Rural and isolated communities
How to support members from rural and isolated communities to be part of guiding
Practical changes and better communication are key when you're working in rural and isolated places.
Guiding isn't just for girls in cities and towns - we want to give all young women the opportunity to take part! For those from rural and isolated communities, guiding is a great way to build up their social networks, stay in touch and experience opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach for them.
Including those from rural and isolated communities
Make transport easier
Transport can be difficult in isolated areas as there may be little or no public transport and it may not be safe to travel after a certain time in the evening. Here are some ways you can make things easier.
- Make sure that meetings are held close to public transport routes.
- Introduce a driving rota so that girls and Leaders can attend meetings.
- Rotate the location of events in your area so that different people have the opportunity to attend.
Get more information about providing transport for guiding activities - from a minibus for a local event or lifts to regular meetings.
Better ways to communicate
More effective communication is a simple way to make sure that people in rural and isolated communities feel as included as possible.
It's important that you find a way to communicate that works for the people in your area. It may take some time for you to find a strategy that works. These suggestions are a good starting point.
- Give advance warning about changes to the date and time for a meeting or event so people can change their transport arrangements. Remember people might not check their emails regularly.
- Send regular communication, such as email updates, at consistent intervals so that people know when to expect them.
- Allow plenty of time for replies. Not all areas have reliable access to the internet, or phone signal, and this means people might not receive communications at the expected time - or be able to respond instantly.
- Follow our digital safeguarding procedures when you're communicating with young members.
Plan flexible meetings
When girls live far away it can be difficult for them to make it to regular meetings. Be flexible in your planning to offer the same great guiding experience for all girls and young women. If something doesn’t work, keep trying until you find a successful approach.
Multi-section units give more people a chance to get involved in guiding. Pooling resources to solve problems with the availability or cost of venues and transport issues for parents and volunteers. Plus younger girls can learn from members in other sections and older girls will have more leadership opportunities.