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Welcoming new faces to our sections…

Friday 17th February 2017

Last summer, the One for All campaign was launched with a challenge to each of the Brigade’s sections to grow its membership by at least one. Several months on, PR & Development Officer, Niall Rolland, explains how the campaign has tried to think about recruitment differently and why it takes many different forms…

What is One for All and why the need for the campaign?

Previous campaigns, such as 10% in 2012, have been relatively successful, most likely down to the fact that, for many, it was an achievable target. This time, the focus is not on whole-Company membership, but instead on individual sections. Stats indicate that if each of the Brigade’s sections welcomed just one new member, our overall membership would increase by over 10%.

Traditionally, it falls on one or two Company leaders to lead the recruitment efforts, but by challenging sections, we can hopefully empower more leaders and others to take the initiative.

“At Druminnis, we are very fortunate to have a supportive church family behind us, which over the last few years, has assisted in leaflet drops and word of mouth in our local village. We experienced exponential growth in the 2015/16 session, in particular with our Anchor section.”

Reuben, 1st Druminnis Company

More to recruitment than leaflets and flyers

The campaign, and more widely, the growth of the BB, is much more than recruitment materials. It is about examining how best to go about increasing membership of our sections – recognising that there isn’t one perfect method and that a single flyer, school assembly, or tweet, can work in isolation.

Sharing what has worked well recently (and what hasn’t) is also vital in supporting sections to recruit successfully. Considering why members leave is also just as important as advertising for new ones. We always need to be looking at our programme to ensure it remains exciting and relevant to our young people.

Whilst new flyers and templates have been produced, support also comes in the form of webinars, blogs, toolkits and other guidance. Hearing the ideas from BB leaders who have managed to turn around the prospects of a particular section can also offer great encouragement and inspiration.

“Recruitment is something that we at the 53rd try to focus on and assess throughout the session.  It is an area which as a Company you can very easily become complacent about…

“We also now offer taster sessions where we ask members to “bring a friend” advertising as a taster session rather than having to come immediately and join allows the young person to be a little more open minded, we offer these sessions free.”

Amy, 53rd Manchester

In addition, One for All is also about how we can really shout about how membership of The Boys’ Brigade enriches the lives of its members AND volunteers. As leaders, we can all think of particular experiences, skills, journeys and achievements which BB encapsulates, but does this always transmit to key people outside of the organisation? For instance, have we taken a moment to ask a local primary school teacher to share how he/she sees the BB benefiting the development of pupils? Or are there parents, carers and family members who could offer testimonies to aid the growth of our sections too?

“We are deeply grateful to the BB for the social and emotional learning our boys have gained, all grounded in a Christian ethos of charity and grace. If you get a chance, get your son along, and see if you can help out sometime.”

Matt, Parent of BB members in Dunblane

You can view all the One for All blogs at boys-brigade.org.uk/category/one-for-all

New animated video

To kick off 2017, a new animated video has been launched to support your own recruitment efforts. The video aims to target particular groups of people - most notably teachers, parents, carers and young people who have limited or no awareness of The Boys’ Brigade and the range of experiences it offers.

The production is not specific to the One for All campaign, meaning that it can be used in this session and beyond.

What are the main themes of the new resource?

The video captures a snapshot of how much BB enriches the lives of its members and shows what individual young people can achieve and gain from their BB journey.

Specifically, the key messages are:   

  • The BB brings people together, engages people of all ages in activities they may never normally experience.
  • From expeditions to nature trails, camps to canoeing and even overseas visits, the BB gives young people the space to discover, to grow and to learn.
  • The BB helps young people realise their full worth.
  • Whether it is a specific talent, strength, or helping them to excel at being a leader, a team player, or to simply make friends and help others, the BB helps young people achieve.

Where is the best place to use this resource?

Like similar recruitment resources, you can use the production at a school assembly, parents’ evening or community event. However, the most effective place to share this resource is online via video streaming on the likes of YouTube or Vimeo; your own website; and on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where you can use the shorter versions.

At whatever point in a BB session, it is always great to hear a child or young person is interested in joining. So it is important that you use this video at any time of the year – whenever it can best meet your sections’ needs.

Wherever possible, try to ensure that you include additional information alongside the video, including a ‘call-to-action’. This could be meeting times and location, or even a link to website or Facebook page where further details are available.

Where can these animations be accessed?

These videos and other BB clips are available to view and download on The Boys’ Brigade’s Vimeo channel - vimeo.com/theboysbrigade. In addition, they can be shared from the Facebook page - facebook.com/theboysbrigade

Find out more about the campaign

You can access the blogs, templates, videos and also sign up to the campaign at leaders.boys-brigade.org.uk/oneforall.htm

Have your own success stories?

Please share ideas and examples by emailing oneforall@boys-brigade.org.uk

Niall Rolland

PR & Development Officer

You can get in touch with Niall at niall.rolland@boys-brigade.org.uk or on Twitter @niallBBscotland

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