Spotlight on Girlguiding Dundee
Spotlight on Girlguiding Dundee
Facebook: Girlguiding Dundee
What target groups do you help?
Girlguiding runs units for girls aged 4-18yrs – Rainbows (4-7yrs), Brownies (7-10yrs), Guides (10-14yrs) and Rangers (14-18yrs). We also have Trefoil Guild (for adults aged 18 +) which provides adventures and fun.
And how do the volunteers help?
Volunteers can have a variety of roles – they can run a unit by becoming a leader (requires a time as a leader in training), they can be a unit helper, they can be a young leader (ages 14-18yrs), they can just help on occasion or with a special skills set such as helping with accounts, IT, PT and marketing or welcoming new volunteers. Some volunteers help just with large scale events or residential events and some help every week at a unit. More information on volunteering in Girlguiding can be found here: https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/get-involved/become-a-volunteer/ways-of-volunteering/
What volunteer roles do you have, and do you have any areas you wish to get more volunteer involvement?
Everyone leads busy lives and to allow us to create a safe space for girls to learn, have fun and develop, we will always need volunteers in all aspects of guiding! Whether it is just on the occasional basis or every week, or within a specialist area using your transferable skills, we’d welcome you to join the family. Most volunteers are women, but we do invite men to join as helpers and have several male volunteers within Dundee.
What skills & experience are required to volunteer with you?
A sense of fun and enjoyment! But mostly, bringing enthusiasm and the skills that you already have – everyone brings something different. No experience is necessary – you can just enjoy. A lot of our adult or young leaders have been brownies or guides themselves and have benefitted from their own Guiding experience – but many are just experiencing it for the first time as their daughter joins the local unit.
What training can the volunteer expect?
We provide online training in safe space and leadership training for those wishing to continue on with their leadership qualification. We have an online learning platform open to all that are registered volunteers with us, providing many different aspects of safe space and running the unit and working with adults and children. For those doing their leadership qualification, we also provide first response training.
Volunteers statement or story
It’s an interesting question – why do you volunteer? For me, I started “helping” with brownies when I was a guide and never left. But people ask why do I still do it after all these years? I’ll not lie – sometimes I do wonder! But most of the time it is because at the end of the evening when the girls are on their way home with hopefully big smiles on their faces, clutching at their craft or their baking or their badge to show their parents – that’s what makes it all worthwhile. It gives me something to be happy about – for that one hour a week (let’s not count the other hours preparing), I can sing badly, hear their funny stories, do crafts, blow bubbles, make rockets and have fun too.
But Guiding is not just about having fun and adventures; it’s about providing a safe space to allow girls and young women to build confidence, develop resilience and grow within themselves. This is so much more important after the difficult few years we have had.
My own children are grown up now. They both had a great experience going to cubs, scouts, basketball and other groups which are all run by volunteers, just like us. It is a bit of a cliché to say volunteering is all about giving something back but it is actually a two way process. We give something to the girls and in turn they give us the opportunity to have a sense of purpose, to work and make friends with other adults, to have something else in our lives outwith work and family, to build our own self confidence and to stop us watching too much Netflix!
A story or statement told by someone who benefits from your organisation and the involvement of Volunteers.
I love being a guide because I can be just me. I love coming to meetings making new friends and playing games. It has helped me to feel more confident and I can try out lots of new things as part of my badges. I have really enjoyed the new badges especially the photography badge that I am working on. During lockdown, I really looked forward to our weekly meetings as it helped me stay connected – we even had a Harry Potter camp which was so much fun! I have learnt cooking skills, written to the first minister, started a green campaign at school and so many craft tasks – it’s really lovely to learn these skills with other people too.
We have the best leaders and helpers; they know me well and know how to help me with things I find hard. I struggle making or keeping friends for lots of reasons especially working in a team, but Amy and the other leaders support me in lots of ways so that I don’t find it as hard.