A day in the life of Karen, County Growing Guiding Coordinator

Karen talks about the rewards of being a Growing Guiding Coordinator - seeing girls develop, grow and have fun

I find local solutions to local problems so that however much time people have, and whenever they have it, they can volunteer in guiding!

As a Growing Guiding Coordinator, I love reaching more girls through flexible opportunities for volunteers. I help with starting units in new places on new days of the week. I find local solutions to local problems so that however much time people have, and whenever they have it, they can volunteer in guiding!

Every day is different

The role is all about finding different ways to grow our membership and get more people involved, there's no fixed daily pattern. Some days I'm answering emails from Leaders and visiting Division teams to give them programme ideas and examples of good guiding, and encouraging them to find different ways to meet the increasing demand for guiding in Gloucestershire.

Other days I'm at events, like the University of Gloucestershire Freshers' Fair. I enjoy linking student volunteers up with local units, meeting potential volunteers and enticing previous volunteers back with flexible opportunities.

I also keep an eye on our waiting lists to spot areas for growth and invite girls to taster days, such as our recent one at Gloucester's climbing centre.

How I got involved

I've been a member of Girlguiding since I was seven, I'm a Queen's Guide and I've been a volunteer for many years in three different Regions. I was approached by my County Commissioner about the Growing Guiding Coordinator role and I was drawn to the idea of finding new flexible approaches to delivering guiding and reaching more girls.

I keep doing it because I feel like I'm making a difference. Of course it's not just down to me, but it's motivating to see that in the 18 months I've been in the role my county has 120 more members, including 25 more volunteers and 70 more Rainbows. We've also opened eight new units in the last six months.

Saturday Rainbows success

One thing we started in November is Saturday Rainbows. Gloucestershire's largest division had a big Rainbow waiting-to-join list, even though we had recently opened a new Rainbow unit.

I heard an inspiring case study of Saturday guiding at the South West Region's Growing Guiding Conference and decided we should give a Saturday Rainbow unit a go. I offered it to parents of girls on the waiting list and now the unit meets twice a month on a Saturday morning. It's attracted new volunteers, and previous volunteers who were no longer able to commit to weekly evening meetings. It's been really successful!

Volunteering with Girlguiding is a great opportunity

It is so motivating to see girls develop and grow and have fun. To people considering volunteering with guiding I would say I firmly believe that the teamwork and leadership opportunities have helped me progress in my professional career. And remember, guiding doesn't only happen on weekday evenings!

More ways to volunteer

This is just one of our varied roles. No matter how much time you have and what skills you can offer, volunteering with us will help more girls enjoy guiding.