Update on our welcome project with the Scouts

How we’re teaming up with the Scouts to create a better recruitment experience for our volunteers

21 March 2022

We’re teaming up with the Scouts to create a better recruitment experience for our volunteers. And we’re using your expertise as volunteers to do it. 

What is the welcome project? 

With thanks to the generous funding of the Pears Foundation, we’ve teamed up with the Scouts to create a project to improve new volunteers’ joining journey.  

The welcome project, which kicked off in April 2021, will make our volunteer recruitment experience more inclusive, accessible, and welcoming. We want to give volunteers more control over the recruitment process, and find a better way of connecting enquirers and volunteers with roles in their area.  

For more information on the welcome project and its key areas of focus, check out this introduction to the welcome project blog from last September. 

How are we improving the way we recruit volunteers? 

One of the ways we’ll create a more welcoming volunteer experience is by creating a new digital platform to recruit new volunteers. In April last year, we started a discovery and research phase, working with volunteers and enquirers at the start of recruitment. We wanted to map out the current recruitment journey and find out where it wasn’t working for volunteers and Girlguiding.   

Now, with the help of volunteers, we’ve planned out what we need from a new system and how we’ll integrate it with GO. We’re starting to build the new system with cloudThing, a digital design and development agency. That’s where co-design comes in. 

What’s co-design? 

Co-design is how we’re designing our new digital platform. But what do we mean by co-design?  

Instead of designing behind-the-scenes and testing it when it’s finished, co-design is where you work with the people who will be using a new product right from the beginning to make sure it works for them. It’s industry good practice.  

We used data and local feedback to pick an area of the UK to work closely with during these early stages: this will be called the ‘co-design county’.  Local volunteers from the co-design county will work closely with the staff team over the next few months to help build the first version of the platform. We’ll be kicking off this process with some workshops in late March.  

The first groups we’re working with are two counties in South Cymru: Gwent and Cardiff.  

We picked these counties for a few reasons. Looking at local data, Gwent and Cardiff are well representative of our membership. In the ways that they are different to other areas, they’ll help us test how adaptable it is. And the local volunteers on the ground have been fantastic too.  

The volunteers in these areas will be taking part in workshops and testing early versions of the platform.  We’ll be constantly testing new designs as we go along, to make sure that they meet the needs of current and future members.   

While we’re doing this, we’ll also be thinking up new ways we can support enquirers and how we’ll roll out the platform.  

What happens next?

This summer we’ll be testing the new platform and co-designed recruitment journey with different areas.  

We’ll be trying out many different contexts and areas across both Girlguiding and Scouts, to make sure we don’t miss anything. As well as testing with existing members, we’ll be trialling the platform out in areas where volunteers wouldn’t normally join us, hoping to learn how we can be more welcoming to new communities.    

Who are our key volunteers?  

Emma: 'I’m Emma, a key volunteer for the welcome project in Girlguiding. My background is in growth at country/region level, and I’ve been part of the project for nearly 18 months, making sure that volunteer voice is included in every aspect of what we do. At the moment, that largely means working with local volunteers in our co-design counties to help shape the future of our recruiting and joining journeys. ' 

Rachel: 'I’m Rachel, the lead volunteer for growth and retention in Girlguiding.  I’ve been in post since January and have enjoyed getting to grips with this exciting project!  I’m involved to support Emma in making sure the volunteer voice is strong and to make links between this project and other growth and retention work.  This project is a real opportunity to ease some of the administrative burden on local volunteers and for us to grow by attracting more volunteers to a variety of roles.'

How can I get involved? 

As well as testing in different areas, we’ve also created a volunteer engagement group for the platform. The group meets every month to test ideas and develop new content. If you’re interested in joining, please send us an email to [email protected].