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Urgent! Recruiting adults/DC reply

tori.kiff1

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
Hi. I've known our LIT/UH was leaving in September for a while.

One of my friends was going to join to replace her.

My friend has since decided/realised she won't have time.

I've emailed my DC about 3 times without a reply since the beginning of March and also sent my Div Com an email once asking how I can go about recruiting. But I've not heard from either of them.

I ideally want someone to start before the current volunteer goes, so the Rainbows can get used to her and so we can sort out Septembers term together rather than just me.

I don't know exactly what I can do?
I've put it on my facebook with the link to Join Us.
I've emailed my sister at the local college with some info and the Join Us link to her colleagues to pass onto people of the childcare courses.
I've also told parents now that the UH is leaving and to get in touch if they want to volunteer. (No ones replied).

Can I ring the local schools and get them to put something in their newsletters?

If my DC and Div Com aren't helping who else can I go to?
 

culcheth1

Veteran (100+ posts)
#2
Hi. I've known our LIT/UH was leaving in September for a while.

One of my friends was going to join to replace her.

My friend has since decided/realised she won't have time.

I've emailed my DC about 3 times without a reply since the beginning of March and also sent my Div Com an email once asking how I can go about recruiting. But I've not heard from either of them.

I ideally want someone to start before the current volunteer goes, so the Rainbows can get used to her and so we can sort out Septembers term together rather than just me.

I don't know exactly what I can do?
I've put it on my facebook with the link to Join Us.
I've emailed my sister at the local college with some info and the Join Us link to her colleagues to pass onto people of the childcare courses.
I've also told parents now that the UH is leaving and to get in touch if they want to volunteer. (No ones replied).

Can I ring the local schools and get them to put something in their newsletters?

If my DC and Div Com aren't helping who else can I go to?
I'd ring you DC & DIV Com - if you've emailed you don't know for sure they received your email - so ring them for a chat.

Yes, you're doing all the right things - spread the word as far as you can and give prospective volunteers the link to Join Us - if you can get schools to help then that's great.

Ring and chat to your commissioners and take it from there
 

chopperchick

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#3
First suggestion - can you call one of the commissioners?
Everyone's busy and I'd allow some time for them not to get back to you immediately ....... but is it odd or normal that neither of them have got back to you? Any chance email addresses are incorrect?

We are encouraged to use the DC / DivC to assist with recruitment, logic being that they have an idea of what's happening wider than just your unit - so they may be sitting on a potential volunteer, or know of someone leaving another unit. Or may decide that as a few units need leaders, it might be worthwhile doing a "bigger" publicity drive.
It also allows (in theory) some degree of standard of advertising ....... not suggesting you personally would deviate ......... but in terms of logos, branding and wording (perhaps being positive, rather than saying "we're desperate")

Alternatively, do you have a district or division (or county) PR / MARCOM adviser? She ought to be able to assist with some branding advice, perhaps suitable photos and wording.

Having said that, if you've got some local contacts, no reason you can't get in touch.

The other option is the parents ........ you said you've told them UH is leaving, and to get in touch if they want to volunteer but no-one replied ...... did you give them a deadline to reply? Perhaps rather than leaving it to them - is there one parent (or two) you'd want to target? Some parents - irrespective of how hard you bang on about parent rotas - will be unable (or unwilling) to assist; depends if you think a wide net will bring in one ...... or if you'd be better off targeting someone you know or think would be good (and flatter them!)
 

SnowyOwl Sam

Regular (50+ posts)
#4
It may be worth starting a patent rota just in case. Send it out and advise if you don't get the help the meetings will not run.
Have you tried contacting YL/senior section to see of you can get an extra pair of hands that way?
 

emmaluvseeyore

Brownie Leader and Ranger Assistant
#5
Personally, I have found the most effective way of recruiting helpers recently is to do direct targeting of the parents. We have had a parent rota for 3 years, where we allocate a week to each parent. Through this, I have been able to spot parents who are more keen and willing than others.

My LiT got a new job in September which meant she wasn't able to get to Brownies anymore (she now helps at the Guide unit that meets after us), so I needed to recruit. I ended up sending a letter to all the parents asking if anyone was willing to help on a more regular basis (i.e. once or twice per month) so that we had some consistency in helpers. I listed why having consistent helpers benefits me and the girls, and listed the type of jobs they would be expected to help with. It was all very positive in the wording, and resulted in one parent volunteering to help every week, and another volunteering to help more regularly than she did on the rota. The first of these has now been a unit helper for 2 terms, and the other one is my "go to" mum when I need an extra pair of hands. I think the unit helper will be a leader in training in the not too distant future, but I don't want to scare her off!

