Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: How do you grow volunteers as functional team members, in the UK?

  1. #1
    Member Andrew Bienhaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Binbrook, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts

    How do you grow volunteers as functional team members, in the UK?

    ok, so, sorry about the hefty subject line.
    And, this might actually need to be a bunch of different topics... but... I gotta try and crack this nut somehow.
    Nothing like head on.
    Let me see if I can quickly get to the point, without too much background story, but, please feel free to ask/clarify as need be.

    I'm posting from a country, that has almost entirely killed Scouting at this point. (last year, pre-covid, they were at the same membership levels as 1915-1920 era - source - http://yates.ca/sc/history/membership_national.htm)
    Yet, they will tell you that it's not their fault. (as they sell off camps to be able to continue paying staff salaries...)
    "Good ol' fashioned scouting just isn't relevant any more!"
    Bullshit.
    I've done it, am doing it, and it works just fine. We have the numbers to prove it.

    And, in the last 7 or 8 years, have been borrowing more and more ideas from YOU GUYS here in the UK. (thank you!)
    Modern, multi-cultural, common sense, diverse, inclusive... all the things "we say" you must have/be today, and it still works.
    The membership numbers, the public image, the waiting lists... and while I am sure I will be told that it's far from perfect on the ground - it's LEAPS and BOUNDS ahead, has momentum, and is most assuredly; "onto something".

    So - if nothing else - thank you for that. I hope to keep borrowing, and sharing in return!
    Back to the subject at hand.

    What resources, inside TSA or outside, do you use, to train new leaders?

    (use any other word for train, if you like)

    That's what I am most interested in today.
    We have new folks wanting to help, and past folks wanting to "know more" and improve what we do. (run better program)
    There must be videos, a plan, a way to ramp people up to what scouting is today?

    Mentoring under successful leaders, is obviously important.
    But to have grown at the rate you have, there must be some more.

    Pete, for example, as a GSL of a successful group, is there a definite stepped plan, when you sign a new Beaver leader up?
    Or an explorer leader?
    I swear - anything you guys have here, has to be more than we have now. (nothing beyond practical health & safety)

    I can turn the wheel, I can build momentum, excitement, make events & activities & program happen.
    Done it before, can do it again.
    But there has to be a smarter way, that doesn't require me to be out 5 nights a week, and every other weekend.
    I'm in my 14th year as a GSL, and am at the crossroads to setup the next one, and ensure that there is a sucessful group here, for the next 20 years.

    There is a gap in my wisdom here... and that's where I am hoping for a little help/advice.
    TSA said I am most welcome to use any materials I like, and they're all online.
    I just don't know where to start... anyone got a map & compass?

    Thanks much!
    Andrew

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    6,247
    Thanks
    2,501
    Thanked 1,828 Times in 1,270 Posts
    https://cms.scouts.org.uk/media/1081...ept2020_v3.pdf

    This is the link for all the training modules and who should be doing what.

    You've already pointed out, that all may not be rosy over here with regard to training - it isn't particularly. We all agree there needs to be training, but we don't necessarily agree on how it should happen.

    I suppose, the main point to tackle - is how it's all implemented. We have issues here with line management's interpretation of requirements, as opposed to the requirements themselves.

    Personally, I think it's just because everything is far more bureaucratic than it needs to be. There's no trust in groups by HQ any more, and they're using line management, (District and Regions) to police that lack of trust.

  3. #3
    Member Andrew Bienhaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Binbrook, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts
    ok, I'll go and reiew all that, and get back to you. Thank you.

    Watch that "line management"... find a new way to re-establish the trust, no matter what you have to do. (with love!)
    It's exactly what they've done here already, to an extreme.
    Paid staff, firing volunteers, because they won't tow the public marketing line, and/or run the program exactly the same as the next group. (cookie cutter)
    Tried to close the third-largest group in the country, and lost them as a result.

    To clarify;
    if I see next to an item in that PDF, that it says: "Course, Small Group, One to One, Workbook", does that mean there is nothing online posted anywhere for that one?
    Or, no online course, but there's a self-paced workbook somewhere...
    Last edited by Andrew Bienhaus; 16-04-2021 at 03:17 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Huddersfield
    Posts
    16,876
    Thanks
    732
    Thanked 3,683 Times in 1,985 Posts
    I am ex-TSA, as of 2014, just a few weeks short of 20 years service. I had completed my SL training, CSL training, GSL and Commissioner Training - I only really had beaver Leader training to go.

