A Safe Space training - lessons learnt

And a big thank you

30 November 2021

In September 2017 Girlguiding launched a brand-new safeguarding training programme called ‘A Safe Space’ replacing the previous safeguarding training.

By the end of December 2020, all volunteers had to complete their A Safe Space training for their role.

What was different about this training?

This was a really big project and was the first time that Girlguiding had rolled-out mandatory training to all its volunteers. We received lots of feedback from our volunteers and learnt lots on the way.

Over the next few years, we’ll be rolling out other projects so for us, it was key that we captured all the lessons learnt to develop new ways to plan and roll out projects to make the process as smooth as possible for all our volunteers. This is part of our one team approach of working making sure that the volunteers’ voice is at the heart of our planning.

What we learnt

  • Collaboration is key: one success of the project was the amount of cross working across the whole organisation. This included volunteer and staff teams at HQ and country and region working together. Commissioners at all levels were important checking on compliance and encouraging training to be completed in a timely manner. A lead volunteer and dedicated project manager and the setting up of a project board of volunteers and staff were recruited later but made a huge impact to the project.
  • The sheer dedication of A Safe Space trainers: throughout the project they delivered good quality training and were quick to adapt to the virtual platform so enough training sessions were delivered.
  • Clear messaging: from senior volunteers and staff about the importance of the training helped volunteers to understand the importance of the training.
  • Blended learning: during the pandemic there was a shift to blended learning and delivery through webinars. This is something that could be built in from the start for other projects.
  • Plan for the unexpected: to plan a project as large as A Safe Space needs time so that the voices of all relevant stakeholders are heard. Planning took place at the beginning but because of the scale of the project unexpected things for example, the Pandemic.
  • Support local planning and delivery: supporting countries and regions with planning and with using data is key to achieving a project like this so should be built in from the start.
  • Make learning easy and flexible: learning should be simple and available in different formats. Offer virtual and face to face training.
  • Tell volunteers why they need to do the training: make it clear to all volunteers so they know what’s expected of them. Make the communications easy to understand and why it helps them as a volunteer and how it supports girls.  

What will change

We’re developing a new process and checklist for delivering this type of project so that the learning we’ve taken from the A Safe Space project will be at the base of all projects. We’ll continually review the impact that working this way is having on volunteers and will carry on improving to make it better.

A big thank you

Goes to all our volunteers, commissioners and A Safe Space trainers, and country and region roll out leads for everything they did, and carry on to do, to help volunteers to deliver safe guiding for everyone.