I also had the parent of a new girl this term volunteer to help out whenever we needed someone extra as she comes to our meeting place 4 times on our meeting night (son goes to cubs in the room across from us but they start an hour later than we do). She basically said there isn't any point going home so she might as well help! After she helped a couple of terms and was fantastic, I emailed her to ask if she wanted to become a unit helper, and she said yes :) She starts properly this term and has already asked about uniform!

Obviously, it was mainly down to luck and having a few supportive parents in my unit, but I honestly believe that being positive is the best way to recruit people. It is incredibly hard to recruit people who are willing to be a leader straight off the bat, so maybe getting someone in to be a unit helper initially is the best way forward. You can gradually introduce things like planning and running an activity, then a whole meeting, then a series of meetings. Before too long, they will be doing the job of a leader anyway without realising it!
 

tori.kiff1

Veteran (100+ posts)
#6
I dropped something into my DC at her place of work, so couldn't really chat then, but she did say she's received the email and would be in touch, that was nearly 3 weeks ago.
I'm probably being impatient but time goes so quick this term will soon be over with.

I'm not sure about PR/MARCOM Advisor I'll have to check out directory.

I didn't give the parents a deadline. I sent them this, '
After the summer holidays, unfortunately we will be losing Flossie. She's off to uni. This means we will be looking for a new volunteer so if you know anyone, or would like to volunteer for an hour a week please speak to me and I can answer any questions and point you in the right direction to become a volunteer. If we have not filled this space, we will probably be doing a parent rota, so that our ratios are ok.'

We have two 14 year olds helping. But me and the current LIT/UH are the only over 18s.

It didn't occur to me to get in contact with the senior section.

The parents that I think would be willing to help probably wouldn't be able to on a regular basis as they have smaller Children
 

culcheth1

Veteran (100+ posts)
#7
I dropped something into my DC at her place of work, so couldn't really chat then, but she did say she's received the email and would be in touch, that was nearly 3 weeks ago.
I'm probably being impatient but time goes so quick this term will soon be over with.

I'm not sure about PR/MARCOM Advisor I'll have to check out directory.

I didn't give the parents a deadline. I sent them this, '
After the summer holidays, unfortunately we will be losing Flossie. She's off to uni. This means we will be looking for a new volunteer so if you know anyone, or would like to volunteer for an hour a week please speak to me and I can answer any questions and point you in the right direction to become a volunteer. If we have not filled this space, we will probably be doing a parent rota, so that our ratios are ok.'

We have two 14 year olds helping. But me and the current LIT/UH are the only over 18s.

It didn't occur to me to get in contact with the senior section.

The parents that I think would be willing to help probably wouldn't be able to on a regular basis as they have smaller Children
If you decide to introduce a parent rota then you'll be needing this http://guidingmanual.guk.org.uk/pdf/Parent declaration form.pdf

Also, bit off topic, but are the 2 x 14yrs recorded on GO with a recognised role?
 

browniebeth

Brownie Leader
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#8
I think you need to stop wafting around the issue and be frank with the parents. None of this "we will probably be doing a parents rota" will get you anywhere. You need to be completely honest: come september, without a second adult you will not be able to run Rainbows, the unit will close, kaput. That's the truth, it's not exaggerating anything.

So your letter needs to say that, in no uncertain terms: Rainbows will close without a new volunteer, and a parent rota will be in operation from September. Doing both ought to cover nights when someone is unavailable at short notice. (Re Parents rota, arrange it with each child next to a date and the parent responsible for finding an appropriate adult (if not themselves) to attend on the allocated night, knowing that if they fail to do so, the meeting will not go ahead and subs will not be refunded).

Put something together, imagine that you're a parent with 3 children, a full time job and a dog, why will you volunteer your time? What's in it for her/him....don't forget, Dads and Grandads can help out too if need be...either regularly or on the parent rota.
 

tori.kiff1

Veteran (100+ posts)
#9

culcheth1

Veteran (100+ posts)
#10
Yes the 14 year olds are on as YL. However they haven't decided whether they want to complete the qual or not.

Also, that link, would a every new parent helping need to complete that each time?
Parents should complete when they agree to go on the Rota and you should keep on file
 

tori.kiff1

Veteran (100+ posts)
#12
How do you go about a parent rota?
Do you basically just tell every parent they're going on the rota and its up to them to find a parent/grandparent/friend etc to cover them?

Or ask who's available? X
 

chopperchick

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#13
How do you go about a parent rota?
Do you basically just tell every parent they're going on the rota and its up to them to find a parent/grandparent/friend etc to cover them?

