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Today I've set the wheels in motion to close the Brownies and Rainbows units that I run.

(92 Posts)
Slubberdegullion Wed 03-Sep-14 16:14:25

And I'm quite sad about that.

No adult helpers to help me run them.

Applelicious Wed 03-Sep-14 16:17:15

Oh no, that's sad. must offer to help out at DDs Brownies more often

Slubberdegullion Wed 03-Sep-14 16:22:00

I have regular offers of help from parents to come along to help for the hour/hour and a half that the unit runs for in an evening, and I'm always hugely grateful for those offers of help.

What I need though is someone to commit to help me run the groups. It would be a moderate amount of work for two or three people; the activity planning, form filling, online GGUK stuff and the accounts. But for one person it's too much. For one person running two packs it's way too much.

Urgh I feel most disheartened.

SquattingNeville Wed 03-Sep-14 16:23:46

I feel for you Slubber. I did my ALQ as a student and the amount of faff and paperwork that's involved put so many people off. Luckily we always had students keen to volunteer to help with the groups, but the actual running of the groups was a nightmare <shudders at memories of Accounts Night and lost receipts>

3littlefrogs Wed 03-Sep-14 16:26:39

Unfortunately people just won't volunteer.
They will all moan like mad when the group shuts down.
Even when you point out that if everyone did a little bit, it would be so much better than one person having to do everything. (sad bitter voice of experience).

HauntedNoddyCar Wed 03-Sep-14 16:28:37

I've just volunteered on the admin front! I had no idea until recently that this was a problem.

Slubberdegullion Wed 03-Sep-14 16:30:32

I can understand that some people can't volunteer, and some people don't want to volunteer. And that is fine, there are things that my dc do that I can't or don't want to get involved in.
But it's just that everyone can't or won't. That is giving me a serious Olave Baden Powell sadface.

Slubberdegullion Wed 03-Sep-14 16:31:27

Accounts. Lost receipts <tiny wail inside>

I'll still have to sort all that stuff before I can close the units.

madwomanbackintheattic Wed 03-Sep-14 16:37:17

Slubber, I'm having the same issue. Am the DC (also run two groups) and so far have no leaders for brownies and sparks (rainbows here).

I physically cannot run 4 sections. Just can't. I'm giving it another two weeks to see if anyone steps up.

EduCated Wed 03-Sep-14 16:41:25

Is it wrong that I smiled a bit at Olave Baden-Powell sad face?

This is really sad though. My DM was in the same position about 10 years ago. Sadly it just had to be done.

BramwellBrown Wed 03-Sep-14 16:41:43

sad we have a distinct lack of actual leaders too, lots of helpers that are happy to just turn up on the night though.

I take it there's no one happy to take over the admin side even if they cant actually make the meetings? That's what Mums unit used to do, she's crap at the admin stuff so did all the activity planning, getting craft stuff ready, running the meetings and giving stuff out but a mum who couldn't help at meetings due to childcare did the actual writing the letters, accounts, online stuff etc.

LeapingOverTheWall Wed 03-Sep-14 16:45:29

I managed to pull together all my Brown Owls Lost Receipts in order to hand over to the lovely volunteer who stepped up to take on our pack after I'd been trying to leave for EIGHT years (six years for Brown Owl). Everyone had "far too much on", or "small DC", or "couldn't possibly be treasurer" as they were rubbish at maths at school sad. Never mind that it had been eight years since my last Brownie DD left, I don't live in that place any more, and I have quite a lot on my plate myself actually. I did mention the eight years of begging, didn't I? [sigh].

ArabellaTarantella Wed 03-Sep-14 16:47:01

We had a wonderful Cub Group here (and yes, I did help out sometimes), but they closed due to pc-ness and paperwork and just too much damned.......well........pc-ness in the end.

One little boy fell over badly and I ran to pick him up and every adult was shouting at me "don't touch him, don't touch him, you're not allowed to touch him". We had to leave him on the floor until his parents were phoned and came to pick him up. Ludicrous situation.

Slubberdegullion Wed 03-Sep-14 16:51:23

<sigh> at eight years Leaping, totally understand how you lasted that long though, you don't want it to shut, you feel bad for the girls you are letting down. Thing is I enjoy being a guider, I have a great time with the girls. It's just all the rest of the stuff that comes with it that grinds me down, oh and the mad scrabbling for a parent helper volunteer to step in a couple of hours before rainbows is due to start because my adult helper can't make it.