    I have been running a Navigators Group with many of my old Scout team since 2014 ( and no, it wasn't an abandon ship to start something else - it was a resignnation and a return to Navigators by demand from our Scouts and their parents).

    Anyoldhoo... I have had to look at training requirements - fortunately up till recently all our volunteers were already trained to Section leader stnadard by TSA. I will refrain from any criticism of that training as that is not the point here.

    As an as near as possible completly independent group we have no association training to fall back on. So we looked at what we were doing and what we needed to operate in the UK.

    1/ We need an enhanced DBS Check
    2/ Intro to the Group and what we do
    3/ First Aid Training
    4/ Safeguarding training
    5/ On the job mentoring

    If we have people who want to do more, we can go to the local authority and get funded NVQ L2 Youth Work Training.

    But, really, for a couple of hours a week, what do you really need? I did Mental health First Aid, but I really wish that I hadn't, what were individual character traits now set alarm bells ringing - usually for no reason.

    I've seen plenty of people who went through TSA training and only ever payed it lip service, from sectional assistants to District Commissioners. Training needs to be needed and wanted.

    If I have a volunteer who wants to train as a Kayak coach, that's fine, I'll help him out, same with just about any activity or specialist skill. If they want to do it, we will get then trained. If they then go off and use that training elsewhere, then so be it, we have contributed somewhere along the line and if they, or someone else benefits, that is okay. Equally, if someone just wants to come down and do their two hours supervising activities, that is absolutely fine too.



    And as sent the above, this came in regarding training...

    ----------

    Please see below 3 free online training opportunities we have available in the next month:
    StreetGames Learning Lunch Series.
    1)HEALTHIER - Social Prescribing for Children & Young People
    This session is for you if you’d like to hear more about our pioneering work in the field of social prescribing for young people. As social prescribing continues to grow quickly on a national scale we can share insights and learning from our 3 year research programme with you to ensure you are well placed to get involved with local opportunities that may be on the horizon.

    Thursday 22nd April 2021: 1pm – 1:45pm on ZOOM.



    2)SUCCESSFUL: SPORTED: Ensuring Good Governance in Community Sport
    Delivered by our partners SPORTED.
    What is Governance?
    Why is Governance important?
    Governance in action
    Organisational Structures
    Policies and Procedures

    Thursday 29th April 2021: 12:30pm – 2pm on ZOOM.



    3)SAFER: NEW RESEARCH on Community Sport interventions for vulnerable girls and young women in the context of serious youth violence.
    Vulnerable girls and young women are often described as being ‘invisible’ in the context of serious youth violence. This free webinar will present results from exploratory research undertaken by Loughborough University, commissioned by the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit working in partnership with StreetGames. This work is based on Locally Trusted Organisations and referral agencies using community sport to work with vulnerable girls and young women in the context of serious youth violence. Dr Caron Walpole, a member of the research team at Loughborough University, will present the findings which have implications for both policymakers and practitioners. This will include the vulnerabilities experienced by girls and young women, the use of referral systems, the challenges of short-term funding, as well as the potential role for sport to support positive outcomes for vulnerable girls and young women.

    Thursday 6th May 2021: 10am – 11:30am


    There is loads of this stuff going around if people have the time and inclination to access it. The biggest issue is that it is invariably during office hours - but there are online course cropping up as well.
    Last edited by Bushfella; 16-04-2021 at 03:58 PM.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



    www.upperdearnevalleynavigators.org.uk

  5. #5
    Member Andrew Bienhaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Binbrook, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts
    Got it.
    Yes, similar situation here with regards to national org... third largest in the country, and I was asked to step down as GSL, so they could replace me with two people from outside the group, who would be more "compliant".
    We had argued that we wouldn't water down the quality of the program, to pay lip service to compliance. (smaller groups were/are paying lip service to compliance, and getting away with it)
    We were sadly, "on the radar", as we ran many of the Regions larger camps and events.

    Anywho...
    I thought perhaps just time to back away - but the leaders did some homework in the background, met without me, and said "We're not done yet."... and so we too have renewed the group with an alternate form of Scouting here, at the request of leaders, youth, and parents.
    (better insurance, less hassle, $40 versus $230 registraion, etc)

    So - we have the basic requirements for safety, police checks, background screening, etc.
    No issue there.

