Mat an traoù ganeoc’h,

I trust this brief missive finds you well? There is not much to report back to yourselves this month, though a highlight has been that we are fast approaching 300 paid members, which means the Principality’s health remains strong and we continue to underpin and support this community of ours. It would be a great moment to see the Principality reach this milestone as a symbolic acknowledgement of the work each of our groups is putting into running so many activities and events.

Here at Les Tours de Dinan, work is continuing on the complaints process and safeguarding policies, unattractive yet necessary frameworks for the functioning of our group. We are a wide-ranging society, with individual ideas on how to run things, personalities that are not always harmonious, or actions that potentially or actually cause harm and thus we need clear rules in one place in order to obtain remedies and redress, and if need be, take action where the Kingdom Code of Conduct is breached. The SCA’s very foundation is courtesy and chivalry, yet sadly there are still examples where this is missing.

At present, the processes to make a complaint are vague and scattered across several SCA Inc documents, which is not helpful. Thus, I am working to compile a document that is aimed at those wishing to make a complaint, those volunteers in positions where they are likely to receive a complaint, and those who have had a complaint made about them. This is a careful and long process in order to achieve a fair, just and effective process of remediation. More details will be published as this work progresses.

Safeguarding is becoming more central to community volunteer organisations, and the SCA needs to update with the times. This is of course a complex situation of meeting legal obligations as an amateur volunteer society. We also have multiple legal authorities within our boundaries, and thus this too will be a long and careful process. This is not being conducted in isolation and a small team is already looking at what is needed to update our policies. This will likely also mean event stewards will need to brief their staff. Again, this will be a long process, and possibly something my successor will need to complete. More information as details emerge.

We are not doing these updates in isolation. The Principality has access to the UK National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), and has also started the process of joining the UK National Association of Re-enactment Societies (NAReS). This is an organisation of similarly-minded historical and display groups, including the big names like the Sealed Knot, Regia Anglorum, etc. This will open up access to their experiences on these and other issues such as weapons legislation and insurance. Their advice will also be very helpful on current and future policy development.

Finally, I would like to wrap up on a happy note that the much anticipated return to a Welsh castle is continuing to build momentum. We have passed the 50 bookings mark, and there is plenty of room for everyone and anyone to come and join us! So many activities are planned, with a lot more under-cover spots and a grand feast is booking out fast! See you there!

Ar vignoned ne roont ket.

Guy de Dinan