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Blog / May 31st, 2024

Uniformed Youth Fund – June update

Welcome to 1st East Hagbourne Guide unit and 1st Barton Ranger unit – 2 units we have funded recently. 1st East Hagbourne Guides are the first project unit in Oxfordshire and 1st Barton Rangers are the 3rd new unit in Cambs East! Don’t forget, if you are opening or re-opening a unit, it is probably eligible for our new unit grant. In the next month, we hope to update this to reflect the fact that many Girlguiding programme materials are now free.

June is a very busy and exciting month. Many units are going away or getting ready to go away for summer adventures. Girls might be trying to finish up badges they’ve started so they can be awarded for them before the summer holidays. It’s also Volunteers Week which will run from 3 – 9 June and will finish with the Big Held Out campaign (7 – 9 June). These two initiatives give us the chance to show our appreciation for existing volunteers but also encourage more people to get involved. Here are some top tips for using these celebration days well.

Cherish existing volunteers

In Girlguiding Anglia, we have over 10,000 volunteers supporting guiding at all of our levels. From people that help occasionally through to volunteers that help at weekly meetings. There are also those that volunteer flexibly at county events or by being a peer educator or a trainer. Every volunteer is precious and we appreciate you all.

Many areas will celebrate their existing volunteers by sharing what makes them special on social media, sending small gifts through the post or a simple thank you email. Can you think of a volunteer to thank?

Use the Big Help Out to connect with one-off volunteers

Maybe you have a campsite or a meeting venue that needs a bit of love? Use the Big Help Out App to get one-off volunteers. This type of volunteering has become very popular in the years following the pandemic. Lots of people are looking to support their local community without making a lasting commitment. You could use people power to clean gutters and windows, maintain outside spaces, take away unwanted items, deep clean kitchen or bathroom spaces.

You’re not restricted to the weekend

1st St Ives Rainbows are offering their unit meeting on Tuesday 4 June as a taster session using the Big Help Out App. They’ve got a science themed evening planned and promise lots of giggles. Adults are encouraged to attend for a taster of volunteering for Girlguiding. They’ve shared how Girlguiding gives girls a space to have fun, explore their own interests and learn to be good members of their wider community. Whilst, the Big Help out is focused on the weekend of 7 – 9 June, you’re not strictly restricted to this. There’s an audience of people with an inclination to explore volunteering in their area. They’re community minded and want to join with others to make a difference so show them how they can do that with Girlguiding.

Give everyone a warm welcome

Whether someone is volunteering on a one-off basis, coming to a taster night or have registered as a new volunteer and are looking for a suitable role, it’s important that everyone gets a warm welcome. Girlguiding recently updated their webpages on this but my favourite top tips are listed below

  • When you agree to meet, make sure you include all the details – they might seem obvious to you so don’t forget to include date, time, location and what to bring or wear.
  • Ask if there are any adjustments that you can make so they can be fully included and make the most of the session.
  • Suggest meeting for a quick chat before the girls arrive. It’s ok to ask how to pronounce their name or what pronouns they use.
  • Make sure to supervise them during their visit. This means not leaving the volunteer alone with young members until they’ve completed the required recruitment checks.
  • Within a few days of their visit, send them a message to follow up. Thank them for helping and ask them if they’d like to continue or explore other opportunities to volunteer with Girlguiding. They don’t need to make a decision right away – they can visit the unit up to 4 times before committing.

For more advice on welcoming new volunteers, take a look at the Girlguiding website on this topic.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog and would like to read more about the project head to our first blog.

Last month’s blog, next month’s blog is coming in July.

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