Our Scout Group doesn’t run itself. The Section Leaders and Assistant Leaders are its public face but they cannot do their job without the help and support of others. This is where you come in. Yes, you. All of you. Don’t look away: our Group needs you.
Please read through the job descriptions below and see if one of them grabs you.
Front of House
Delivering an exciting and challenging programme to our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts demands talent, time and (wo)manpower. The Section Leaders and Assistant Leaders have primary responsibility for this but, with over 20 children at some of the meetings, they always need help. This help comes in the form of Section Assistants and Occasional Helpers.
Section Assistants are adult volunteers who assist the Section Leaders and Assistant Section Leaders in delivering the programme to the young people in the Group. In one meeting, you might be overseeing Scottish country dancing, in another you might be helping make simple circuit boards or learn orienteering skills. There are plenty of outdoor activities – campfires and cookery, hiking, crate-stacking, sailing etc – and it doesn’t always rain!
The role of Section Assistant is a formal appointment in the Scout Association. A Section Assistant may support only one section (Beavers, Cubs or Scouts) within the Group or different sections, depending on where their help is needed.
Occasional Helpers are adult volunteers who help out at Section evenings once every few weeks. As with Section Assistants, Occasional Volunteers need to be ready to turn their hand to anything on the programme.
Occasional Helpers are not taking on a formal role although they must complete a DBS check. Their role is to support and assist the Section Leaders, Assistant Leaders and Section Assistants in delivering the programme to the young people in the Group. Unless pre-agreed, all relevant planning and preparation is carried out by the Leaders, Assistant Leaders and Section Assistants.
Roles behind the scenes
We recognise that volunteering as a Section Assistant or an Occasional Helper is a commitment that not everyone can make. However, our Group has plenty of roles behind the scenes, which offer a good degree of flexibility in terms of when and where they are carried out. They also demand a variety of skill sets. Our volunteers include individuals who take responsibility for the Group’s finances, membership, social media and badges. The list below is far from exhaustive but includes some of our most pressing “gaps”.
Our subscriptions cover only a fraction of the costs of running our Scout Group. Fundraising is an important supplement to subscriptions and, in the past, has provided a significant boost to our financial reserves. This directly affects the activities we can offer our young people and helps ensure Scouting remains accessible to all regardless of a family’s financial circumstances. Finally, of course, fundraising for charities and good causes in our own community and the wider world is a fundamental part of the Scouting ethos.
We are seeking a volunteer to lead and coordinate fundraising efforts across the Group.
There are a number of opportunities for Scout Groups to apply for external funding in the form of grants. The Scout website lists some of them but there are other potential sources for those who know where to find or are prepared to spend time researching. Identifying potential opportunities and completing the applications takes time and skill.
We are currently seeking a volunteer to take the lead on grant applications.
Hall Hire Management
Fees from hiring out our hall (to local community groups, sports clubs and for ad hoc events such as children’s birthday parties) represent a significant slice of our income. However, hiring out the hall requires volunteers to:
- Manage the bookings and liaise with interested parties
- Open up the hall before a booking
- Check the hall has been left clean and tidy afterwards, before locking up again.
This is a role that ideally needs sharing out among a number of individuals living locally.
We are seeking volunteers to undertake this role.
In many ways, the Group Secretary is the linchpin of the Executive Committee. Responsible for all the administrative arrangements, their role includes:
- Arranging meeting logistics for the Executive Committee
- Taking accurate minutes of Executive Committee meetings
- Distributing agendas, minutes and supporting documents for Executive Committee meetings
- Ensuring the safety and security of records maintained by the Executive Committee, including complying with data protection requirements
- Preparing the appropriate administration for the Annual General Meeting, including collating the Annual Report and Accounts for the Annual General Meeting.
We are currently looking for a volunteer to shadow and assist our current Group Secretary, with a view to taking over the role in the next year or so.
Active Support (using a special skill such as hiking, cycling, climbing or kayaking to lend support to specific activities)
If you are skilled or experienced in an outdoor pursuit that might be of interest to our Beavers, Cubs or Scouts, please speak to your child’s Section Leader. We are as happy with one-off offers of help as we are with an ongoing commitment.
‘For anyone thinking of becoming a Volunteer, I say, go for it, come and join the big adventure.’
Bear Grylls, UK Chief Scout
Read more about what Bear has to say about volunteering in this GQ Magazine article.