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Getting the leaders to the units!

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#21
Funnily enough we have thought of that and are doing it AS WELL thank you very much.

We do have a lot of keen student volunteers (and we also have keen non-student volunteers who don't have cars and live in the wrong part of town). If the units that need leaders are one side of town and the volunteers looking for units are the other... we need a solution!
I appreciate the frustration (we're less than a mile from the Uni but the bus our way stops just after 7 and the connecting road is unlit, plus I'm not able to drive).

But - sometimes there is no solution to getting students to units which is workable if the geography or transport network just doesn't fit. If the Uni is en route, or near enough it, then a parent rota may be an option - or there may even be a parent willing to take it on every week if the inconvenience is minor. If there is a bus/train route then it may be a modest expense to cover the fares which the unit funds can handle. But if it means travelling across town through traffic jams then it isn't just a question of the expense for the student, but also the hole it can make in the study time - it's one thing to give up a couple of hours of an evening to helping at the unit, with time before or afterwards to do some work, and another if it takes up virtually all evening.
 

frazzledguider

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#22
Funnily enough we have thought of that and are doing it AS WELL thank you very much.

We do have a lot of keen student volunteers (and we also have keen non-student volunteers who don't have cars and live in the wrong part of town). If the units that need leaders are one side of town and the volunteers looking for units are the other... we need a solution!

Sorry that I may have misunderstood. Your first post made me think that you were only looking at students to run these units. I was just suggesting that maybe students weren't the solution, especially as many people have offered suggestions to help get them there and it appears that none of these are feasible in your area.

How do your current student volunteers manage to get to their units? Perhaps you should ask them how to attract other students.

Maybe this is a larger problem than just for your area and should be looked at across the whole town?
 
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#23
Hi. Where about in North West are you based? Maybe I've missed that bit....

Maybe see about renting a room/area from the university/students union at the university for meetings? I know units move locations sometimes. I know that could be very difficult but it is an option.

Parents rota for helping out if cant get extra help? Say its necessary for the running of the unit.
 

qwerky

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#24
Although if the transport is a problem for the volunteers wouldn't it also be a problem for parents getting girls to a meeting.

My understanding of the OP problem is that there are two distinct areas - one which includes the university location has a lot of willing volunteers and the second has several units that are desperate for volunteers.

Traffic, bus timetables and geography are making it difficult to make use of the willing volunteers and that they are having trouble finding volunteers in the area in need for leaders.

Unfortunately, if buses (no late service), cars (traffic-time-drivers) and bicycles (hills) are not useable options, then I don't know what else you can do to join the two areas.

My only other suggestion would be to maybe look in the opposite direction for volunteers (out of the city rather than accross it). As there may be willing volunteers in a close but different rural district who can't see a local need and may be willing and able to travel into town (possibly against the traffic).
 

Fox

Brownie-induced madness
#25
Sorry that I may have misunderstood. Your first post made me think that you were only looking at students to run these units. I was just suggesting that maybe students weren't the solution, especially as many people have offered suggestions to help get them there and it appears that none of these are feasible in your area.

How do your current student volunteers manage to get to their units? Perhaps you should ask them how to attract other students.

Maybe this is a larger problem than just for your area and should be looked at across the whole town?
Current student volunteers get to units close to the Uni often on the bus or even walking but those units can often be overrun with leaders, which is not a good experience for the leaders or the girls. Current students rarely volunteer at the slightly further away units, and the current leaders at those units can sometimes be a bit less than flexible too (so I need to work on them to persuade them things can work for them).

We get loads of student volunteers, we do have stalls at Freshers Fair etc. but it's not like we only advertise for students and we can hardly say "ooh sorry you're a student, we aren't taking you on" when someone volunteers! Or indeed advertise "no students welcome" or "you have to have a car to be a volunteer" (which would as I say cut out some non-students as well.)

And yes, please forgive me for sounding blunt, but this is a long standing issue, and the previous DC's attitude was "don't bother taking student leaders" but with student leaders "on a plate" and leader places to fill, OF COURSE we are advertising for other leaders and OF COURSE we are looking at it between two Districts but we also need to find units that need leaders for student leaders (and others without cars).
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#26
Current student volunteers get to units close to the Uni often on the bus or even walking but those units can often be overrun with leaders, which is not a good experience for the leaders or the girls. Current students rarely volunteer at the slightly further away units, and the current leaders at those units can sometimes be a bit less than flexible too (so I need to work on them to persuade them things can work for them).

We get loads of student volunteers, we do have stalls at Freshers Fair etc. but it's not like we only advertise for students and we can hardly say "ooh sorry you're a student, we aren't taking you on" when someone volunteers! Or indeed advertise "no students welcome" or "you have to have a car to be a volunteer" (which would as I say cut out some non-students as well.)

And yes, please forgive me for sounding blunt, but this is a long standing issue, and the previous DC's attitude was "don't bother taking student leaders" but with student leaders "on a plate" and leader places to fill, OF COURSE we are advertising for other leaders and OF COURSE we are looking at it between two Districts but we also need to find units that need leaders for student leaders (and others without cars).
It sounds like you've got a bit of a 'cart and horse' situation - which comes first, persuading the Leaders to be welcoming of students, or persuading students that there's great experience to be had at units which will be worth the extra travel. (Plus of course, although you want to welcome students, it's important to manage the number allocated to each unit so that units aren't overwhelmed and students aren't left feeling they're giving up valuable time only to have it wasted).

To be honest, I would suggest that it would be important to persuade the units of why they would want to take on students first - big up the advantages which come from new ideas and inspiration, more staff for outings and wide games on meeting nights etc (whilst not neglecting the fact that their Uni terms are shorter so there will be times when the students aren't around).

That way, for those students who are willing to give the extra travelling a try, there will be a welcome ready. What you don't want is students making that extra effort, at the cost of more time and possibly more expense, then feeling it's wasted, and word getting round the Uni about the negative experience.
 

Wizard

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#27
If one area is overwhelmed with student volunteers and the other not perhaps you could ask students to alternate, ie. one week (or month, or term?) at a nearby/easy access unit, then one week (etc) at a further away unit?
 

qwerky

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#28
As a slightly off the wall suggestion I was wondering whether you have an SSAGGO unit of SS based at the unit. maybe instead of asking htem to travel accross town weekly, you could use their skills to organise and run monthly/termly larger challenge days / badge dyas or events and camps at a Guide centre.

This might reduce the amount of to-in and fro-ing. Large one-off that require lots of planning and preparation are easier to organise on a more flexible basis as the students will be able to fit planning and running around their time-tables. You would also avoid problems with differences in term times. They would also have an excuse to get together (at the union) regularly to plan and organise. They would be able to work on badges and challenges of their own as well as benefiting the younger members in your area.You might also be able to register them as occasional helpers and occasional residential helpers reducing the burden of membership fees on the units they would otherwise be assigned to. Migt be a win-win.