Parent help meant we could open a second unit

Bringing a parent volunteer on board helped Suzanne, a Guide Leader in Cambridge, create a thriving second unit

Anna's support has been really vital. Without it, I'd have been really unwilling to take on a second unit.

When I was an Assistant Brownie Leader, I heard that a Guide unit in a nearby village was full and had over 40 girls on the waiting list. Several local Leaders got together and agreed we needed to open a new unit, and would recruit parent volunteers to help run it with our support.

We knew that we'd struggle to do the extra admin, so when Anna - a local parent with an accounting background - came along to a meeting I cheekily asked her to do our accounts. She agreed!

The new unit opened with 14 girls in February 2012 and reached 24 by that September

As an Outdoor Instructor - trained to lead girls canoeing, kayaking and walking - I ensure our programme has lots of outdoor activities. We rely on others, including other parent volunteers, to bring in the craft skills.

We encourage parents to pay online for subs and trips, but if they hand in payments, I simply give the money to Anna. She also sorts out Leader expenses, pays our annual subs, files our annual accounts and deals with Gift Aid claims. Anna has even acted as finance manager on several international trips with our County and Region.

Anna's support is absolutely vital. Without it, I would have been really unwilling to take on the second unit. I work full time and have a family, and would have found the hassle of doing the accounts just too much. Having a volunteer Treasurer means I can focus on what I enjoy - organising activities for the girls.


Ask parents to support your unit

Grow the capacity of your team by getting parents to help out - no matter how much time they have to give.