Volunteering

The Scout Association has a wealth of experience around recruiting and retaining volunteers and providing them with the support they need to get fulfilment out of their activities within Scouting.  


Summarised below is their guidance note to Group Scout Leaders and anyone involved in recruiting and working with volunteers. We have personalised it to the 1st Sarratt  and share this with you so that you know that we take your support seriously and are trained and guided in how to approach it.  

If at anytime you want to discuss your volunteering role in Scouting at Sarratt please speak to our Group Scout Leader David Alexander, he is highly experienced in working with virtual teams and volunteers and can usually find the solution to any issue

What we know about volunteering?

From our research we know that: 

  • there are lots of people who can help.  Most adults volunteering in Groups and sections are parents and/ or former youth members. 
  • ‘lack of time’ is the main reason that people don’t volunteer. We have a range of roles that require different time commitments and can work round work and other elements of your life and can be rewarding
  • volunteers leave because their role often requires more commitment than they initially expected or agreed to. - We try to guard against this all the time, they say "if you want to get something done ask a busy person" but we need to protect our volunteers and not take advantage of them, that is all of our responsibility but the Group Scout Leader David Alexander takes this very very seriously and will work with everyone to ensure we are respectful and adaptable at all times

What we know people think about volunteering for Scouting: 

  • Scouting is just for boys - Not true Scouting welcomes everyone
  • You will only work with young people - Not true we have a diverse range of roles some work with young people and adults but some are totally adult centric
  • You need practical skills related to  camping and outdoor activities - They are useful but we also need all manner of skills, from planning, organisation, administration, communication, IT, transport, marketing, support, catering, carpentry, metalwork, electrical etc... something for everyone
  • volunteers aren’t needed because Scouting is so organised - Scouting is a volunteer organisation it needs to be organised but that comes from you the volunteers, it has a lot of resources but achieves nothing without you

Finding the right role for you


Asking the right questions can ensure that your volunteering time is happy in the long term.  Typically we try to understand if:
  1. You know about the variety of roles available in Scouting? - see our resources and skills listing
  2. Which of these these options appeal to you? 
  3. Would you prefer to work with young people or with other adults? - many of the roles cross both areas but equally we those roles that work only with Adults so if you prefer that you will be most welcome as well
  4. Do you have any hobbies? - many can be built into our programme or support our needs
  5. Would you like to use your existing skills or would you like to do something completely different? - Sometimes people want a complete break from work and home life and do something different, others want to simply extend and use their core capabilities
  6. How much time would you like to spend volunteering? - in short we can use as much as you can offer, no matter how small that time may be
  7. Is there anything you don’t want to do? - We do not think it is worth asking people to do things they hate doing or are no good at.  We all have to muck in but if the bulk of what you do is something you love doing and are good at, it is so much more fun

What the Adults already involved in Scouting at the 1st Sarratt Scout Group do to help volunteers?

As adults in Scouting, we all have a role to play in the recruitment of more volunteers. We need to:
  • take into account your motivations, skills and availability, and tailor the role accordingly 
  • promote the learning opportunities available to you – you can develop new skills and get qualifications, as well have some amazing experiences personally
  • let you know that your help is needed - we do this 121 and via our resources and skills list and our volunteer coordination
  • engage you in what we are doing so that have the chance to see what Scouting is all about - we do this via inviting you to events, our communications programme and seeking feedback from you about how you and your child feel about Scouting
  • support and develop Young Leaders - we try to bring in young people from other Scout Groups and Duke of Edinburgh to work with the Beavers, and Cubs and be part of the team
  • make you aware of the range of volunteering opportunities available - We are doing this through our volunteer coordinator, the leaders in each section through our website resources and skills lists and various communications
  • accept that you may not want to become a leader but an occasional or regular helper in some way - We do need more leaders always but all help is most welcome 
  • support you - We recognise you are volunteering and time is valuable and therefore we need to be adaptable and respectful of your time, we are after all ALL VOLUNTEERS
  • make changes when you are unhappy with what they’ve been asked to do, or want a change.  We have lots ot do and something to suit all interests and preferences.

Flexibility is the key to recruiting and retaining volunteers, not just when you join, but throughout your time in Scouting and the 1st Sarratt Scout Group


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