Leadership Role

Leading a group will require volunteers to create and maintain good relationships with other volunteers, as well as with parents/carers and with young members. As Woodcraft Folk does not have a hierarchical approach to group leadership, our groups adopt a range of different approaches to working together to make our weekly groups for young members happen.
 
Although there is not a mandatory training requirement for people who volunteer with Woodcraft Folk, there is guidance that all volunteers need to understand about what is required and expected of them. This is rooted in both Woodcraft Folk’s Aims & Principles and in our responsibility to provide a safe and supportive environment for our young members.
 
Leader standards
Woodcraft Folk has agreed minimum requirements for volunteer leaders in our groups. These standards were adopted by General Council in 2008
 
Essential Leadership Standards
Belief and commitment to the Woodcraft Folk Aims & Principles
Is a member of the organisation
Values and respects children and young people
Committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults
Open to learning and personal development
Able to listen
Honest
Committed
Has a current DBS or PVG check with the Woodcraft Folk
 
 
Desirable Leadership Standards
Ability to work with children and young people
Good communication skills
Democratic
Friendly
Co-operative
Fair
Tolerant
Has drive
Enthusiastic
Able to accept help
Ability to reflect upon personal practice.
 
 
Group officers
 
Every group needs to identify a Group Contact (or Group Co-ordinator), a Safeguarding Co-ordinator and a Treasurer. If your group is part of a larger district, the people in these roles will work closely with the district’s officers to make sure everything works smoothly.
 
The Group Contact will be the person that Folk Office contact with all enquiries about the group. Their contact details will also be available to potential new members via the Woodcraft Folk website.
 
The Safeguarding Co-ordinator acts as a point of contact for anyone with concerns about the welfare of a child or the behaviour of an adult. They will also take a lead on ensuring that our Safeguarding procedures are followed, and any issues or concerns are recorded and reported as appropriate.
 
The Treasurer is responsible for looking after the group’s money. They will ensure subs or donations are collected, volunteer expenses are paid and that the group is able to cover its costs. The Treasurer will also make sure that good records are kept so that a financial return can be made annually.
 
If you are not part of a larger district, you will also need to think about who will:
 
Handle enquiries about young people wanting to attend the group
Recruit, screen and induct new volunteers
Keep policies and paperwork up to date
Replace and maintain equipment and resources
Undertake fundraising
Manage your group’s website or Facebook page
Takes minutes or notes of the group’s planning meetings
 
Resources such as the New Group Journey provide a good starting point for deciding who does what and how the group will work together.
 
There is specific guidance on the website to support officers in their roles, such as the Safeguarding Portal and the Treasurers’ Handbook.
 
Many groups allocate roles to individual volunteers for each session, to ensure that everyone understands what’s expected of them and that the group runs smoothly. These might include:
 
Welcoming children/families, collecting subs and updating the register
Starting the session with a circle, and leading the main activity
Intervening to address behaviour issues before they disrupt the group
Preparing materials/resources for the main activity, and getting a snack ready once the session is underway
 
Working together
 
Woodcraft Folk thrives on the talents, commitment and enthusiasm of its volunteers. While all volunteers may share a commitment to the Aims & Principles, it is inevitable that tensions and disagreements will occur from time to time. 
 
To ensure that volunteers feel safe and supported, and continue to enjoy being part of the organisation, it is vital that we treat each other with respect and consideration. General Council has adopted the Working Together Principles, which lay out a standard of behaviour that volunteers are expected to uphold, and are entitled to expect from each other:
 
To support the Aims & Principles of the Woodcraft Folk 
To abide by policies and procedures
To respect diversity and avoid discrimination and harassment
To abide by democratic decisions
To co-operate with volunteers and staff where appropriate
To avoid intimidation (loud voice, body language)
To avoid threats and bullying
To treat others with respect and consideration (for workload and personal circumstances)
To respect ‘working’ hours (allow staff and volunteers time off)
To allow time to respond (immediate response is not always possible)
To respect confidentiality and avoid gossip
To use proper channels when raising issues
To use financial resources responsibly
To declare a conflict of interest where one might exist
To take part in training when offered and relevant
To carry out agreed roles or tasks to participate in agreeing & carrying out roles & tasks
To be clear if unable to fulfil a duty or if deadlines can’t be met
To check e-mails for tone and content before sending them to the correct recipient(s) 
To avoid moaning
To challenge inappropriate behaviour when observing it in others
To resolve conflict rather than ignore it
To accept difference of opinion
 
To support groups of volunteers to develop positive working practices that support our Aims & Principles, the Working Together Training has been designed for volunteers to complete together. In addition to exploring common ground and shared motivations, the training helps volunteers understand how they can support each other to take on leadership. Completing the training will not magically resolve conflicts once they arise, so it is much better for groups to explore their motivations and aspirations for the group through this training at an early stage in their journey, and hopefully avoid misunderstanding and tension arising.