What we're working on to improve volunteers' experiences

Projects and updates we’ve got coming up

01 May 2024

Girlguiding is powered by volunteers who help deliver unforgettable experiences to girls across the UK.  

Our strategy commits us to making volunteering a more rewarding and flexible process. And we know from our recent impact and experience survey that we’ve got lots of work to do.  

We need to make lots of our day-to-day processes easier and more straightforward, so our volunteers can get back to doing all the fun things we love about guiding. Our volunteers have busy lives, and give lots of time and energy to make guiding happen. So it’s important we focus on reducing the admin burden and saving volunteers time where we can.  

Here’s an overview of what we’re working on in 2024 to improve volunteers’ experiences of everyday guiding. It doesn't cover everything we're working on. But hopefully it gives you some insight into what’s coming up and the positive change we’re working to deliver. 

Getting permission to take girls away 

What we’ve done 

In January this year we launched an updated new starter form with an added consent form included. This means that for volunteers looking to take girls on short trips away from the usual unit meeting place during the usual unit meeting times, blanket consent can be gathered at the start of the year – you won’t need to keep going back to parents and carers every time. If you’ve already used the old forms for your unit this year, don’t worry. You can send this one-page consent form to parents and carers to get blanket consent for short trips away during unit meetings. 

We also replaced our existing information and consent form with 3 separate forms specific to different types of activities or events:  

What’s coming up 

  • We're updating our guidance on consent.

We've been listening to your feedback about our updated consent guidance and we're working on making some changes which should make it easier if you’re taking girls on short trips out during usual unit meeting times. 

  • Adding consent forms for events onto GO. 

We’re also working on adding consent forms for events onto GO. This should reduce the amount of forms you need to print off and send to parents or carers. Parents or carers will be able to log directly into GO, fill in the consent form themselves - taking the responsbility for gathering this information off your plate. Eventually, we hope to have all our consent forms in one centralised and digital place on GO. Timings for this are dependent on testing, but we’re we hoping to release both these updates over the summer. 

Risk assessments 

What we've done

Last year we created some pre-filled risk assessment templates to help make things easier for you. They're pre-filled with all the foreseeable risks you need to be aware of, so that they're much easier to use and complete than the blank forms. You may have already used the ones for unit meetings, pregnancy, or properties, but we also have a few more in the works. 

What's coming up

We’re creating a pre-filled risk assessment template for adventurous activities and one for international trips. We’re currently testing these with volunteers and hope to release them soon. 

A safe space  

What's coming up

Since its launch in 2017, we’ve received lots of feedback from volunteers on our a safe space training, on what works and what doesn’t. One thing you told us is that the multiple renewal dates can be overwhelming, making it confusing to know which courses you need to do. We’re updating the training, so that we can make improvements to help volunteers. Keep an eye out for news on this later this year. 

Digital improvements 

What we’ve done 

In April this year, we introduced a new process for logging into GO or the learning platform. Now, you’ll be able to use the same set of login details (email address and password) for both systems. This should save you the bother of remembering 2 different passwords!

The new process is similar to what you might have come across when logging into your email account or bank – as well as a password, we also ask you to verify your identity using email, text, voice call or authenticator app. So no more need to email our membership systems team because you’ve forgotten the answer to the authentication question you set ages ago!

We’ve just launched this new process, so we’re still working out some bugs and teething issues. But you should be able to log yourself in much smoother and more securely now.  

What's coming up

  • Continuous improvements and updates to GO. 

Here’s an overview of some of the updates we’ve got planned to our membership system GO over the next few months: 

  1. Improvements to our REN forms. 
  2. New tabs to make it easier for unit leaders to get contact details for their unit and view past members. 
  3. Managing consent for events from parents within GO. 
  4. Continuing to fix bugs and issues to make it easier to use GO. 
  • Improving Girlguiding’s technologies.  

In order to keep helping all girls know they can do anything, we need to make sure that everyone in guiding is supported by brilliant technology. That’s why we’re starting a long-term project to ensure that volunteers, girls, parents, carers and Girlguiding staff can all enjoy smooth and efficient technologies. 

This work will be made up of lots of smaller projects, and each one will focus on improving an element of Girlguiding's technologies – things like the websites and online systems you use as part of day-to-day guiding. It’s all part of the work we’re doing to make the volunteer experience simpler. We’re just getting started on this, but we’ll keep you in the loop with regular updates to this page, as well as through our newsletters and blogs.  

Recruiting and welcoming new volunteers 

What we’ve done 

  • Updated and simplified guidance 

We’ve already updated the guidance on our website about recruiting and welcoming new volunteers. We’ve removed the numerous (slightly confusing!) resources we had available and aimed to clarify the process into 4 simple steps.  

What’s coming up  

We’ll be continuing to look at the whole joining process for volunteers over the rest of this year and next. We want to keep simplifying the process and supporting the recruitment of more volunteers. Stay tuned for more updates on this. 

Verifying IDs for disclosure checks 

What’s coming up   

We’re improving the DBS (disclosure and barring service) check process for verifying IDs. This project will only apply to members and prospective volunteers in England and Wales. We'll bring you more updates on this throughout the year. 


Any questions or concerns about any of the above projects? Perhaps you’re keen to know more about a particular project or how you can get involved? Email your queries to [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.