General Secretary Update

Monday, 16 September 2019

Debs and Sarah, Woodcraft Folk's Joint CEOs are now celebrating 12 months as General Secretary - it has been a busy year, during which time they have:

  • Continued to deliver the new group development projects in East Anglia and Falkirk, welcoming new groups in Falkirk, Ipswich, Peterborough, Kings Lynn, Framlington, Thetford and Diss

  • Increased Woodcraft Folk’s engagement in international projects with our IFM-SEI sister organisations. In the last 10 months alone, we have sent 3 delegations of Venturers to Austria to explore how to make seminars and exchanges more inclusive. These delegations involved young people from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stroud Valleys, Adur, Newham, Banbury and Eastbourne

  • Employed a part-time Fundraiser, Jennie has been busy submitting funding applications over the Summer months

  • Supported young people to campaign on issues important to them, and we will be proudly joining them on the 20th September as part of the International Climate Strike

  • Launched our own marketing campaigns driven by Pippa, who has also been developing new promotional resources for groups and Districts

  • Proactively engaged in partnership working with UK Youth, British Youth Council, the National Youth Agency and others to raise the profile of Woodcraft Folk


Their aim throughout the last 12 months was to help the organisation work as one organisation, focusing on our charitable purposes - Education for Social Change. There is a huge need for us to collaborate, share practice and resources so we can channel more of our energies into increasing and widening participation.


VCamp was a wonderful example of our movement coming together, sharing equipment and creating a sustainable and respectful community. This year’s VCamp will be remembered for the high quality programme and the energy and enthusiasm of the organising team. Our thanks go out to Bethan, Elliot, George, Holly, Hufi, Lily, Millie and Pip. We all hope that after having such a positive experience we will see DF numbers grow.


On the horizon


Over the next few months they are looking to introduce systems to reduce the burden on our volunteers. Groop, the new online group management tool, will be launched this month. See www.woodcraft.org.uk/groop for more details. This year we also plan to do the annual financial returns using an online system - all of this will reduce the amount of paper to be completed as part of the annual group registration process. It will also help save volunteer time as we stop reinventing the wheel on a local level.


We are also preparing for Common Ground, Pauliina joined the staff team at the end of August. Pauliina will be working with the Common Ground Board to get all the policies and procedures in place needed to host an international camp. The most important date for now, is 1st December, which is the deadline for the early bird booking discount. It would be great to make Common Ground a huge success for us all, especially as we face such uncertain times.


Both General Secretaries will be attending the regional gatherings over the next 6 months and they hope to see you there.