had walked with them at all. But the legal opinion seems to be that direct supervision must be provided until 18... and thats a very dangerous can of worms to be opening.

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    I think we've all had "that" Scout who knows far better than any adult (actually, I think that was probably me.... sorry, Skip). No amount of explaining the consequences will make any difference. It's only life experience that gives us that.

    Whilst we can try to educate, and it drives us batty when it falls on deaf ears, it is the individuals responsibility as to what they take on board.

    Example; I have a cracking photo of a mate leaning into the wind at a very steep angle, hair and clothes streaming behind him, getting a great view down into the quarry.

    At the time we thought nothing of it. But if I saw a similarly aged individual doing something so daft I may not be very understanding now.

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