Or ask who's available? X
Therein is one of the great debates in Guiding :)

Personally I can't square the idea of "telling" every parent they're going on a rota and they must find their own replacement ..... because we're a VOLUNTARY organisation.
Having said that, others swear it works .......

You know the parents ...... what will work best?
You could announce you NEED a parent rota and allocate folk to dates, tell them they've got to organise their own replacement and hope for the best.
Or you could ask for volunteers for the rota .... and accept that if you get all your dates covered it doesn't matter who it is & if they've done two, but another parent hasn't done any nights.
Or you could ask a couple of parents who you know might be keen, for specific help on specific nights. Some folk feel flattered at being approached!

Some leaders seem fixated on EVERY parent or family helping out in a "no excuses, everyone's busy" kind of way ....... my view is that if I'm looking for additional adults, I'll take who volunteers or is available, the fact that not every parent (family) gives exactly the same time really isn't a problem. Depends what you think .......
 
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emmaluvseeyore

Brownie Leader and Ranger Assistant
#14
Personally, I have done a parent rota where I allocate a girl to each week, and the parent sorts it out themselves. I have done this for 3 years and have only had 2 weeks where an adult hasn't come on their allocated week. I do now know which parents are more useful than others, so I do carefully allocate the parents depending on what we have planned for that week. Sometimes you need someone who is really hands on and willing to man an activity, so you get a keen parent. Other weeks you just need someone as an extra pair of eyes/hands. I have had mums, dads, grandparents and older siblings (over 18) helping in the past.

I have had a request for a copy of the email I sent out to my parents last August to get more volunteers, so I thought it would be useful to post it here. Leaders names have been removed.

Hi all,

We hope you are all having a lovely summer. We are busy planning for next term, and will have the details out to you as soon as everything is finalised.

One of our leaders, XX (Snowy Owl), has got a new job, which unfortunately for us means that she won’t be able to do Brownies on a Thursday for the foreseeable future. This leaves us one adult down.

We are emailing you all to ask for volunteers who are willing to help at Brownies on a more regular basis. This will require NO work outside the meetings, as everything will be planned and prepared by the remaining leadership team (XX (Fluffy Owl) and XX (Elf Owl)). If 3 or 4 people are willing to help more regularly, this means they would only need to help every 3 or 4 weeks. This is only 3 or 4 times per term.

Regular helpers have the following advantages to the unit:
- Girls get to know how is helping rather than having a different person each week
- Helpers get to know the girls
- Helpers get to know the routine of our meetings, and where things are kept (this means the existing leaders don’t have to explain things every week)

Some of the jobs regular helpers may be asked to do include:
- Help set up activities (including getting out required equipment)
- Supervise small groups (although no volunteer will be left alone with the Brownies)
- Assist with tidying up after activities
- Any other jobs that may need doing

Anyone aged over 18 can help (male or female), so it doesn’t have to be mum or dad. Family friends and relatives will be very welcome too - grandparents are often brilliant helpers!

Due to recent changes in our parent:child ratios, we would prefer if helpers don’t bring non-Brownie children along, but we aren’t going to turn away volunteers if this is the only way they can help.

Please contact us if you (or someone you know) is willing to help out. As said before, if 3 or 4 people are willing, it means only helping 3 or 4 times a term.

Thanks in advance,

XX (Fluffy Owl) and XX (Elf Owl)
 

emmaluvseeyore

Brownie Leader and Ranger Assistant
#15
Just thought I would add that the unit helper we recruited from this does bring her son along with her, but he goes across the hallway to cubs after an hour at Brownies. He tends to sit in the kitchen rather than helping, but he does help sometimes. The unit helper does prepare and run activities now, and as she works part time from home, she is able to do shopping for materials for me. She came on our sleepover in November too.

My other new unit helper also brings her son who goes to the same cubs. He hangs out in the kitchen before going to cubs as he doesn't really like all the noise (he has aspergers). We haven't worked out what is going to happen when the cubs are meeting off site, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it!
 

tori.kiff1

Veteran (100+ posts)
#16
Personally, I have done a parent rota where I allocate a girl to each week, and the parent sorts it out themselves. I have done this for 3 years and have only had 2 weeks where an adult hasn't come on their allocated week. I do now know which parents are more useful than others, so I do carefully allocate the parents depending on what we have planned for that week. Sometimes you need someone who is really hands on and willing to man an activity, so you get a keen parent. Other weeks you just need someone as an extra pair of eyes/hands. I have had mums, dads, grandparents and older siblings (over 18) helping in the past.

I have had a request for a copy of the email I sent out to my parents last August to get more volunteers, so I thought it would be useful to post it here. Leaders names have been removed.
Could you email/private message that email to me. It looks fab but I can't copy and paste it to edit it?
Thanks.