Welcome conversation learning
Understand what you need to do to become a Welcome Conversation Volunteer
Welcome Conversation Volunteers
As a Welcome Conversation Volunteer you will take on responsibility to give new volunteers a warm welcome, engaging them in a meaningful conversation. You’ll answer any questions they have at the start of their Scouts’ journey, and make sure Scouts is right for them.
You’ll be a great fit if you:
Like to meet new people and share experiences.
Want to give new volunteers a great start to their journey with Scouts.
Are looking for a different opportunity outside of your team’s tasks.
Are happy to take on extra responsibility.
Have skills in recruitment from either your own background or within Scouts.
You simply want to try something new and gain some new skills.
How to become a Welcome Conversation Volunteer
As long as you’ve got the Welcome Conversation Volunteer accreditation you’re able to be a Welcome Conversation Volunteer, which is just an additional task on top of the role you are currently doing. To have a Welcome Conversation Volunteer accreditation, you’ll need to be an active, full member of a Group, District or County Team, who's completed the necessary learning, and agreed with the Volunteering Development Team Leader that you’re happy to take on these responsibilities.
If your only role is a Trustee, or you don’t have a criminal record check you won’t be able to get the accreditation. For example you could be a Section Team Member in a Group, or a Volunteering Development Team Member in a District / County/Area/Region (Scotland).
Some volunteers will be able to do this as default as part of their role. Other volunteers will need to be given permission to do this through an accreditation.
If you’d like to become a Welcome Conversation Volunteer:
Speak to your Volunteering Development Team Leader or Lead Volunteer about the opportunity.
They’ll be able to give the accreditation to you if you meet the criteria and have completed the relevant learning.
Welcome conversation learning videos
This is the learning you’ll need to do:
To become a Welcome Conversation Volunteer, you’ll need to complete the relevant learning on scouts.org.uk. It will consist of watching 3 videos plus completing some scenario-based questions. It will take approximately 30-45 minutes in total to complete.
All Lead Volunteers and Team Leaders will need to complete this learning before delivering their first welcome conversation
Before the new digital system is launched some volunteers may find it useful to watch these three videos to understand why we have welcome conversations, how to prepare for them, and how to deliver a welcome conversation. Once the new system is launched, volunteers will need to sign in, watch the videos, and complete the questions.
Why we have welcome conversations
To watch in full screen, double click the video
Why do we do welcome conversations at Scouts? Well, there are three main reasons. First of all, we want to give a great first impression to new volunteers. Second, it's a chance to connect and get to know each other a bit better. And, we want to make sure the new volunteer is right for Scouts and Scouts is right for them.
First impressions count. If we give new volunteers a warm, friendly and welcoming experience, they’re more likely to feel part of the team and fully prepared for their volunteer journey.
They'll feel welcome and supported from the start and therefore be much more likely to stick around and maybe even invite their friends to join too. That’s a win for everyone!
A welcome conversation is also a great chance to get to know each other a bit better. You can learn more about why the new volunteer wants to join Scouts and what skills and interests they have. Maybe there are projects or tasks they'd be interested in getting involved in.
They'll probably have already had a chat and a first visit, but the welcome conversation is a chance for them to find out more about Scouts and ask questions. You can give them answers, help them find the support they need, and talk to them about the team they'll be joining and their tasks and responsibilities.
Together, you can help them find their place in Scouts, making sure Scouts is right for them.
At Scouts, we always put young people first. So, the welcome conversation is a place to make sure the new volunteer is clear on our expectations and that they’re right for Scouts.
We need to make sure they understand and commit to our values. How we do things at Scouts and how we keep young people safe. If you have any concerns about the new volunteer, you'll need to report these to the right person.
As a bonus, this welcome conversation helps you. The warmer the welcome, the more likely someone is to join Scouts and stay volunteering with us. This means less time spent recruiting new volunteers and more time doing the things you love and that matter the most. Less admin, more Scouting!
We hope you now understand the three key reasons why we do welcome conversations. We want to give a great first impression to new volunteers. It's a chance to connect and get to know each other a bit better. And, we want to make sure the new volunteer is right for Scouts and Scouts is right for them, too.
Thank you for committing to warmly welcoming our future Scouts volunteers so we can continue to grow as a movement and support even more young people to gain skills for life.
Next, watch the video on how to prepare for a welcome conversation.
How to prepare for a welcome conversation
To watch in full screen, double click the video
How do you prepare for a welcome conversation? We're going to look at who's going to be there, when and where to have the conversation, and some top tips for how to prepare.
The most important thing is to give the new volunteer a warm, friendly, and welcoming experience.
