Membership FAQs

Find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about joining, renewing your membership, volunteer screening checks and more:

Joining Woodcraft Folk

I want to volunteer with Woodcraft Folk – what do I need to to do?

You need to become a member of Woodcraft Folk – this costs from £12 a year. Depending on the role you are volunteering for, you may also need to provide references and apply for a DBS or PVG check. Apply to become a member via Groop to start the process. We’ll keep you updated by email – make sure you add [email protected] to your safe senders list so you don’t miss the next stages.

I used to be a volunteer – how do I renew my membership?

You need to become a member of Woodcraft Folk – this costs from £12 a year. Depending on the role you are volunteering for, you may also need to provide references and apply for a DBS or PVG check. Apply to become a member via Groop to start the process. We’ll keep you updated by email – make sure you add [email protected] to your safe senders list so you don’t miss the next stages.

I want to support Woodcraft Folk – Do I need to join via Groop?

No! If you’d like to support Woodcraft Folk’s work by making a financial contribution, but don’t plan to volunteer, you don’t need to register through Groop or complete volunteer screening checks. By completing our direct debit form you can become a Friend of the Folk and support our work with a monthly or yearly donation.

Do DFs need to become members?

Yes – DFs need join Woodcraft Folk as individuals so they can participate in activities locally and nationally. DFs aged 16 & 17 do not need to complete DBS or PVG checks unless they are volunteering regularly, or taking a role at a camp or residential that involves them being responsible for others. DFs aged under 18 pay just £12 per year for membership.

DFs becoming individual members of Woodcraft Folk for the first time should apply to become a member via Groop as outlined above.

Some districts pay for the first year of membership for Venturers when they turn 16 and become DFs. To arrange this, Membership Secretaries should email [email protected] with the names of the new members so an invoice can be issued for the correct amount.

How do I pay for my membership?

Whether you’re joining for the first time or need to renew your membership, you can pay securely via our Payment Portal. If you’re able to sign up for a monthly or annual direct debit, this saves Woodcraft Folk time and money. Alternatively, you can make a one-off payment for the full rate or the concessionary rate membership (these links take you to Stripe, who handle payments on our behalf).

Volunteer Screening Checks

How do I apply for a DBS check?

Many roles that involve working directly with our young members require additional background checks. In England & Wales these are done through the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS). Once you have joined Woodcraft Folk, your local Membership Secretary or Group Co-ordinator will be able to advise you if you need a DBS check for your role. Woodcraft Folk uses First Advantage to complete DBS checks online – to apply, complete the online form using the ‘organisation PIN’ and the ‘secret word’ given to you by your local Membership Secretary or Group Co-ordinator.

Where can I find my organisation PIN to apply for a DBS?

You can look up the PIN for your district, or ask your Membership Secretary or Group Co-ordinator for advice.

What’s the secret word?

It wouldn’t be much of a secret if we put it here, would it? Ask your Membership Secretary or Group Co-ordinator – you’ll need this to start applying for your DBS through First Advantage.

How do I join the DBS Update Service?

Joining the DBS Update Service saves time and money by enabling Woodcraft Folk (and any other organisation you volunteer with) to update your disclosure when it expires. When you apply for your DBS through Woodcraft Folk, email [email protected] to tell us that you wish to be enrolled for the update service. If you already have a DBS, you can apply to join the scheme online. See our Update Service guidance for more information.

I’ve got a DBS through another organisation – can you accept this?

If you’ve joined the DBS Update Service we can use information from your existing certificate to access your records, which saves Woodcraft Folk time and money. You’ll need to show your existing certificate to your local Membership Secretary to start this process – see our Update Service guidance for more information.

How do I apply to join the PVG scheme?

Background checks for volunteers in Scotland are carried out as part of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme, rather than through the DBS as in England and Wales. Online applications can now be submitted for PVG checks – your local Membership Secretary needs request a new PVG application using the PVG request form. More information is available directly from Volunteer Scotland or on our PVG guidance page.

I have a previous criminal conviction – can I still volunteer?

Quite possibly – only certain offences will be a barrier to volunteering with young people. Other convictions may affect the kind of volunteering you will be able to do. In some cases we will need to ask you for more information so that we can do a risk assessment before you start to work with us.

You can find out more by reading our Member Screening Procedures.

Do I need a DBS or PVG check to volunteer?

Not necessarily – though volunteers must have these checks in place if they are volunteering regularly, or overnight (e.g. at a camp or residential). More details are available in our Member Screening Procedures, or by speaking to your Group Co-ordinator.

How can I provide references to support my application to volunteer?

We ask for two references from potential volunteers – at least one of these has to be someone outside Woodcraft Folk. You need to send your referees a link to our online reference form for them to complete.

Further Help & Advice

How can I get help using Groop?

Woodcraft Folk uses an online platform called Groop to manage our network of volunteers. Advice for Woodcraft Folk groups can be found on our Groop Guidance page.

If you encounter a error or bug when using Groop, you can resolve this most effectively by contacting Groop directly, either by using the chat icon on the bottom right of your screen, or by filling in the support request on their website.

My question isn’t answered here – where can I get advice?

You can email membership or volunteering queries to [email protected], or contact us by phoning 020 7703 4173 and selecting option #1.

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