I need someone to be there with me week in week out. Someone else to come up with ideas and buy the craft stuff and wrestle with the GGUK Go! system.

traviata Wed 03-Sep-14 17:00:08

is there a local online board for volunteer work in your area? It doesn't have to be a parent from the brownies units.

DH has been doing exactly what you describe for a different youth group for years - memberships, accounts, booking camps - and has only just agreed to co-run a group session as well. he often gets people asking for volunteer work ; people who want to train to work with children, or people who just want some volunteering for other reasons.

BadRoly Wed 03-Sep-14 17:02:03

Oh I feel for you.

I am in the very fortunate position of having a 2nd leader, a leader in training and a permanent parent volunteer. I am determined to try and take a step back from September due to starting 2 new jobs! I love the meetings but loathe and detest GO! and the pettiness from other Guiders because we don't do things the 'old' way...

Sadly, dc1&2 Scout group is on the verge of closing due to a lack leaders/volunteers and the Cub pack dh is at is looking for a new leader too as the current Akela is wanting to retire sad

I don't know what the answer is, I have this conversation regularly with various friends (most of whom are too busy to volunteer) but people will always come up with good reasons for not being involved and I think they miss out because of it!

madwomanbackintheattic Wed 03-Sep-14 17:03:07

Slubber, what's the process with young leaders in the UK now? Any of the older girls that need leadership or volunteer hours?

17leftfeet Wed 03-Sep-14 17:16:32

I'm in the same situation with guides

I've told my DC that if I don't have a leader by Christmas I'm closing

I run with a parent rota at the moment but having to explain to the other adult what we are doing as well as the girls, plus all the planning, admin, accounts, district meetings and training, plus I'm a single parent and a student teacher and I have a long term health issue -I just can't do it

gasman Wed 03-Sep-14 18:00:07

Where are you? I've been meaning to dust off my trefoil. I don't have a leader quali but it can't be that hard - they let my sister in!!

Slubberdegullion Wed 03-Sep-14 18:07:08

Traviata, we have put several adverts in the local news magazine thing over the years, ads in newsagents, letters to parents, requests for help in the parish magazine and all have come to nothing. My last but one helper came to me through asking in the local pub. Will check to see if there is a volunteer board though.

Madwoman I have two excellent young leaders who help out at Rainbows, they attend every week and could not be more helpful and reliable. Sadly they are both a way off being 18, and what has happened in the last with previous young leaders is when they hit the magic age of 18 and I can count them into my child:adult ratios then they bugger off to university. Which is very inconsiderate of them.

BadRoly I have no idea what the answer is either. I think a lot of people think they can't do it because they work and have kids, despite the fact that pretty much all the Guiders in my district also being in the same situation. As I said before I have lots of offers of help, but no one want to commit to the running of it, and so another two packs fold.

I'm really upset about it tbh. I set that Rainbow unit up from scratch sad

Slubberdegullion Wed 03-Sep-14 18:07:35

Cheshire gasman

waithorse Wed 03-Sep-14 18:12:38

That is such a shame, but well done for doing it as long as you have. sad thanks

madwomanbackintheattic Wed 03-Sep-14 18:14:45

Aw, too bad. I have my first transition to adult leadership this month. I suspect she will be here exactly a year before buggering orf to uni, but we'll make the most of her this year.

Any local unis that you could advertise in to catch them coming your way from youth membership? Big companies that have a volunteering ethos? Local college running childcare qualifications? Friendly local paper that could run an article?

I'm a huge believer in looking away from parents, as well. I struggle to bite my tongue when they tell me they don't have time. Like I do. But I understand that it's not everyone's bag.

SquattingNeville Wed 03-Sep-14 18:18:11

What about secondary schools/colleges/universities that have students who will be looking for experience working with children prior to teacher training?

WaffleWiffle Wed 03-Sep-14 18:28:05


I assume there are other unit in district you can move to? would be awful is Girlguiding had to lose you as a volunteer altogether because of a lack of leaders at your units.

I take a very direct route with regards to units closing for lack of units (I'm DC). I've had two units where the leaders could not cope without extra help. No faffing from me, as soon as they let me know letters went home to parents telling them the unit would close the following term unless at least two permanent weekly volunteers came forwards. Otherwise their precious daughters would lose their place at Rainbows/Brownies.

In both cases the units did not close. Because I pulled not punches in what was expected, several parents stepped up to the mark and the units have been able to stay open.

Good luck!

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