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.
The news is all over the media this morning along with the fact that she’s going to be the patron of 4 other charities.
All in all a very good piece of news for the Scout Association and hopefully it will lead to more people volunteering to help out with Scouting and many other voluntary organisations.