Advice and Guidance

How groups fit into the wider movement

Every Woodcraft Folk group is a recognised branch of the UK charity. Most groups belong to a District, which operate across a geographical area (possibly county, borough or city-wide) supporting a network of groups. Visit the online map to see where Woodcraft groups are.

Do I need to do any training before I start?

At present, none of our training courses are compulsory, however experience shows you will have more confidence and will get more out of your volunteering experience if you do attend the training we offer. 

Woodcraft Folk groups are designed to be co-operative, and this includes benefiting from the skills and experience of the whole group – every volunteer is not expected to be an expert in everything, collectively it is important that you have the necessary skills across your group.

Please see the training page for all the options available. You will see that there is a lot of flexibility in what is on offer: online modules and webinars complement the face-to-face training calendars. 

Do I need to be trained in First Aid?

No, it is not a requirement that all members are trained in First Aid, but you should have someone responsible for administering first aid at each regular group night. When budgetting for your group or district, we recommend planning to invest in first aid training for some of your leaders, especially if you are planning a camp. 

When writing your risk assesment for each activity you run, consider the potential risks and provide appropriate cover for those circumstances. For example, if you are meeting in a city, where ambluance response times are 5 minutes and under, there will be less demand for extensive first aid knowledge than if you were going on a trek in a rural upland area. 

Health and Safety for new groups

Health & Safety should not be an officious burden, but common sense. You should have sensible rules and practices in place for dealing with things such as hazardous substances, knives and gas. Food hygiene is also crucial and anyone responsible for providing food at Woodcraft events should have at least a basic understanding of things such a cross-contamination, safe storage of food, hand washing etc. This should be detailed on your risk assessments.

Risk assessment for new groups

Groups should carry out a written risk assessment of both group nights and camps. For more information please see the Woodcraft Groups Health & Safety Policy, which includes a template for risk assessments.

Child protection for new groups

Woodcraft Folk have a Safeguarding Policy, which you should read and follow. You can read it here along with other useful documents relating to safeguarding:

How much to pay for a group venue?

This depends largely on how many children attend or you are hoping will attend your group. Woodcraft groups pay for their rent out of the weekly subscriptions (subs) paid by the children so you need to make sure that the price reflects what you think you can afford. 

How to find a good venue

Well firstly, what makes a good venue? It should be somewhere nearby to where you are recruiting members from, ideally with public transport links. Preferably it should be able to be reached without having to cross busy roads, walk down dark alleyways etc. It should be in a good state of repair (i.e. no dodgy wiring etc) and accessible to those in wheelchairs. A decent-sized hall makes playing games much easier and increases the scope of the activities you can run. You can access the 'Good Venue Checklist' here.

How much should each group member pay?

As a general rule of thumb, groups normally charge weekly subs of between £1 and £2.50 in order to cover the cost of running the group (rent and materials). The amount you charge should take in to account the situation of the kids and their families - most groups are prepared to help out those who are less well off, but most will still ask for people to pay as much of the weekly sub as they can.

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