    But it's the basic week-to-week program (under normal times) guidance, I find myself having a hard time imparting to leaders across 4 sections of youth.
    How to move forward, how to plan out a program, etc.
    IN the old days the in-person training, dealt with all these things... and wrapped it around the purpose and the "why" of Scouting, in an immersive way.

    Maybe that's why TSA is having issues too? (as mentioned above)
    We all know we need better training, but no one has figured it out yet?
    I sort of figured TSA might be ahead of the curve, even if slightly, given the success/growth rate.

    As an example;
    a decade ago, I was buying Beaver handbooks from the UK scout shop, Programme Books. They were laying out entire meetings, front to back, on different program ideals and badges.
    While these seemed a little "cookie cutter" in nature, you could hand them to someone to see how to run a solid meeting.
    When they went away, I sort of assumed that maybe some sort of online "here's how to have a great beaver colony" training scheme/book/online-thing had replaced them. (but I hadn't found them yet)

    Appreciate all the candor, please keep it coming. (but also know that you could have it A LOT WORSE)

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    6,247
    Thanks
    2,501
    Thanked 1,828 Times in 1,270 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Bienhaus View Post
    To clarify;
    if I see next to an item in that PDF, that it says: "Course, Small Group, One to One, Workbook", does that mean there is nothing online posted anywhere for that one?
    Or, no online course, but there's a self-paced workbook somewhere...
    There will be an online module - the course, small group, one to one etc - will be the background learning method. That said, if a leader has been onboard for a while, the training can be 'validated' by chatting with the training advisor - if you have one. That negates the need for workbooks, and doing course work etc. Its possibly the only positive thing about the training system we have. But...

    The problem we have is, there are now so many position in line management to do with training (these are positions at district and region), they're quite difficult to fill, so often there are no training advisors (TA's), so you can't get training validated.

    Also, (and what annoys me most) is that TA's (and all line management people) are taken on in exactly the same way as anyone else - there are no mandatory requirements. So often, they're not really qualified to do what they're being asked to do. (I just had to sit through what was ostensibly an interview for a 'job' I've been doing for 25 years, by someone who's never done it at all.

    As Bushfella said, a lot of the training is a pointless - it's just on-message flimflam - but it is mandatory. But. There is no mandatory requirement for any on-the-job mentoring.

    I don't think we're as far down the road as you are. But where you are now, is where we're heading.

  7. #7
    GSL & ESL shiftypete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    13,018
    Thanks
    4,559
    Thanked 1,475 Times in 982 Posts
    I have to say that actually IMHO training is one of the things The Scout Association does quite poorly. The training offered is not useful enough to the role of being a Leader, you can complete all the woodbadge training and be no better at being a Scout Leader than before you started it.

    In our Group we are lucky that we have a core of Leaders with Scouting experience, the vast majority of our Leaders were also youth members of Scouting (some in our Group some in others). So we have enough depth of knowledge and experience to effecitvely provide some in house training in Scouting skills. We don't do this by putting on special Leader training events (although our Scout County has put on Scouting Skills training weekends in the past which have been good and useful even for someone like me with over 20 years exerience as a Leader) but by making sure to mentor and upskill Leaders on events were are running for the kids anyway so if we are pitching the marquee say and a Leader new to our Group was helping then we would explain how the marquee is pitched to them as we went along. Similarly if showing the kids safe use of hand axes and saws we would make sure to get and new Leaders to watch and have a go themselves.

    I will admit that I am actually not the best an inducting new Leaders, I do rely heavily on our Section Leaders to help support new Leaders in their Sections as its simply not possible for me to be at every Section Meeting. As I say we are fortunate that most of our new Leaders are not new to Scouting so at least have some idea of what to expect and what is expected of them as Leaders

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    So often, they're not really qualified to do what they're being asked to do. (I just had to sit through what was ostensibly an interview for a 'job' I've been doing for 25 years, by someone who's never done it at all.
    You realise that happens in the real world all the time right? We interviewed for a new electrician this week, so I was interviewing electricians with years of expereince but I am not even an electrician. Doesn't mean after working with electricians for 10 years I don't know a good electrician when I see them and talk to them, nor that I can't try to judge whether they will fit into our team or not.

