It has been an exciting few days for the Improving Access to Guiding team with the release of four new resources nationally. We asked Sarah, a project coordinator from the IA2G team, to tell us more about their latest developments.
Improving Access to Guiding is a pilot project supported by Pears Foundation which is enabling Girlguiding to review and improve joining journey of new volunteers. We have been looking at ways to improve their experience to ensure that they feel warmly welcomed and well equipped for their roles. At the same time, we’ve been considering how to provide better support to all the amazing existing volunteers who work hard to help them settle in.
We believe that having well inducted and supported volunteers will have a positive impact on our young members. An improved joining journey and great resources will make the volunteering experience better, and help keep our volunteers in guiding for longer. This will make guiding more sustainable and give our girls and young women more opportunities to be their best.
It has been wonderful having the opportunity to develop a brand new set of welcome and induction resources for new volunteers through the project. For the past year we have worked closely with Girlguiding Essex West to get a clear understanding of local volunteers’ perspectives and to create and trial a range of new processes and materials. More recently we have extended our trial to Girlguiding Oxfordshire, allowing us to fine tune our work ready for national release. The engagement and feedback of local volunteers have been invaluable as we developed project ideas and got the resources ready for rollout.
Last week, we released our new Toolkit for a Warm Welcome to Girlguiding volunteers nationally. The pack includes:
Induction Booklet – This locally tailored booklet will provide a new volunteer with key information about their County, volunteering roles, support structures and Girlguiding media. It contains a checklist covering all the information they’ll need to know and steps they will need to take.
Learning and Development Guide – This resources showcases to a new volunteer all the fantastic learning and development opportunities there are for volunteers, how and why they are delivered and who they are aimed at. This resource also has room for upcoming dates and local contact details to be added.
Action Plan – The Action Plan allows for Commissioners (senior volunteers) to work with new volunteers to agree next steps in their journey and help plan their induction using this template.
Volunteer Roles Posters and Handouts – These resources show the wide range of volunteering roles available and come in two formats: an A3 poster aimed at helping promote Girlguiding locally and encouraging more people to get involved and an A5 leaflet to be given to new starters as part of their induction.
Commissioners’ Checklist – This resource is for Commissioners to use with each new volunteer – it gives an easy summary of the information they will need to share and the steps the volunteer needs to take.
Welcome Guidelines – This resource is for anyone who is involved in welcoming new volunteers to Girlguiding. It includes key information and handy tips on how to give new volunteers the warmest of welcomes and is aimed at providing a more consistent induction for each new volunteer.
As well as the above we have also created and released two videos. It’s great to be able to show new volunteers what guiding’s all about – and what better way to hear from people who are already volunteering for us! We have already started showing these videos at local events and they have been very well received.
‘How to volunteer when you don’t have much time to spare’ showcases the huge variety of roles available and the many ways volunteers can get involved – even if they don’t have much time.
‘Welcome to Girlguiding’, presented by girls, gives new volunteers the essential information they need to get started in Girlguiding.
We are extremely grateful to Pears Foundation for enabling us to develop these exciting resources which will support Girlguiding volunteers across the UK.