Here are some top tips for recruiting young volunteers and young members in your community…
1. Use buzzwords
Education has a lot of buzzwords. Using them shows you understand how Girlguiding can fit into the existing curriculum and help schools achieve their targets. Developing the Young Workforce (or DYW) is a really big buzzword right now! There’s a huge focus in schools on getting young people to achieve a positive destination, whether that’s moving on to college, an apprenticeship or paid employment. If you can show that being a young volunteer is a way to build skills for learning, life and work and contribute to developing the young workforce, you’re more likely to get a response.
Another buzzword is the Four Capacities. The Scottish curriculum aims to make sure young people are: successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. Tell schools how Girlguiding develops these capacities, and you’re on your way to building that partnership!
2. Get the guidance teachers
Every school should have guidance teachers, or head of house. These teachers are in charge of the non-curriculum side of things, such as recognising achievement, or work experience and CVs for school leavers. Ask to be put in touch with them, and tell them about the fantastic volunteering opportunities you can provide their students! Guidance teachers can share your contact details, and even invite you in to talk to the class. They’re always a great link to have.
3. Duke of Edinburgh opportunities
The Duke of Edinburgh award is an internationally recognised youth award for 14-25 year olds, and lots of schools run it. There’s a big expedition to complete, but you also need to develop a skill, work on your fitness, and volunteer in your local community. Girlguiding is perfect for this! Or what about the Saltire Awards, which celebrate, recognise and reward young volunteers in Scotland? Get in touch with the Duke of Edinburgh or Saltire Award coordinator, and let them know your unit or district is keen to have young volunteers help out, and they can get their award completed too. Everybody wins!
4. Reach out to support for learning staff
Most schools have a support for learning department. The students this department supports could have autism or dyslexia, behavioural challenges, or be vulnerable for one reason or another. Welcoming them into Girlguiding could be a fantastic way to build their confidence, help them make friends, and gain experience for college and work. Ask to be put in touch with the principal teacher (PT) of support for learning, and it could be a lovely way to involve more girls in your unit.
5. Be to the point!
It may sound obvious, but teachers are ridiculously busy! They probably don’t have time to read long emails, so be clear and direct, and show that you want to make their lives easier not add to their workload.
Find out more
Take a look at our schools leaflet here. And why not check out this template to spark ideas for contacting schools in your area!