    A Training Advisor is not there to train you, they are there to assess your existing knowledge against set criteria.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL
    2002 - 2018 AESL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to shiftypete For This Useful Post:

    BigBadBaloo (17-04-2021)

  9. #8
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Bracknell, Berkshire
    Posts
    4,606
    Thanks
    1,602
    Thanked 951 Times in 596 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    ................
    You realise that happens in the real world all the time right? We interviewed for a new electrician this week, so I was interviewing electricians with years of expereince but I am not even an electrician. Doesn't mean after working with electricians for 10 years I don't know a good electrician when I see them and talk to them, nor that I can't try to judge whether they will fit into our team or not.

    A Training Advisor is not there to train you, they are there to assess your existing knowledge against set criteria.
    This exactly!

    When I was interviewed for my current real-job role (Finance Manager), I was initially interviewed by the Operations Director of the company, who had never done the job but had a good grasp of what the company required from the successful candidate. My second interview was with the CEO and Chairman, again, neither of whom had actually held that role. I was obviously able to convince them that with 30+ years experience in similar roles, I was the man for the job, which clearly worked as I am still in the role some eight years later!

    Just because the interviewer has never done the job at all, does not mean that they are not able to judge the suitability of interviewee for the role in question.
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.¯ Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to BigBadBaloo For This Useful Post:

    shiftypete (18-04-2021)

  11. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    449
    Thanks
    212
    Thanked 145 Times in 112 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    I have to say that actually IMHO training is one of the things The Scout Association does quite poorly. The training offered is not useful enough to the role of being a Leader, you can complete all the woodbadge training and be no better at being a Scout Leader than before you started it.

    In our Group we are lucky that we have a core of Leaders with Scouting experience, the vast majority of our Leaders were also youth members of Scouting (some in our Group some in others). So we have enough depth of knowledge and experience to effecitvely provide some in house training in Scouting skills. We don't do this by putting on special Leader training events (although our Scout County has put on Scouting Skills training weekends in the past which have been good and useful even for someone like me with over 20 years exerience as a Leader) but by making sure to mentor and upskill Leaders on events were are running for the kids anyway so if we are pitching the marquee say and a Leader new to our Group was helping then we would explain how the marquee is pitched to them as we went along. Similarly if showing the kids safe use of hand axes and saws we would make sure to get and new Leaders to watch and have a go themselves.

    - - - Updated - - -
    I think that is why our training system is good. Under the previous system it would not have mattered how much your Leaders had done in the Group. they would have had to do several weekends of training. Now we recognise that people have gained skills and simply validate them.

    I think the way it can be poor is when a Leader opts not to do any learning - not because they don't need any but because they don't want to give up the time. I once had a Leader who was adamant that she did not need any training for module one but then did not know what a risk assessment was.

  12. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    6,247
    Thanks
    2,501
    Thanked 1,828 Times in 1,270 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post

    You realise that happens in the real world all the time right? We interviewed for a new electrician this week, so I was interviewing electricians with years of expereince but I am not even an electrician. Doesn't mean after working with electricians for 10 years I don't know a good electrician when I see them and talk to them, nor that I can't try to judge whether they will fit into our team or not.

    A Training Advisor is not there to train you, they are there to assess your existing knowledge against set criteria.
    I'm aware.

    It should go without saying, (although I think I said it elsewhere anyway), line managers are recruited in exactly the same way anyone else is in TSA, so may not have concomitant skills you have to interview electricians after working with them for ten years.

    Also worth noting, the questions I was asked, the line manager had no way of evaluating my answers effectively. You would (for example) check if an electrician had the right qualifications, but you wouldn't be giving him or her a pop quiz about how to wire, ummm, a plug say.

    There are issues around how some folk interpret their roles too. Some TA's do think it's their job to train, they often think it's their job to assess. NA permits are a case in point. I still don't know if that's a check box exercise or if NAA's actually need the skills to assess whether others have them or not.

    All that being said, I agree with you - the training isn't great. Even although I did my wood badge training way back in the day. I was told I needed to do the modules. Fair enough, a lot of it was just validated. But weirdly, I had to do the basics - which I thought was stupid. (I think our line managers here just got it wrong, but I don't know...) As you say, it's a lot of fluff, there's nothing in there which is of practical use. All of that however - is - mandatory. But, mentoring/on-the-job training isn't.

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to pa_broon74 For This Useful Post:

    itchen (Yesterday)

Similar Threads

  1. Awards team looking for more members
    By David in forum Announcements
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-07-2005, 06:04 PM
  2. New Escouts Team Members
    By Richard in forum Announcements
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 15-02-2005, 06:24 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •