Can I ask other Beavers mums to help out, and how?(8 Posts)
Just been talking to DS2's Beavers Leaders. They said they are going to have to stop doing trips after Christmas as they have no parents CRB checked to help out. I am gutted to hear this as it's always been a really active little colony with lots of varied activities and badge work including trips out.
They sent out a note a few months back asking for helpers but obviously haven't had any response. They're not very proactive in asking for helpers. The note didn't say anything about no more trips, I wonder if that might persuade a few more to get involved.
So.............. Obviously I am going to offer to help myself. But it would be so much easier if there were a group of us who could each help on one or two trips. I know most of the other mums vaguely from school (and a few of the dads). A lot of them have younger children (many with babies under 1) but perhaps the dads of the families would be prepared to get involved?
WIBU to contact the other parents in some way to ask whether they or their partners/children's dads would sign up to some kind of helper pool to enable our kids to continue having a great time at Beavers? Am I going to end up as that unpopular pushy mum with the clipboard? (after years on the PTA I am getting used to that role ).
I am a bit chicken to ask face to face unless I know them well. Wondering whether to prepare a letter and hand them out when we drop the kids off for their next meeting?
Hmm. I run a Brownie pack and we had similar problems with a shortage of regular volunteers, that made us reliant on parent helpers.
The first thing that occurs to me is to question whether the parent volunteers have to be CRBed. In Brownies, anyone who is a regular volunteer and/or going to be on their own with the Brownies must be CRBed but a parent coming along on one outing as an extra pair of hands, and who would not be on their own with the girls (and I would make sure they weren't), would not have to be CRBed. (All helpers on residentials are CRBed).
Or are we talking about residential trips here? Of course, it may be that Scouting's rules on CRBs aren't quite the same as Guiding's.
Anyway, my experience of putting pleas in our newsletter for more volunteers and helpers is that it doesn't work very well, because everyone is (to a greater or lesser extent) busy and hopes or assumes that A N Other will offer to help in their place. It is more gruelling, but you do need to approach people face to face and say 'how about it?'. If you point out to other parents that their child will be having a less exciting time at Beavers without the trips, they may surprise you by offering to help.
I regularly helped with Rainbows (3-4 times a term+) and never was asked to be CRB-ed. However they would have been aware I was already CRB-ed from school (which was also where it met, which could make a difference) and actually had 3 separate ones for different things.
Scout units will arrange for CRB checks to be done on anyone who needs them, as do Guide units. You don't need a check if you are not alone with the young people, but will do for residentials and any regular role (Unit Helper or Committee for example)
Asking other parents is a great idea - it's much harder for folks to say no when it's face to face, but I think that writing your own letter is a bit OTT - the unit has already sent a letter, so just use that as the starting point of the conversation. Or perhaps you could offer to draft a fresh letter for the Leaders to send out that makes the position clear and asks again?
<Watches to see what will happen to her local Brownies where the leader has said she is moving after Christmas and no-one has yet come forward to take over. My unit is full and can't take their girls if the pack folds.>
At our Beavers colony, all parents are scheduled to help once a term. Some of us are CRB checked and some aren't, but we're never left alone in charge of Beavers. Parents know that they'll have to help once a term when they put their dc's name on the waiting list, and as the group runs from 6.00-7.15, the parent helpers are often dads.
NatashaBee In Scouting & Guiding there are older members who have roles in younger units, but they cannot be counted in the adult:child ratios if they are under 18 years old. Same for D of E volunteers.
A letter generally going out asking for poeple to volunteer will almost always illicit a nil return. The Leader needs to be specific about what she wants someone to do, how often, and what the commitment is.
In your case, I think you should have the conversation with the Leader first, explaining that you know quite a lot of the other parents, and think you might be able to get them to sign up on a rota basis, or for a pool of helpers who don't mind being called upon occasionally, and, if they do agree, can she tell you what it would entail, in terms of CRBs. At that stage, you can confirm if she'd like you to do that, or if she wouldn't.
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