New unit checklist

It might look like there’s a lot to do to set up a unit, but break down your tasks into sections and you'll get there in no time

Starting a new unit is an exciting challenge and a great way to get more girls involved in guiding.

Once you've established the need for a new unit, there are lots of practical things to think about before (and after) you hold your first unit meeting. It doesn't need to be overwhelming though. Use this checklist to help you work through it all step by step.

Maybe one step will take longer than we suggest, or you whizz through others.
Perhaps they work better for you in a different order. You might even have completed
some of them already, which is great.

And remember - you don’t need to do everything yourself. Get your unit team to help you, talk to your commissioner about what she can do and see if there are other volunteers in your area who can help.

Before you start

  • Meet with your commissioner and go through everything there is to do. Ask questions and plan how you’re going to get to where you want to be.
  • Review how and why the unit is needed in the local area. Think about day, location and time.
  • Start planning how to recruit your volunteer team early. They can help you start the unit and share responsibilities and ideas. 

12 or more weeks before first meeting

  • Start looking for a meeting space.
  • Meet your buddy.
  • Decide on the day and time of your unit meeting.
  • Register the unit on GO with support from your commissioner.
  • Open a bank account (this can take some time).
  • Confirm and book your meeting place.
  • Start your volunteer recruitment drive.
  • If you’re new to guiding, collect documents for your criminal record disclosure check and arrange a meeting with the ID verifier – an ongoing process as new volunteers join.
  • Provide your commissioner with contact details of 2 references.
  • With the commissioner, look at local learning and development opportunities for yourself and other potential volunteers, and book in training dates.

8 weeks to go

6 weeks to go

4 weeks to go

  • Follow-up meeting with your commissioner.
  • Visit your buddy's unit.
  • Make sure you're all set up on GO and reply to enquiries from volunteers and girls.
  • If you’re new to guiding, or new to your role, make sure you understand the principles of data protection and how to put them in place.
  • Complete unit risk assessments. You'll need to continue doing these once you know the needs of the girls and activities.
  • Look over your term plan. Start planning what you'll do in the first few meetings and what resources you need.
  • Think about inclusion, what activities may need to be adapted and any care plan documents needed to meet girls’ needs.
  • Email volunteers and parents giving key information about the unit.

2 weeks to go

1 week to go

  • Check your programme planning for the first week and make sure you have backup ideas in case anything doesn't go to plan. 
  • Talk to volunteers about learning and development opportunities.
  • Email parents a couple of days before the meeting to remind them.  

On the day of your first meeting

After your first meeting

  • Confirm girls have joined on GO and add extra information from new starter forms. 
  • Talk about how everything went with volunteers and parents. 
  • Meet with your buddy to discuss how things went. 
  • And finally - celebrate, you've held your first meeting!