“I want to set up a new group”
A new group may start with one enthusiastic person who begins by spreading the word or a small group of volunteers and parents with enough children for a fair-sized birthday party. However, you get started, we’re here to help and support you through your new group journey.
Identify core group of volunteers
We recommend that you need between 2-4 committed adults to get a group going.
The main core roles are:
- Group coordinator – This person is the main contact for enquiries and oversees the work of the group. They ensure group follows appropriate policies and procedures, coordinate programme planning and induct, support and manage volunteers.
- Group leaders – This person/people take on leading the group and helping to coordinate programme planning and group night logistics.
- Group safeguarding lead – This role’s key responsibilities include ensuring local safeguarding plans and risk assessments are completed and shared as well as being the main contact for any safeguarding concerns. This person would coordinate volunteer safeguarding training and ensure volunteers understand how to follow safeguarding procedures.
- Group Health & Safety lead – This role includes being the main contact for any safety & wellbeing concerns, ensuring local safeguarding plan meets H&S requirements, recording and reporting any incidents and ensuring risk assessments are in place and suitable
- Treasurer – This person will record income and expenditure in accounts, make financial reports to meetings, prepare annual financial return to Head office and make routine payments and gift aid claims
It’s up to you how you divide up the tasks involved; roles can be shared or divided up differently. Just make sure you all have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what.
There are many different roles involved in running a group – from one-off tasks to longer commitments. There are also many behind the scenes’ roles that don’t require you to work directly with children. See our volunteer guide to find a role that suits you.
Registering your interest to set up a Woodcraft Folk group
Once you’ve made your decision to set up a new Woodcraft Folk group you should register your interest with us so that as an organisation we can begin to support you along your journey. You can complete an ‘Intention to set up a Woodcraft Folk group form‘ online.
By completing the form you’ll receive:
- Public liability insurance to cover your Woodcraft Folk activity including taster sessions (provided that two full members of Woodcraft Folk with an up to date DBS/PVG are leading and a risk assessment has been completed).
- Your group contact information will be advertised via our website to help with recruitment
- You’ll receive your @woodcraft.org.uk email account*
- We can contact your volunteers directly about training, new resources, campaigns and guidance materials.
- Will continue to receive our new group support
* for more details about @woodcraft emails get in touch to email@example.com
Adult membership and Vetting
All adults who regularly volunteer need to be members of Woodcraft Folk. You can join online or through your local membership secretary (if you have one). Being a member means that you have gone through our screening process: we take two-character references and run a DBS (or PVG in Scotland) check.
It is important that you begin this process as soon as possible as you’ll need a minimum of two adult members with a disclosure to register your group, open a bank account and be present at each group night.
At Woodcraft Folk we offer free training for all our volunteers. Our sessions are an opportunity to increase your confidence and knowledge of resources, meet with other volunteers, share skills and ask questions. Throughout the year we offer both online and face to face training at our local centres around the UK. The types of courses available are:
- Weekend leader training
- Programme planning
- Training on group roles
We want you to feel supported in your role and actively encourage our leaders to invest time in training. All upcoming sessions dates and times are advertised on our website calendar
We’ve also developed a series of webinars and online training aids to support volunteers, which can all be found in our training section of the website.
Child recruitment and registration
When you start welcoming children to your group, each child attending your group should be registered by their parent /carer to collect their parental consent, emergency contact and health information.
Child registration can be completed online using our group management platform called Groop. You will be given a Groop profile on registration of your group and offered the opportunity to to attend training to familiarise yourself with the platform. For more information head over to our Groop guidance page.
Paper forms are still available but please bear in mind that they will need to be held securely and kept confidentially to be in line with our GDPR guidelines.
If you experience high demand for places, you might want to start up a waiting list. To keep things fair you may want to start up a criteria for offering places. These could prioritise: gender balance, proximity to the venue, age, reflecting local ethnic mix, or first come served.
Agree venue, day and age group
Finding a suitable venue is important as it can influence programme planning, capacity and accessibility. Make sure your venue has space for running round games as well as more sedentary activities. Other factors to consider include cost, proximity to members and good, accessible green space. Guidance for finding a good venue is available here.
Continue on your new group journey
The New Group Journey is organised into seven broad subject areas:
1. People you need
2. Working together
3. Publicity and outreach
5. Programme planning
6. Being part of the Folk
7. Staying safe