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How you can help us to help you


Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
In response to another thread on the site about people moving on to University, I thought I'd remind people that there is another side to the influx of keen leaders moving into a new area.

It's not that University towns and cities don't appreciate the help we do, but it can be a strain initially to try and place people with units or roles that suit their experience, locations and talents.

So some tips that help those of us that respond to Join Us enquiries from students.

i) Find out where you will live and use that postcode not just the University/College one as it will direct the enquiry to your most local district.

ii) Tell us if you have transport, a car or moped or will rely on public transport

iii) Tell us if you have your LQ or other qualifications and what section you would prefer.

iv) Accept that until you get your timetable you don't know which night would be preferable or if you will get time for a weekly commitment, would being a District 'floating' leader be better.

v) You may know your own area really well but it will take time to get to know a new Guiding area so be realistic about your capabilities and expected roles.

vi) Please be patient with us, the start of term is hectic for all and chasing up Join Us volunteers may not be the top of our list, so if you don't hear immediately please give us a chance to get to you, maybe three or four weeks.

vii) Don't feel we don't value you. Many units rely on students to keep them running and often the best contacts are fellow students so ask about to see who else is involved.

Many thanks


Veteran (100+ posts)
May I please add one:

viii) Please don't just turn up at a unit that a friend has told you about and expect to be allocated there. We have a big balancing act to sort out in terms of qualifications, experience, transport and also process in terms of people who have signed up through fresher's fayre, join us etc and it may be that your skills are better suited elsewhere or there is a particular reason why we want to place someone else at that unit. By all means if you have a preference please say, but remember you are part of a much bigger picture!


Regular (50+ posts)
I was chair of Bangor University Guides & Scouts last year & something I started was a find a role night.
I started by inviting all the local Guiding & Scouting commissioners, group leaders, TG, Scout Active Support, Network members and the local jamboree unit leaders to the event which would be held in mid October in the university.
I then advertised the event at the uni freshers' fair. We held 2 society events before this to help us pick out the students who wanted to be leaders & have more of an idea what sort of numbers we were looking at.

The evening ran as a sort of 'speed-dating' night! We began with a short introduction from each of the leaders, then allowed everyone to have a mingle and work out what sort of role they wanted and with which organisation. I had a lady there specifically to sort CRBs for Scouting (which is a requirement for SSAGO & Network membership) and commissioners helped students to find roles that weren't necessarily leader roles.
We gave out slips of paper for everyone to swap contact details & noted down who decided to volunteer with which group so we could keep an eye on everyone later.

I think it helps that I hold an Area level Scouting role & have a lot of contacts within Guiding in the local area, but I would suggest working with the uni in this way, as everyone really seemed happy with how it worked & we're looking forward to making it bigger & better this year!

Give me a shout if you have any more questions about the event etc :)


I would add a few things:

We appreciate that you may have a clear idea of which section you want to work with, or which location. Please consider being flexible - it may be that in the area you have in mind, one section has as many staff as they can handle, yet another is desperate for staff. The village nearest the Uni may be fully staffed and yet the one a mile down the road could desparate for help. We can't guarantee that you will get a role as a Leader with Brownies on Wednesdays in Anytown!

Please accept that ways of doing things in your new unit and District are guaranteed to be at least a bit different from home (perhaps a lot different), and be ready to view this positively. We love the chance to find out about the ideas you can bring from your old area, and we are happy to share ideas with you which you can take back home in the holidays - and that means both areas get the benefit.

If you've been attending the unit you were allocated to for a month or more and are not happy there - please tell the DC. It isn't always easy to place people in the right space first time, different units have different styles and ways of doing things - but if you don't tell the DC there's a problem, then she can't try to help you . . .