Coronavirus (Covid-19) - updates and FAQ

The latest guidance from Girlguiding about coronavirus (Covid-19)

Get back to guiding safely

Page last reviewed: 3 December 2021

This page is being updated regularly as government guidelines change.

Units in the UK can now return to meeting in person. You must follow the government guidance for your area and stay Covid responsible.

If you’re guiding overseas, check the government advice for your country or contact [email protected].

You can continue to meet virtually, even if you also meet in-person. You could alternate online and face-to-face meetings or have online options ready to go in case your group has to isolate. You can decide what works best for you and your unit. Check out our support for virtual guiding.

Covid responsible

You must be Covid responsible when planning and running your meetings or guiding activities.

This means:

  • You have an up-to-date risk assessment signed off. Your risk assessment must have mitigations of how you’ll manage Covid-19 risks.
  • Everyone practises good hygiene, with regular hand washing. We recommend having hand sanitiser available for the unit to use.
  • You have a plan for regularly cleaning your venue.
  • You have good ventilation in the venue.
  • Face coverings are worn when needed or when appropriate, for example when you can’t keep a safe distance or are in an enclosed space with no fresh air.
  • You practice social distancing when in enclosed spaces with no fresh air or when the regulations in your area say you should.
  • You are following the relevant government and youth sector guidance for your area. We’ve summarised the nation-specific information to help you with this.

Guidance on international trips is different in the different nations, so check the advice for your nation before starting to plan. And make sure to check the rules in the country you’re travelling to – they might not be allowing people from the UK to enter. There might also be some steps you'll need to take when you return.

Be aware you and members of your unit may need to self-isolate if someone in the unit tests positive for coronavirus

Check out our suggestions for adapting the programme around social distancing and being Covid responsible.

Risk assessments

You must complete a risk assessment for in-person and virtual meetings. For in-person meetings, indoor and outdoor, it must be signed off by your local commissioner or in Wales, the Girlguiding Cymru safeguarding and risk team, before you can start meeting again. This is to make sure you are staying safe and Covid responsible.

If your local commissioner has already signed off your risk assessment for meetings you don’t need to do it again unless:

  1. This is your first time meeting face to face since March 2020.
  2. There has been a big change in circumstance, for example there's been a change to your venue or you’re planning to move from outdoor to indoor guiding.

Remember, your risk assessment is a living document and you should still review it regularly yourself even if it’s been signed off to make sure it reflects any changes in guidance too.

Virtual meetings

You can continue to meet virtually, even if you meet in-person. You could alternate online and face-to-face meetings or have online options ready to go in case your group has to isolate. You can decide what works best for you and your unit. Check out our support for virtual guiding:

What rules do I need to follow?

Last updated: 3 December 2021

We've summarised how national guidance applies to unit meetings in your area. Check here to find out how guiding is impacted where you are. 

Your face-to-face meeting risk assessments must be signed off by your local commissioner.

Stay Covid responsible

Follow these guidelines for guiding in England:

  • There is no limit on group size for your meetings, or on the number of volunteers you can have. And you do not need to split groups into bubbles.
  • Day trips and adult meetings are allowed. Make sure to follow the rules of the venue and include Covid responsible measures in your plans and risk assessments.
  • At indoor meetings, face coverings must be worn by Guides, Rangers and volunteers unless exempt. Face coverings are not required when eating or drinking.
  • Social distancing is not required, but it is recommended in crowded spaces, spaces with no fresh air, and when you need to get close to another person, so you can stay Covid responsible, unless you are medically exempt.
  • If your meeting place has a QR code, adults should scan in using the NHS Covid-19 app.
  • It is advisable that you review your risk assessment to ensure that you are still meeting in a Covid responsible way, including adding any updates required around use of face coverings.

