Sources of Support

As your group grows and develops, you will discover new challenges. With experience, volunteers will grow in confidence, and teams will find ways of working together that suit them – but this is a job that is never finished! In a movement as large and diverse as Woodcraft Folk there are many opportunities for volunteers to access support and training as and when they need it.
 
Woodcraft Folk’s most valuable asset is the thousands of volunteers who work in our groups across the UK. Some groups may run in a very similar way to your own, others will have different approaches that you can learn from. The most effective way that you can access support as a leader is to talk to other volunteers, whether in your group or District, or further afield. There are many opportunities to connect with like-minded people who share your aims and aspirations for your group, whether in person or online.
 
Group night resources

Woodcraft Folk has published some excellent resource packs that are full of activities that are designed to help our young members explore our Aims & Principles in a way that is fun and interactive. While most of these activities will need a little preparation, it is easier to deliver a session from one of these resources than to think up an activity from scratch. Some of our resources are designed for use with a particular age group, while others contain activities for all ages that explore the same theme.
 
Some of these are available in hard copy through Folk Office, and all are available online, either on the Woodcraft Folk website or via issuu.com. 
 
In addition, many volunteers have shared their own activities and session plans in the Resources section of the website, which are a good source of inspiration. You may even wish to share your own activities so that other groups can make use of them.
 
Mentors & twinning
 
Sometimes the most useful support you can have is another volunteer to share thoughts and concerns with. If you are part of a larger District this should provide you with support, and can help you establish links with volunteers working in nearby groups – try talking to your Volunteer Co-ordinator (if you have one) or your District Co-ordinator. You could also contact your Regional Committee, look online for nearby groups, or contact Folk Office for advice. Possible approaches to connecting with other volunteers include:
 
New Group Buddies, experienced volunteers who can offer advice, support and motivation to new group leaders
Mentors, targeted mainly at young leaders to assist them in making the transition from group member to leader
Group Twinning, where whole groups share practice, network and participate in joint events
 
Online support
 
The Woodcraft Folk website contains a wealth of resources that you can use to find advice and ideas, whatever your role within your group. These include:
 
Policies and procedures
 
Current versions of organisation-wide policies, as approved by General Council, can be found on the Policies page. These will help you understand the standards that all groups and Districts are expected to abide by, whether with regard to fundraising, data protection or using social media.
 
New Group Resources
 
The New Groups area gathers together support and guidance for anyone starting up a new group. Our New Group Journey resources guide volunteers through the process of getting a new group set up and registered, and there is plenty of advice on recruiting volunteers and running outreach activities. There are also FAQs for new groups that address many common queries.
 
Support for specific roles
 
There are areas of the website devoted to providing support for volunteers who have taken on a specific role in the group or District, such as our Safeguarding portal, the Membership Secretary page and the Treasurers’ Handbook.
 
Folk Supply
 
Folk Supply is our online shop, where you can buy Folk Shirts, hoodies, test badges, educational resources and songbooks to help your group feel part of the wider movement.
 
Social Media
 
Woodcraft Folk’s social media channels can be accessed from the main website. Of particular use to group leaders is Woodcraft Folk’s Facebook group, which is the easiest way to connect to a huge number of active members and supporters of the movement. It’s the place for sharing ideas, asking for advice, resolving queries and making links with other volunteers.