Tell us what you do
Girls Friendly Society (GFS) recruits women volunteers to run groups where girls can go make friends, build confidence, have fun and be inspired. At the groups, girls focus on six key themes; feeling a part of their community, being creative, getting active, learning to be happy with who they are, developing skills for life and having a lot of fun.
What is your proudest achievement?
We are a really long-established organisation – we were founded in 1875! – and we are proud of our ability to keep changing with the times while holding the core value of supporting and empowering women. We have a number of volunteers who have been with us for 40 or more years, and their willingness to develop and grow with us to provide something that is relevant for today is something we are also, extremely proud of.
What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
From the first contact, we had with the SCVO a couple of months ago, we received lots of support in terms of local knowledge and useful contacts. Staff have been really helpful and welcoming to Jennie Crosby, our Midlands Regional Development Coordinator.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Everyone Jennie has met have been really friendly and interested in finding out what Girls Friendly Society is about and what we can offer in local communities. Organisations and community groups have been keen to share information about us, putting Jennie in touch with lots of people. We are also finding out what a large and diverse Metropolitan Borough Sandwell is.
What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We are just about to launch two new groups for girls aged 7-12 in the area – one in Cradley Heath and one on Hurst Road, Smethwick. Recruiting volunteers who are passionate about empowering girls and can commit to running the groups for a medium to long term is the challenge. While short term volunteers are welcome, we’re particularly interested in people who can commit to helping us maintain some consistency within the group.
How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Your knowledge of the local area (especially venues) is really useful, as we plan to continue to open groups nearby. Our goal is to establish a reputation for providing amazing opportunities for girls in this area.
Interested in becoming a volunteer? Then why not check out their volunteering page by clicking here.