Residential trips

Trips and overnight stays are allowed indoors and outdoors if you follow this guidance:

  • Girlguiding needs everyone over 11 years old in England to have a negative result from a rapid lateral flow test before they leave for the trip. Further rapid testing must be done every 48-72 hours while away and another test taken when they get home. If you have a Guide unit, then some girls may be under 11 and will not need to test.
  • NHS Test and Trace advise that anyone who has had Covid-19 within the last 90 days shouldn’t be tested further as the dead virus cells can cause false positives. So, if anyone has had a positive Covid-19 test within 90 days they don’t need to be tested again. They should only come on the trip if they have no symptoms (with the exception of a cough or loss of taste or smell as these are persistent symptoms). If someone who has had Covid-19 in the last 90 days shows signs or symptoms of illness they should still isolate and seek advice as normal.
  • If a member over 11 years old will not take part in testing, then they must not come on the trip. This is unless they have a written statement from a medical or psychological professional explaining that they are exempt. We do not need to know why.
  • If a member who needs to take a test will not agree to take tests while on the trip, they must return home.
  • There’s no limit on group size, this includes adults, young people and day visitors.
  • There's no limit on the amount of people who can share a tent, room or sleeping space.
  • Face-coverings are required indoors unless eating, drinking or sleeping.
  • Groups can mix with other groups. And supporting adults can work across groups, for example, activity instructors or catering staff.
  • Have plans in place in case someone tests positive or shows symptoms and needs to isolate and return home.
  • Follow all the Covid responsible rules of the venue you’re using, including when these are stricter than Girlguiding’s.
  • Check the terms and conditions of your booking and risk assess different scenarios. You might need to arrange insurance for different things, for example, travel and cancellation. We recommend having an insurance policy that includes Covid-19 cover so you’re fully prepared before your trip.
  • Let parents or carers know about all the extra measures being taken, lateral flow test expectations and possible isolation risks.

International travel

International travel is allowed as long as you follow Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice. But youth sector guidance recommends that you don't travel abroad at this time.

You should be aware that the green, amber and red travel list, as well as other travel guidance and policy, may change, both during planning and while you're away. Countries on the green list might move onto amber or red lists, and this might happen during a trip. You need to follow international travel legislation for the country you're going to and for returning to England, and make back-up plans if any changes to the rules do affect you before or during your trip. 

Here are some things to think about:

  • You shouldn't travel to any country where you will be expected to quarantine on arrival.
  • You must have adequate insurance in place to cover potential changes. Make sure you're aware of any Covid-19 restrictions in place in the country you're travelling to, as well as the requirements for coming back to England.
  • Permission to Plan and REN forms for International Trips are currently being approved at Country/Region level.

This guidance is taken from government and Department for Education advice, National Youth Agency (NYA) guidelines and Girlguiding best practice.

Your face-to-face meeting risk assessments must be signed off by your local commissioner.

Stay Covid responsible

Follow these guidelines for Northern Ireland:

  • Indoor meetings are allowed. Group size should be considered in your risk assessment. And you don't need to stay in 'bubbles'.
  • Outdoor meetings are allowed with no limits on group sizes. This also applies to adults meeting outdoors.
  • Day trips are allowed. Make sure to follow the rules of the venue and include Covid responsible measures in your plans and risk assessments.
  • Social distancing between young members is recommended where practical. Public health guidance includes social distancing of 2 metres between adults or between adults and young people.
  • Indoors, face coverings must be worn by Guides and Rangers and volunteers unless exempt. At outdoor events, volunteers need to wear face coverings if they cannot keep a 2 metre distance from others.
  • Units can meet consecutively in the same venue as long as the space is thoroughly cleaned between groups.

Residentials

Trips and overnight stays are allowed indoors and outdoors if you follow this guidance:

  • We recommend that adults and young members aged 11+ are invited to take a lateral flow test (LFT) before the residential begins and during the residential. This is voluntary. And you need informed consent from a parent or carer before testing anyone under 16.
  • For indoor and outdoor residentials, the maximum group size is now sixty for under 18s, including leaders. The group must have exclusive use of any facilities or accommodation at the venue. Shared sleeping accommodation is permitted but be aware that if a participant tests positive, those sharing sleeping accommodation will be considered close contacts.
  • Each group should have its own toilet and showering facilities.
  • Groups attending the same venue should not be mixing either during programmed activities or free time.
  • Outdoor activities should be run for one group at a time, and the facilities cleaned between uses.
  • Have plans in place in case someone tests positive or shows symptoms and needs to isolate and return home.
  • Follow all the Covid responsible rules of the venue you’re using, including when these are stricter than Girlguiding’s.
  • Check the terms and conditions of your booking and risk assess different scenarios. You might need to arrange insurance for different things, for example, travel and cancellation. We recommend having an insurance policy that includes Covid-19 cover so you’re fully prepared before your trip.
  • Let parents or carers know about all the extra measures being taken, lateral flow test expectations and possible isolation risks.

