As County Commissioner part of your role is to ensure that new volunteers, in any capacity, feel welcomed and included in the County. This can be delegated, but you should maintain an overview.
These new volunteers may be people who are completely new to guiding, have been involved previously and have just moved to the area or have decided to re-join guiding after a break.
This task can be delegated to the most appropriate level, for example Division or District. You should be providing a warm welcome to new volunteers in addition to the welcome they receive from Girlguiding as a whole. This is vital in making new volunteers feel at home within a County, that their contribution is valued and leads to better retention of volunteers.
It is recommended that at least two welcome events happen every year, depending on the size and need of your County. These events should be social, but can also be used to cover more practical needs of the County. For example, a ‘meet, greet and complete’ evening allows new volunteers and their mentors to meet in an informal setting and sign off parts of the Leadership Qualification. You may feel that it is best to run two events at County level, in addition to any events at District or Division level.
Join Us and Go! are useful tools for ensuring that new volunteers are welcomed to the County. Reports on new volunteers should be run at regular intervals throughout the year. In addition there should be a channel of communication with Districts and Divisions where Counties can be updated on volunteers recruited directly by Unit Leaders or Commissioners; these should still be registered on Join Us or Go!.
Having run a report on new volunteers to the area, you should send an email or letter welcoming them to the County, introducing yourself and key members of the County Team and highlighting opportunities such as training. This should also include who their local District or Division Commissioner is and a calendar containing County events.
Areas with a high number of students may wish to hold an event at the beginning of the academic year to welcome new students to the area. This should be done in communication with the local student union and SSAGO group, if there is one, to ensure that new students are aware of the event.