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Valuing volunteers

This week, Wayne talks about the importance of saying 'thank you' to our volunteers.

The 'thank you' is important

On a recent flight that was longer than usual, I caught up on some reading and came across an article on a parent committee website, which asked how much is appropriate to make sure volunteers feel valued. This got me thinking.

Not surprisingly, there was little consensus from the comments I read about what was appropriate; for me it's certainly about the sincerity of how we say 'thank you'. Whether it's from the young people we help, their families, our fellow leaders or our line managers, the 'thank you' is much more important.

The importance of commitment

It was apt that I downloaded the article on the very day that our own St George's Day Awards was published; this is a great opportunity for us to say 'thank you' to our volunteers. Such occasions, whether at formal presentations, receptions or when we recognise the achievements of young people, remind us about the important commitment so many people give.

Much has been made of the success and impact of the Olympics 2012 and its Games Makers and their volunteering. People outside Scouting are continually amazed, however, at the fact that we continue to be an organisation run by volunteers, supported by a small and dedicated staff team; increasingly our successes speak for themselves.

So many of our Members are unsung heroes of their communities; so as we recognise these achievements, lets be radical; cast aside our inhibitions, our natural instinctive modesty (for most at least!) and sing these achievements from the rooftops. Trust me: this will be so much more welcome for its honesty and warmth than a gift without the same sincerity.





By Paul Little
on 08/04/2013 00:25

Great to see so many people getting higher level service awards this year again. However, is there any update on the ongoing review of the good service awards?

Would be great if simple things like young leader service was allowed to count towards good service awards to recognise that when exceptional service is given whilst under 18 it is as valued as that given when over 18s.

Also can't help but think that a system with 2 bars included in it's 6 levels (Bar to Award of Merit and Bar to the Silver Acorn) limits the point at which people can enter the award scheme. It effectively makes a third of the awards unobtainable for people who don't yet have a good service award - as you cannot be awarded a Bar to an award before gaining that award.

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