International travel is now allowed as long as it's planned with sufficient notice and in line with Education Authority Guidelines. Please make sure you're keeping your commissioner and the international team updated with any plans. The NI Education Authority has provided further details on planning residential trips and international visits.

This guidance is taken from Northern Ireland Education Authority advice which covers youth work settings and Girlguiding best practice.

Your face to face risk assessments must be signed off by your local commissioner.

Stay Covid responsible

Follow these guidelines for guiding in Scotland:

  • There is no limit on group size for your meetings, or on the number of volunteers you can have. And you do not need to split groups into bubbles.
  • Although social distancing is not required, we recommend you practise this in poorly ventilated or crowded spaces so you can stay Covid responsible.
  • At indoor meetings, face coverings must be worn by Guides aged 12+, Rangers and volunteers unless exempt. Find out about face covering exemptions.
  • Day trips and adult meetings are allowed. Make sure to follow the rules of the venue and include Covid responsible measures in your plans.

Residentials

Trips and overnight stays are are allowed indoors and outdoors if you follow this guidance:

  • We recommended that adults and young members aged 12+ are invited to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test 2 days before the residential begins. But this is voluntary.
  • There’s no limit on group size, this includes adults, young people and day visitors.
  • There’s also no limit on the numbers who can share a room or tent.
  • It’s recommended that, where possible, children and young people do not use bathrooms at the same time as those outside their room/tent group, to minimise the risk of transmission. More than two groups can use the same shared spaces so long as each group can remain separate. You should avoid mixing where possible.
  • Have plans in place in case someone tests positive or shows symptoms and needs to isolate and return home.
  • Follow all the Covid responsible rules of the venue you’re using, including when these are stricter than Girlguiding’s.
  • Check the terms and conditions of your booking and assess the risk of different scenarios. You might need to arrange insurance for different things, for example, travel and cancellation. We recommend having an insurance policy that includes Covid-19 cover so you’re fully prepared before your trip.
  • Let parents or carers know about all the extra measures being taken, lateral flow test expectations and possible isolation risks.

International travel is now allowed, but think carefully whether the benefit of a trip would be appropriate in light of current guidance both at home and in your destination country. Read more about the current international travel guidance for Scotland.

This guidance is taken from government advice, Scottish government guidance and Girlguiding best practice.

Your face to face risk assessments must be signed off by Girlguiding Cymru safeguarding and risk team. Send them to [email protected] and copy in your county commissioner.

Check the Girlguiding Cymru website for further information on the risk assessment process in Wales.

Stay Covid responsible

Follow these guidelines for guiding in Wales

  • There’s no limit on group size for your meetings, or on the number of volunteers you can have but your venue might have. Check with your venue as they might have rules about group sizes. You do not need to split groups into bubbles.
  • Although social distancing is not required, we recommend you practice this in poorly ventilated or crowded spaces so you can stay Covid responsible.
  • Face coverings need to be worn in most inside settings by anyone aged 11+, check the rules that apply at your venue. Guides aged 11+, Rangers and volunteers should all wear face coverings unless exempt. Find out about face covering exemptions. Face coverings don’t need to be worn outdoors.
  • Day trips and adult meetings are allowed. Make sure to follow the rules of the venue and include Covid responsible measures in your plans and risk assessments.