Who’ll be there? The new volunteer and two people who already volunteer with the Scouts, one of those is you.
One of those people is the one who recruited them or someone who works directly with them, a familiar and friendly face for the new volunteer. The other one is from a different team who's there to help out with the conversation and bring a fresh perspective.
The two of you should talk before the conversation to prepare. Decide on who's doing what before and during the conversation. Work out what's best depending on your skills, interests and availability.
Remember, the new volunteer might be a bit nervous about it all. You can help them feel more comfortable. Make sure you consider what you know about them. Do they already know lots about Scouts or are they brand new?
What kind of background do they come from? Are there other things you should be aware of? Maybe they have accessibility needs. Or, they prefer to be contacted at certain times of the day. Or, they might have a name they prefer to be known by or use pronouns other than what you'd expect.
When and where will the conversation happen? The welcome conversation should happen within six weeks of the new volunteer joining. It should be when they're ready to decide if they want to volunteer with Scouts and how. The conversation will probably take 30 minutes to an hour.
Try to find a place that's convenient for the new volunteer. Either a physical place like their group meeting place or a local cafe, or you can do it as an online meeting. Make sure it's somewhere they'll feel comfortable.
Finally, here are some top tips to help you prepare for the conversation. There's a handy checklist for you and the new volunteer so you know what to talk about. Print it or send them a digital copy. Make sure you bring a Yellow Card for them.
Remember, it's not an interview. It's just a conversation to welcome a new volunteer to Scouts.
It might be useful for you to practice what you'll say with someone else: another volunteer, a friend or family member. Get their feedback. How did you both feel when having the conversation? How was your body language and tone of voice? What could you do to help the new volunteer feel welcome and for you to feel comfortable with the conversation?
Be prepared. But also be flexible and open. Conversations don't always go exactly as planned. Make sure you're aware of the different ways someone can volunteer so that it suits their skills, interest and availability, so you can help the new volunteer find their place in Scouts.
We hope you now feel comfortable preparing for a welcome conversation and you understand who’ll be there, when and where to have the conversation, and some top tips for how to prepare.
Next, watch the video on how to have the actual welcome conversation.
How to have a welcome conversation
To watch in full screen, double click the video
How do you actually have a welcome conversation? We're going to look at what to talk about in the conversation, how to make it welcoming, and what to do after the conversation.
First of all, what should you talk about? It's a conversation, not an interview. Remember, you'll have a handy checklist to make sure you cover the key points and you'll have a fellow experienced volunteer with you to help welcome the new person.
During the conversation, you’ll get to know the new person and check how they're getting on as a new volunteer. You'll talk about some of the important things at Scouts - our values, our Promise and how we do things. About how we keep
Scouts safe and put young people first. Make sure they understand the Yellow Card.
You'll also chat about getting the most out of volunteering with Scouts, what Learning and Development we offer them, and if they have any access needs that we can help with. You'll talk about next steps, answer any questions they have, and importantly thank them for giving their time to Scouts.
Now, a few top tips to make this a welcoming experience. First of all, keep it simple. You might have lots of Scouting experience, but to a new volunteer, it can seem daunting. Put yourself in their shoes. Cover the key points, but avoid jargon and too much detail, at least for now.
Represent the movement. You’re their first face of Scouts. Smile, be open-minded, do your best. The volunteer should feel welcome.
Remember, it's a two-way conversation. You'll get to know them a bit and they’ll get a better sense of Scouts and what they're signing up for.
After the conversation, tell them where they can find out more information, for example on scouts.org.uk. When they've left, have a chat with the other experienced volunteer about whether the new person seemed right for Scouts.
Did they understand our values, how we do things and what's expected of them? It's really important they understand and commit to following the Yellow Card. Would this person be a great fit for Scouts?
If the two of you don't agree or if there are any concerns, speak to the Lead Volunteer who’ll make the final decision about whether the new person is suitable to join Scouts. You then need to record the outcome of the conversation including when it took place.
We hope you now understand what to talk about in the welcome conversation, how to make it welcoming and what to do after the conversation.
Finally, thank you for being part of the volunteer’s journey into Scouts, for giving them a warm welcome and helping the movement grow so that we can support even more young people to gain skills for life.
Welcome conversation checklist
A handy checklist to help you remember the key elements of the welcome conversation.View the checklist
Guide to running welcome conversations
Information and top tips for Welcome Conversation Volunteers.Check out the conversation guide
Steps in the joining journey
Understand the stages in the joining journey for a new volunteer and how they can become a full member.Discover the different stages
How accreditations work
Understand what accreditations are.Accreditations