Set your volunteer training warm-up
Plan your training now, so your new volunteer team mates can be quick off the mark when they join this autumn
Create your guiding warm-up routine, so you’ll be ready to get new volunteers on the team
When new people sign up to join Girlguiding after our national recruitment campaign in autumn this year, they’re going to be chomping at the bit to help out in units, sort out local finances, and generally get stuck in. But they’ll only be able to truly get started once they’re trained. And sorting out training sessions takes time.
That’s why, now is the perfect time to start setting up the different training sessions they’ll need, so you’ll be straight off the starting blocks this autumn.
Your training to-do list
Come autumn you need to be ready to welcome your new volunteers by:
- following up their enquiries fast
- having a chat with and finding the perfect role for them
- introducing them to local guiding
- inducting them into guiding
- involving them right from the start
- linking them up with a buddy or mentor
- depending on the role they may need checks and references
- training future Leaders in A Safe Space, 1st Response and Programme Training or our e-learning
- training and supporting wider roles you’re looking for if they’ll need it
- and last but not least, saying thank you.
It’s a fair amount to get sorted – which is why we recommend you start now! But the responsibility for it doesn’t need to fall on just one person’s shoulders - each team member has a part to play.
Who’s running which training workout?
With a bit of team spirit, we can pull together to give everyone a seamless welcome to guiding – as well as easing the pressure on individuals. Take a look at your role, so you know what you’re doing.
Team managers: Commissioners
You’re in charge of coordinating the induction efforts. Talk to your Training Coordinators and Trainers, make sure they’re scheduling the necessary trainings and putting together a calendar - so no new volunteer is left waiting too long in the autumn. You’ll also be in prime position to identify the new recruit who might do well in those wider-focused roles, like Treasurers, PR gurus and Outdoor Activity Advisers.
You'll need to make mentoring happen. Have you got enough Mentors or buddies in your area to root for your new recruits? If not, maybe you could ask a few people to provide a supportive role or offer group mentoring. Then you’ll be ready to match every newbie up with a friendly face in the autumn.
Talk to the Leadership Qualification coordinators in your Region, so that they’re ready to support any new Leaders in Training to start their qualification.
Team coaches: Trainers and Training Coordinators
Kick off by reviewing your training programme and starting to plan trainings and inductions for this autumn onwards. Sharing training calendars through area newsletters, websites, new volunteer welcome packs, and digital platforms will showcase the opportunities available. You might find it useful to plan or share training across local borders.
If you’re worried that you don’t have enough Trainers or time, get creative about running inductions and trainings. We’ve shared some inspiring ideas at the bottom of this page - give them a read and get together with your Commissioner to see what they can support you with.
Team captains: Leaders
You’ll probably be the first point of contact for new volunteers joining units, so make your ‘warm welcome’ a ‘warm-up welcome’ - to ensure your new volunteers feel fully limbered up to play with the team.
Start by reading up on welcoming and inducting volunteers, then make a plan for how you can be as friendly and supportive as possible. Don’t forget to find buddies for your new team members.
Keep checking in with your Commissioner and local Trainers to see what they have planned so you can get your new volunteers into those trainings.
Team mates: buddies
It’s everyone job to make sure new volunteers feel part of the team. Let your Leader know you’re keen to be a buddy, so new recruits will have a go-to person who can answer their questions, explain how things work, make introductions and suggest opportunities for skills development within guiding.
Try some new tactics
People across Girlguiding have been trying new ways to welcome and induct volunteers. They’ve been testing out ideas that will get a number of people feeling part of Girlguiding and ready to start volunteering, all at once.
Run a welcome event
Rather than have a Commissioner meet with each prospective volunteer individually, this District in Haringey arranged a welcome event.
'We outlined some of the main volunteer role vacancies we were trying to fill and talked about the need to find Leaders to open a new unit. Most of the volunteers signed up to visit a local unit the following week, and we sent everyone away with a little thank you and information bag. As a result of the event, we opened a new Rainbow unit - set up by three volunteers who became friends at the welcome event - and filled some of the vacancies in the area too.' - Development Worker Lynne
Divisions in Essex West invited new members to this evening to find out Girlguiding’s history and structure, the Promise, the Guide Law and the Five Essentials.
'I really enjoyed this, I learned so much from it and went away feeling enthusiastic.' - New volunteer
Cover everything in one residential training weekend for Leaders in Training
Essex West covered First Response, A Safe Space and Section training in one weekend, as well as providing dinner, a motivational talk, volunteer networking opportunities and a games-sharing workshop.
'Thank you once again for an invigorating and thought provoking weekend. It was a real pleasure networking and meeting other amazing ladies who volunteer within the guiding community. I am always amazed by the ladies' life journeys and how after difficult experiences, these brave women still have so much more to give and share to enable future generations to have a happy and improved life opportunities.' - New volunteer
Help your Leaders cross the finish line
The South West Region held a day-long event to help Leaders achieve their Leadership Qualification. It included lots of training workshops and Mentors were on hand, ready to support these new Leaders.
'A really great day - very helpful. The Trainers were really informed and provided quality and useful advice and information to further my knowledge and experience in running a Brownie Unit.' - Brownie Unit Leader