Volunteering on strategy 2020+

What's it like to volunteer on the strategy 2020 project?

Helen, Lead Volunteer Strategy 2020+
13 August 2019

We’re coming towards the end of our journey towards strategy 2020. And what a journey it’s been. So much consultation, research, surveys, events. We’re so excited to see what the new strategy has in store for all of us. But what’s it like to be a part of the strategy 2020+ project as a volunteer? Let’s see what it means to her…

Helen Salvini

Helen is a member of the strategy country and region lead volunteer team, who’s supporting strategy 2020+ with engaging members.

Why did you want to get involved in the strategy 2020+ project?

On a personal level I saw it as a real challenge to get involved in something beyond my guiding county and to share both the skills and experience I have gained through guiding and those from my working life. As well as a chance to have my own say, I wanted to make sure that members had an opportunity to really contribute to the development of the strategy and have their views heard.

What’s your role as a volunteer in the strategy 2020+ project?

I’m one of two representatives for Girlguiding North West England. Initially my role was about developing and delivering the strategy summit events which took place across the UK in February and March along with the leads from the other countries and regions. I’ve also had the opportunity to contribute to the wider project on things such as the recent strategy survey. I’m looking forward to continuing to be part of the project over the coming months.

What’s been your highlight of the project so far?

Spending time with young members to get their views on the future of Girlguiding. They are so passionate and proud of being members and have great vision. They know what’s important to them and how Girlguiding can help them. It was fantastic to see young people expressing this and sharing their views with senior volunteers such as region chief commissioners and the chief guide team.

What’s the one thing that you think other volunteers should know about the project?

The opportunities for volunteers to have their say and be listened to demonstrates the genuine member engagement. Senior decision makers of our organisation came along to the strategy events and have listened to volunteers. Right from the very beginning everything has been on the table with no fixed ideas. I would recommend that all volunteers continue to take opportunities to feed into the strategy and share these with their girls.

What are you hoping the project will achieve?

I’m optimistic that we’ll end up with a new strategy which will help us deliver what our current young members and volunteers want, as well as appealing to new members. I want members to feel that they’ve been listened to and that this is their strategy.

Why do you think the project’s important?

The right strategy is critical to delivering our mission and vision – setting it will define what we do for the next five years. At a time when we know our membership is declining, we must take this opportunity to develop a strategy fit for the future that will help us to grow as well as retain existing members. 

What’s something that surprised you about working on strategy?

Young members always amaze me but their pride at being part of Girlguiding and their vision for the future has surprised me throughout this project. They articulate the value of Girlguiding and what would make it better so effectively. I’ve been surprised by the depth of feeling on some issues and the very wide range of views – this presents a fantastic challenge to try and recognise as much of this as possible in the final strategy.