Make the most of enthusiastic student volunteers by giving them roles that work around their commitments
Universities and colleges are good places to recruit enthusiastic volunteers. You could set up a student rota for units, ask them to help at camps, holidays or special events, or invite them to share a skill – perhaps relating to their studies - Jess Bond, Brownie Leader, Cambridge
Volunteering opportunities for students have great benefits for you and them
Students have a lot to offer guiding, and you have plenty to give them in return. Their creativity and energy will add something special to your volunteer team while the skills they can add to their CV will help with their future career.
Involving students is about reaching out to young people at universities and colleges in your area - including members of The Senior Section - and then taking time to find them a volunteer role that matches their availability and plans for the future.
Get students involved in guiding
Get onto campus - head to a freshers' or volunteering fair with your signup sheet to meet students face-to-face. Tell everyone you meet about the benefits of joining guiding, including new friends and a top-of-the-class CV. Stock up on our student recruitment resources to hand out and start conversations.
Make it relevant to their course - students on teaching and childcare courses often need experience of working with children of all ages. Think more widely too: sports science students could organise a sports day and chemistry students could run an evening of science experiments.
I really enjoyed volunteering as a student! I’m always proud to say that I ran a unit as being at university is so busy. But make sure students are given the roles that they want. Running a unit turned out to be fine but that wasn’t really what I wanted when I arrived! Also, make sure you value your student volunteers; just because you’re a new Leader doesn’t mean you are no good at it! - Suzanne, former student at Durham University and volunteer
Link to extra-curricular interests - invite a particular student society for a one-off evening. Students have societies for anything from baking to 'live action role play' and are usually keen to share their experiences with young people. Work with the students to plan and prepare activities.
Ask for help - some universities have a Student Scout and Guide Organisation (SSAGO) group who can put you in touch with occasional Leaders or help for a special event. Register with the college or university student volunteering service too.
Keep in touch - stay in contact with girls in your area when they go away to university. Ask them for help at the beginning and end of terms. Get more tips from our resources for The Senior Section and their Leaders on staying involved in guiding.
Be as flexible as possible - make volunteering work for students who join your unit by giving them opportunities that are tailored to them and their free time. A student volunteer who can only help now and again could end up doing a lot more when they graduate and get their first job.
Lizzie Gardiner Member of The Senior Section and former Leader
Volunteering has allowed me to develop useful skills like leadership, teamwork and confidence, which have helped me all the way through school and university.
Lead into guiding
Lead into guiding is a resource pack to help recruit young people to guiding as volunteers. As the resource is flexible, it's a great way to engage with students without previous guiding experience and give them a fast track introduction to Girlguiding.