FAQ About Volunteering

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Steps to becoming a volunteer...


Contact us and we will send you a pack!

Step 1- Complete the volunteer form
Step 2 - Complete the Garda Vetting/ Access N.I form
Step 3a - In-service training (helping out within an existing company)
Step 3b - Guider Step 1 Training and Child Protection Training (weekend plus day/night)

Optional Courses: Guider Step 2 Training, Guider Step 3 Training (An Dushlan) and Camp Warrants.

Q. What is Guiding?

A. Guiding is a youth movement for young girls and women providing training for life with activity, adventure and challenge which is both purposeful and enjoyable. Opportunities are provided for girls and women where they learn and grow by making decisions, doing and discovering for themselves and having fun at the same time. Through Guiding this is achieved in five different ways: Guiding works together in small groups (team work).
• Girls are encouraged to make their own decisions.
• Girls have a structured but flexible programme of activities.
• Girls are known personally to adult leader.
• Girls all share a commitment to a common aim. They get the opportunity to try many different things and at the same time learn self -reliance and self esteem. Guiding aims to prepare them to be resourceful, responsible and to think for themselves. It emphasises the importance of family values and contribution to the community in which an individual lives.

 

Q. Who / What is CGI?

A. The Catholic Guides of Ireland (CGI) is a nationwide uniformed Association open to all women and girls. CGI's mission statement is "to provide a challenging Guiding Programme within a safe environment, to enable all girls and young women to develop their full potential."

 

Q. Why do you want me to work for your Association?

A. We are always looking for volunteers so we welcome applications from women interested in helping young people or in assisting us to develop them through the ethos of Guiding.

 

Q. Do I need to fill out an application form?

A. Yes, this is included with this information pack and is available online.

 

Q. What kind of skills/qualities are required?

A. No skills are necessary as training will be provided. However, all kinds of qualities are useful - being a good listener, an efficient organiser, an effective communicator, creativity, imagination, a willingness to challenge young people's perceptions and to be challenged oneself, an openness to new experiences, an affinity with young people and a respect for the ethos of Guiding.

 

Q. Is there an interview process?

A. Yes- and informal interview will be conducted as soon as possible after the receipt of your application.

 

Q. How many hours will I be expected to volunteer for?

A. This will depend on the role you assume. Technically you can volunteer for as many or as few hours as you like. However, if you are going to commit yourself to working with our girls you should be aware that this involves a time frame of at least 2 hours a week.

 

Q. What will I be expected to do and how much responsibility will I have?

A. Again, this will depend upon the role of the volunteer. You may have contact with funds, be responsible for ensuring information is passed on, have to handle equipment or work with our young members. In that case, you will have duty to care for them and ensure their safety.

 

Q. If I have a problem with my role/ with the children/ with the other leaders, what should I do?

A. You should contact your Unit Leader/Diocesan/Regional contact first of all - she will have been assigned to you after the initial face-to-face meeting and informal interview. The Unit Leader/Diocesan/Regional contact will attempt to work through your problem(s) with you, but remember that many problems are caused by a breakdown in communication. Talking to the other volunteers around you might help to alleviate any problems.

Q. How will I know what to do?

A. Guidance and assistance will be provided from the outset. You will have the opportunity to observe other volunteers in their roles and meet with them and talk to you them about what is required for you. Training will also provide guidelines and job descriptions are available.

 

Q. Are there other new volunteers like me?

A. Yes - CGI is always on the lookout for volunteers and are consistently trying to recruit new volunteers. You will be able to share and exchange ideas and experiences with new and similar volunteers at regular volunteer workshops.

 

Q. Does the organisation have a Child Protection Policy?

A. Yes - CGI does have a Child Protection Policy that is centred on both the protection of our young members and the volunteer. Training in this field is compulsory if an adult wishes to work with our young members.

 

Q. What kind of training is involved?

A. Becoming a Guider involves training. When starting out as a leader of your Company you are required to complete the Basic Training Course (including Child protection). This also involves in-service training within a Company. Having completed this course you may follow on with your Guider Intermediate course. It is in the interest of the Company for the Guider to keep herself updated on new skills and practices. By taking part in some of the annual training courses on offer you are not only developing your own awareness but also that of your girls who will benefit from your training

 

Q. Will I have to wear / buy a uniform?

A. If you wish to register as a leader then you will have to buy and wear a uniform. More information is available in our Uniform Booklet.

 

Q. This is a Catholic organisation - does it matter if I'm not particularly religious or not a practising Catholic at all?

A. No - this does not matter. The Catholic Guides of Ireland is open to all denominations. Occasionally, programmes may incorporate a spiritual dimension, but this will be general.

 

Q. Are there any incentives or recognition for what I do?

A. Volunteering within Guiding can be a very rewarding experience. Recognition is verbal appreciation as opposed to material. We are a voluntary organisation and, consequently, funds are limited. The intrinsic value of helping young people, in one way or another, is our reward. Awards are presented for service as a leader after 5 years in the organisation.

 

Q. What should I know about safety?

A. Being a Guider in charge of girls, you are responsible for their safety whilst they are in your care. The Catholic Guides of Ireland place their confidence and reputation in your capable hands and require that you provide a safe learning environment for your girls. All activities even those in your meeting place, carry an element of risk. Your meeting place should be adequately heated and ventilated. It should be well lit inside and out and large enough for the girls to play active games in. Girls should have access to toilets and washing facilities with an adequate supply of toiletries. When the meeting has finished check that equipment is put away, switches/plugs are made safe, windows are closed, toilets flushed, doors locked and so on. Also check to see if all the girls have been collected at the prearranged time. If, for some reason, a parent/guardian has not arrived be sure to stay behind and wait with the girl. Should the situation arise regularly, chat with those concerned and get them to make alternative arrangements. Whatever the situation be sure to look after girls left in your care, never abandon them. Ensure they are not left alone whilst waiting to be collected. Do not allow them to walk home alone. Please refer to our Child Protection Policy. This policy provides guidelines to all leaders to help ensure that children and young people enjoy their activities with optimum physical safety and are free from the threat of abuse. Further details on Training Courses and Safety are available in the Guider Handbook which you will receive on completion of the Basic Training Course.