Thanking our volunteers
Resources to thank our amazing volunteers and celebrate their achievements
Saying thanks matters
Volunteers do amazing things every day, whether they’ve volunteered for 6 months or 50 years. Thanking volunteers and making sure they feel appreciated for the everyday things they do - no matter how big or small - is a huge part of what we do.
By showing we’re grateful for them, they’ll feel valued and know they’re making a difference to young people’s lives. And, hopefully, they’ll feel motivated to keep volunteering with us.
Saying thanks online
Saying 'well done' and 'thank you' online is a quick and easy way to show appreciation. You can share a post on social media (and with a larger audience), or just send it privately on communication apps, with your own personal message.
Marking a great first year
Volunteering for a year is a truly fantastic milestone that deserves celebration.
Just like our young people, many volunteers will do things for the first time. Perhaps they’ll invest a young person, lead their first campfire song, help a Beaver overcome a fear, teach a Scout a new skill, or help organise their first camp.
Moments like these can lead to a lifetime love of volunteering. So why not celebrate them with a certificate?
Other ways of saying thanks
Sometimes, it's hard to find inspiration for ways to thank volunteers, so have a look at some of the other ways you can express your thanks to those in your teams:
- Send a thank you card or letter and get all the young people to sign their name.
- Give someone a call or even just a text.
- Find out what sweet or savoury treats they like, then bake them something special.
- Give them a handmade gift from the young people.
- Ask young people to trace outlines of their hands on a piece of paper and add a special message, thanking the volunteer for ‘lending a hand.’
- Remember to celebrate birthdays and send birthday cards to volunteers, as well as young people. A birthday is always a good time to tell someone how much you appreciate them!
- Give out thank you presents and celebrate people at the AGM.
- Tell other people about their achievements and celebrate them in front of the Section or Group. Passing on praise only adds to the value.
- Find out what sweet treats or flowers they like and send them some.
- Send a packet of seeds to make the thank you last even longer.
- Send them a tea bag and a mug with a card telling them to have a well-deserved cuppa and put their feet up.
- If you're feeling especially creative, recreate a flash-mob dance!
- Put some marshmallows, chocolate and biscuits in a bag, tie with a bow, and attach a note that says ‘We need more S’more volunteers like you!’
- Give your volunteer a lantern, a candle and a match. Attach a note to thank them for ‘lighting up’ the lives of young people.
- Give your volunteers a puntastic pot of fresh herbs. Thank them for their thyme, for sharing their sage wisdom, and for be-leafing in Scouts.
- Hold a summer BBQ or social event for volunteers.
- Turn up and make a tea and coffee for all the adults before the session.
- Thank people publicly in the Group’s newsletter or on their social media, so they can be celebrated.
- Give them a special 'thank you' badge.
- Send them a Scouts-themed gift from Scout Store, such as a notebook, keyring, water bottle or mug.
- Have a coffee and cake morning for volunteers.
- With parent and carer permission, make a video of the young people saying thank you.
- Remember to thank all your volunteers, including young leaders and parent and carer helpers, so no-one ever feels left out.
- Recognise and celebrate the completion of any training or presentation of awards - young people could even present them!
- Provide space and time for people to have a well-deserved break on camp.
- Create an envelope of thank you’s from the young people to give to people.
- Recognise achievements or hard work with a formal Scout award.
- Tie in your thank you with a special event.
- Throw a surprise party for special occasions, such as milestone volunteering years or retirements.
- Consider permanent signs of appreciation, such as plaques or printed bricks at your local meeting place.
- Use a press release to spread the recognition even further.
- Send a ‘thought you might like to know’ letter to the person’s employer, which acknowledges their contribution or award.
- Ask the District or County Commissioner to thank them and recognise them on their social media platforms or newsletters.
- Get them a thank you brick on the Gilwell Park Promise Path.
- Nominate them for a local hero award or even an OBE!
- If a volunteer has done something extraordinary, shout about it. Think about how you can demonstrate the impact they have, and contact local journalists to see if they’d be interested in running a story.
Finding the best way to celebrate
Some volunteers might appreciate a loud public 'thank you' at an event, and others a personal message on a card.
Check out the range of resources you can use to say thanks or mark an achievement.
Download and print it at home, or get them sent to your door. Check the editable card option on the Scouts Brand Centre: