There was in an interesting article in one of the newspapers the other day by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. In it he said that the likes of the Occupy London movement and Fred Goodwin use their skills to become volunteers for the Scout and Guide movements. Now to be fair he did also mention a lot of the other youth organisations, but the Scouts and Guides were his main focus.
Now I’m not too sure if the some of Occupy people or Sir Fred would make suitable volunteers, but Boris does make the point that the various youth organisations are crying out for adult help and that a volunteer run youth group can work wonders with kids, before there is a need to spend oodles of money on clearing up crime caused by gangs etc.
According to Boris, there are 8000 kids on waiting list as there is a lack of suitable adults to help out. This is why it was so important that when the Duchess of Cambridge decided to volunteer it was stressed that she would be doing it on a flexible basis.
I do think there a lot of people are now realising how important the work that all the youth organisation do and that there is more importance and a greater positive image being placed on adults volunteering.
Phew! Last night I managed to visit the Troop, complete an Incident Report Form (not a quick thing to do), complete our annual census (our numbers are up – yey!) and reply to an enquiry from a prospective new Cub’s mum! So I think that’s all the outstanding jobs done. Oh wait, Exec meeting next week to plan!
The news today is that the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William’s wife and future queen, is to be volunteering with Beaver Colonies and Cub Packs close to where she is living, presumably in North Wales.
Now the interesting thing about this is that she is going to actually help out at meetings and activities and not just be a distant ‘figurehead’.
The other thing that is very noteworthy is that she will helping out as a flexible volunteer. I had an email from Wayne Bulpitt, the UK Chief Commissioner, today who explained it like this –
The Duchess has chosen to volunteer with us because she has been so impressed by the impact that we have on young people and on our communities. Like many people The Duchess is incredibly busy. What has made it easy for her to volunteer is that we offer a model of volunteering that she can fit around her other duties and obligations. As an organisation we realised some years ago that we had to be accessible to all potential volunteers; not just those who could commit to regular weekly meetings. All the work we have done to encourage ‘flexible volunteering’ has been to support this. The involvement of The Duchess is the most wonderful endorsement of the volunteering opportunities that we are able to offer – you must make sure that you seize it. Over the coming days the news of The Duchess’s involvement in Scouting will be a talking point with other volunteers, with parents, perhaps your friends or family. When you are speaking about the news, make sure you don’t just talk about the news itself, but the different opportunities there are for everyone to volunteer.
Now this is good, as the impression people get about volunteering is that you MUST do it on specific time and days etc.