Getting started as a volunteer

What to expect once you've registered your interest in volunteering with us

Welcome to Girlguiding. We’re so glad you’re thinking of joining us. 

Thanks to you, more girls will gain confidence, feel empowered and have great adventures. And we hope that that you’ll enjoy everything guiding has to offer too. 

Here you can find information on what happens once you've registered your interest on our membership system to become a volunteer. But first, who better to welcome you and tell you all about Girlguiding than girls and young women themselves.






I've registered my interest, what next?

A local volunteer, usually your district or division commissioner, will be in touch shortly after you register. They'll be your main contact for this first part of your volunteer journey. Their job is to support you and help you find the best role for you. They'll provide you with key contacts, information and resources relevant to your role. And help you feel prepared.

Reference and disclosure checks

To keep our members safe, anyone over 18 who wishes to volunteer for Girlguiding must complete the recruitment and vetting process relevant to the role their applying for. This includes reference checks and could include disclosure checks.

Disclosure checks look at your criminal record. You’ll be required to complete one if your role involves unsupervised access or staying overnight at a residential event with girls and young women.

Your local volunteer contact may be the person who carries out your reference and vetting checks. Otherwise they'll put you in touch with the right person. Take a look at our recruitment and vetting procedures if you'd like to know more about the checks we make.

Visiting a unit

If you plan to volunteer with girls, ask your commissioner about going on a taster visit to a local group (either where you hope to volunteer, or somewhere else). It's a great way to get an idea of how meetings are run, talk to other volunteers and pick up activity tips and ideas.

Who else can support me?

There are so many lovely people waiting to welcome and support you.

Your buddy

A buddy is a great person to be in touch with in the early days. They're an existing volunteer who will help you to settle in.

They are there to offer guidance and support as well as listen and share experiences. They may be volunteering in the same group as you, or might help with the same age group or in a similar role elsewhere. You can meet up for a coffee or just chat over the phone or email.

If you’d like a buddy and haven’t been appointed one yet, talk to your leader or commissioner.

Mentors for Leadership qualification

If you're undertaking the Leadership qualification you will also be assigned a mentor. Your mentor is there to guide you through the qualification and make sure you get all the training you need.

Unit volunteers

Units are local Girlguiding groups. If your role is in a unit, then the other volunteers there will be able to provide you with help and support. They'll be your main everyday contacts after the joining process has finished – but feel free to reach out to your local commissioner (or your county commissioner) any time you need advice or assistance.

More resources to help you along the way

  • A localised induction booklet (similar to this one developed for Girlguiding Essex West County) may be available to tell you more about guiding in your area.
  • Our learning and development guide showcases development opportunities available to you as a volunteer.
  • Making guiding happen is your one stop shop for all things guiding. It'll help you with everything from finding the right forms and resources, to practical ideas and guidance for your role in guiding.
  • Try using our Action plan to help you plan your next steps.