Blog / July 29th, 2022

Belonging to the Insight Pool

In December 2021, Girlguiding Anglia released our Together We Inspire survey. This gave us great feedback on region improvements, as well as ways in which Girlguiding as a whole can develop. There are different ways Anglia volunteers and staff can influence change makers at Girlguiding, which we will continue to do. However, there is a much more direct way that you can get involved, have your voice heard and influence future development. This is through being a member of the ‘Insight Pool’.

What is the insight pool and where can I find out more?
The insight and innovation pool is a collection of volunteers, girls and parents that Girlguiding use to make sure members’ voices are at the heart of their projects and decisions. Signing up is quick and easy and you’ll be contacted about a range of opportunities to have your say for a period of two years. These might be surveys, interviews, group discussions, testing activities or reviewing policies. You can read more directly on Girlguiding’s page (click here).

Have any members from Anglia got involved?
Yes, we know of a number of volunteers that have been called to take part in Girlguiding projects because of their registration in the insight and innovation pool. Some examples are:

  • Research into Girlguiding’s websites
  • Potential changes to roles
  • A specific project looking at the commissioner role
  • Research about the LQ and now consultation about the future leader development programme and other leader in training development
  • Testing the new learning platform
  • Reviewing policies
  • Review of the Notification of Accident or Incident form
  • Start of a project to support volunteers to write terms and conditions for trips
  • Interviews to measure the value and benefits of guiding and its impact

Whilst we haven’t found an Anglia member that has had their say about the programme flexibilities – we know Girlguiding have recently made changes that were introduced during the pandemic. This is now a permanent feature thanks to volunteers that got in touch and described why they felt this was important to keep. You can find out more about that decision here (click for Girlguiding’s blog).

What do people say about their experience in the insight pool?
It’s really important that members’ needs come first and this is a great way to talk directly to the teams that are delivering projects. You can agree to do as much or as little as you have time for and you can opt out of topics that don’t interest you as much. We spoke to Sarah, who is involved in the leaders in training project and this is what she said about volunteering in the insight pool:

I’ve really enjoyed being part of the project. I was keen to work with other volunteers from across the region, sharing my knowledge and experiences and learning from theirs. I worked on the project at times that worked for me and ‘met’ colleagues over Zoom. I’ve gained new skills and built some great relationships with others whom I wouldn’t otherwise have met and have since had more opportunities to get involved in other projects that interest me.

– Sarah, Assistant Leader and Trainer in Essex North East

What’s it like to be in a team that use the experiences of the insight pool to develop a project?
Girlguiding staff are professionals and have lots of experience managing projects, working with volunteers and hold knowledge of the charity sector. Some staff also volunteer in their hobby time, but don’t unit level volunteer or parent – like some of the members of the insight pool. This is why the insight pool is so valuable, as diversity is important. We spoke to Emily, previously a lead volunteer within Girlguiding UK International Team who used members of the insight pool to develop an international strategy. Emily said:

It was my job to plan the session and ask questions / facilitate discussions with the group. We made sure everyone had the chance to share their thoughts and there was no such thing as a silly idea or something too small to be important. It was a really great way for our team to gain insight into how international guiding is perceived and represented at a grass roots level. Afterwards, the staff and volunteer team were able to write our strategy knowing that we had the views of a wide range of members captured.

– Emily, previously a lead volunteer within the Girlguiding UK International Team

How do I get involved?
It’s quick and easy to sign up and you can opt out whenever you like. Just pop over to this page on the Girlguiding website (click here) to read more details and scroll down to ‘Other important things to know’ and ‘Sign me up!