As volunteers, it’s important that we are able to communicate with each other efficiently.
We need to ensure that we:
- don’t miss things
- aren’t flooded with information
- can find information later
- aren’t wasting precious time
We can achieve these aims by keeping communications as simple as possible, but also by using technology which is available to us.
After asking around, we’ve agreed the following to keep in touch with each other, split into notification – letting people know in the first case – and reference – so we can find it later.
We have also considered how we will communicate when managing projects and with external audiences.
- For getting important information out quickly
- For group discussions
We use WhatsApp to get important information out from the District Leadership Team to all volunteers, and for discussions in sections and teams.
Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts volunteers have their own groups for discussions, tips and information. Explorers volunteers currently have their own methods. There are also WhatsApp groups for things like District Teams, Group Lead Volunteers and for Trustees.
All those who are members of the above groups are automatically signed up to the Announcement group used for important information.
All new volunteers should be added to the appropriate group(s) by their line manager. If you’re a volunteer and want to know what groups you can join, please let us know.
- to send out information that shouldn’t be missed
- best for one way communication rather than discussions
Email is one of the main methods of communication for most of us but it does fall down when…
- you have so many unread/undealt with/spam emails that you can’t see the wood for the trees
- see below for how to solve this!
- you are emailing a group of people asking for views on something and people hit ‘reply’ rather than ‘reply all’ so the conversation breaks up
- best use WhatsApp for group conversations
You’ve got mail!
Do you find yourself with 13,015 new emails? Here are some top email tips…
- If you do have hundreds of unread emails then decide that it’s got to end and make a clean start.
- Folders are your friend! Set up folders so you can categorize emails. Google “How to set up a folder in…gmail/outlook/mail/whatever” to find out how. Set up folders like ‘Orders’, ‘Passwords’, ‘Holiday’ and a generic ‘Keep’ for everything else you don’t want to delete.
- Set up a folder called “Old Emails” and move everything in your Inbox to this folder.
- Mark all these emails as read (again, Google how to do this if you’re unsure).
- From then on, whenever you get a new email…
- Leave it in your Inbox if it needs action or a reply
- Move it to a folder if you want to keep it
- Delete it if you don’t want it
- Forward it if it’s something someone else can deal with – then either delete it if you trust that they’re going to, move it if you want to keep a record, or leave it in your inbox if you don’t trust them!
- This way the only emails in your inbox will be stuff you need to do something about. This will remind you to do it! All other emails will either be filed away or binned – hooray!
- Set up a separate email account for Scouting if you hold a role such as Section Leader, Group Scout Leader or a District role. It’s easy to create a 100thWrexham@gmail.com email address. This way if you move on from the role you can hand over the account and people can carry on where you left off.
Consider using Bcc
Due to GDPR data protection regulations, it’s not good practice to send your email to lots of people with all their addresses in the ‘To:’ or ‘Cc:’ which would share their personal info with everyone the email goes to. Instead put all the addresses in the ‘Bcc:’ box when sending to more than one person, unless you’re sure everyone is happy having their email address shared.
- sometimes it’s good to talk!
- for information which is useful to know
- for information which needs to be easy to find and stays put
This is your website: the go-to place to find info about Wrexham Scouts and to help our volunteers in their roles.
We’re happy with anyone in Wrexham Scouts adding things to the website.
Things you can find
- For those who aren’t volunteers
- For our volunteers
- latest news & info (you can add to this yourselves!)
- programme ideas
- full list of District events including online booking
- how to take part in adventurous activities with your Section
- the latest adult training info
- who your training advisor is
- information for and about Young Leaders
- the form you need to fill in if you’re taking young people away from their homes for the night
- how to keep up up to date with the numbers in your Section
- about our campsite including how to book for a camp or evening visit
- how to book a room in our headquarters or use it’s climbing wall or borrow the kayaks stored there
- how to request a District Team join-in
- how to maintain healthy numbers in your Section
You can move emails which you need to keep for reference to a folder so you can find them later.
- For when face to face is important
- Can be in person or via Zoom
While the need for meetings is less than it was, sometimes they are the best way to communicate
Meetings have pros
- You know that everyone present is likely to be fully engaged
- It’s less likely to take something the wrong way in person – sometimes things come across badly via text when you can’t see someones face or hear the intonation in their voice
- It’s much easier and quicker to make important decisions face to face
Meetings also have cons
- They are time consuming – by the time you’ve travelled there and back, opened up buildings, had a bit of chit-chat, you’ve added an hour on
- It’s tricky to get everyone together at the same time
- Someone has to record what went on and distribute
Meeting do’s and don’ts
- Avoid using meetings to tell people information – you can do that via email – the exception is if it’s likely to be something that people will have questions about that everyone will be interested in
- Meetings are best used to make decisions
- Make sure people know what’s going to be discussed in good time
- then if they can’t make it they can still send their input to be included
- they can also decide not to attend if it’s not for them – for example, don’t just say it’s a Scout Leaders’ meeting if you’re only discussing Frost Camp which would be a waste of time for a Leader if their Troop isn’t attending
- Make a record of action points and share these soon after the meeting
- For keeping track of projects in between meetings
Sometimes it’s good to have somewhere you can keep a record of where a team is at, what you’ve achieved and what’s left to do. This way anyone working on a project can open this record to see what others have done without having to ask them.
This really helps collaborative working, which is what we encourage.
- to promote what we do to those who aren’t (yet) members
We send press releases to local newspapers, websites and radio & TV.