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Family rotas

Many hands make light work! Get the whole family involved!

What’s it all about?

A family rota is a great way to engage potential volunteers. Adults sign up to help with the occasional session, taking it in turns to give something back to your group.

Family rotas work because they’re a manageable way to try Scouts – lots of people are happy to help occasionally if they don’t have to make a big commitment.

As an existing volunteer, you get an extra pair of hands to help each week, and you’ll have the chance to show people just how great volunteering is.

You can run a family rota however you’re meeting at the moment – it doesn’t matter if you’re coming together virtually or face-to-face.

How does it work?

Before you start a family rota

  • Make a list of things you need help with. What needs to be done regularly? Are there occasional tasks that people could help with too?
  • Think about how you’ll ask people to take part. You could send a message online, ask face to face in a meeting, send a letter, or give people a call.
  • Think about the programme carefully to make sure new adults can get involved. Small group activities can work well, as they make it easier for all the adults to play their part.
  • Remember that most adults won’t have a disclosure check: it’s important to always have enough volunteers on hand to support and supervise the new adult. You could invite existing volunteers from your group or the wider District. 
  • Remember that the new adults probably won’t be member of Scouts: it’s important that you give them a copy of the Yellow Card before they begin.
  • Decide how you’ll make new adults feel welcome. People on a family rota don't usually wear a uniform, but it may be nice to give them a group necker and a Scouts name (if you use them in your section).  

Running a family rota

  • When a young person joins, ask their family member(s) whether they’d be happy to help out from time to time – you could explain it’ll help them feel part of the Scouts community.
  • Talk to parents and carers about what they enjoy doing – do they have specific skills your team would benefit from? Once you know what people are interested in, you can match them up with activities that suit them.
  • Don’t worry if someone can’t help at weekly sessions. There are plenty of other ways for them to get involved behind the scenes – could they manage the rota, for example?
  • Before each session, share your plan with your new volunteer. Remind them about safety and safeguarding, and make sure they know who to ask if they’re not sure about something.
  • Look out for anyone who’s particularly enjoying their time on the rota. They might make a great person to volunteer a little more regularly. Could you invite them to take the four week challenge?
  • Remember that a big, genuine thank you goes a long way.

Family rota myths

Family rota resources

Download a template from the Scouts brand centre to get your family rota started

Visit the brand centre

More tools to help you

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