Residentials

Trips and overnight stays are allowed indoors and outdoors if you follow this guidance:

  • You can have no more than 30 young members in your group (adults are additional to this number) more information can be found on the Welsh government’s website. There’s no limit on the numbers who can share a room or tent. .
  • A risk assessment must be completed and sent to the Girlguiding Cymru safeguarding and risk team.
  • Have plans in place in case someone tests positive or shows symptoms and needs to isolate and return home. They should travel in private transport if possible.
  • Follow all the Covid responsible rules of the venue you’re using, including when these are stricter than Girlguiding’s.
  • Check the terms and conditions of your booking and risk assess different scenarios. You might need to arrange insurance for different things, for example, travel and cancellation. We recommend having an insurance policy that includes Covid-19 cover so you’re fully prepared before your trip.
  • Let parents or carers know about all the extra measures being taken and possible isolation risks.

International travel is not yet allowed.

This guidance is taken from Welsh government advice and Girlguiding best practice.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

I have a question about...

How can I welcome a new girl to my unit if we're meeting online?

You and another adult volunteer should talk with the new starter and their parent or carer about how your unit is running. If you’re doing online guiding, talking over a video call could be a chance to see if they can join online meetings.

There are some specific forms for virtual meetings that you can send to parents:

These must be completed before you share any specific log-in details for your meetings.

All the things you do in your unit to keep girls safe still apply when we go online. So, make sure you check all our virtual safeguarding information:

To help with responding to new starter enquiries, we’ve created template emails that you can adapt and use when contacting new parents and carers.

Where can I find Girlguiding programme materials online? 

Check out our Adventures at home hub for a range of programme activitiesThere’s a mix of programme activities and fun new ideas. And our YouTube channel is packed with how-to videos and activities to try in your meetings or at home.
If you’re meeting virtually or want tips for maintaining social distance during games and activities, check out our suggestions on adapting activities.

How do I help girls continue with their Queen's Guide award and Duke of Edinburgh award?

Everything you need is on our Queen's Guide award guidance page and our Duke of Edinburgh award guidance page.

Are all British Girlguiding Overseas (BGO) units closed?

Different places around the world are at different stages of coming into or going out of lockdown because of coronavirus, so it varies across BGO. If you have questions about this, check with your commissioner in BGO.

Will there be any changes to programme requirements? 

We’ve reduced the number of skills builder activities needed to complete each stage. And girls don’t need as many unit meeting activity hours to achieve their Theme awards. These changes are in place until 31 July 2022. Find out what we've changed.

What information can we share with people who may have had contact with someone who's now self-isolating or experiencing symptoms?

From a data protection point of view, volunteers and parents in the persons regular unit can be informed.
Any other volunteers present on the day can let their unit’s volunteers and parents know that a member has possibly contracted the virus. We recommend that they look out for symptoms and follow the public health advice where they live.

Will I be liable if someone contracts Covid-19 at a Girlguiding meeting?

No, you will not. Girlguiding’s public liability insurance covers anyone attending a Girlguiding meeting, event or activity against claims of injury, harm or damage unless they have acted deliberately negligently.

This means that you won't be held personally liable for any accident, or an illness contracted as long as you’ve taken all due care, completed a Covid responsible risk assessment and followed our policies, procedures and guidance.

What training do I need to run virtual unit meetings?

We always need to make sure that unit meetings are safe, whether they’re in person or online. So at least one leader, assistant leader or leader-in-training who has completed their Level 3 A Safe Space training must be in your virtual unit meetings.

Make sure you check out our guidance for safe guiding online

Can my unit meet at my house? Or in my garden?

No, they can’t. Meeting with anyone under 18 isn’t allowed in private homes or gardens. See our health safety and welfare policy for more detail.

For rules in BGO units, please check with your commissioner.

How can we stay socially distanced when giving first aid?

We recommend you wear a face covering when you need to be close to someone else, so consider putting on a mask before giving first aid.

What first aid cover should be provided at meetings?

All meetings need to have a qualified first aider present. Most of the time this will be a Girlguiding volunteer with a valid 1st Response qualification or an approved external first aid qualification.

If the venue or company you are using supplies first aid cover, this will count as having a first aider. Let your commissioner know if this is the case.

Find out more about 1st Response qualifications and renewal extensions

Can we serve food at activities and meetings?

Yes, you can. This must be carefully risk assessed to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Good hygiene practice must be followed and anyone handling food must wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This should be done routinely, including before and after handling food and when moving between different areas of the space.

What if my commissioner won't sign off my meeting risk assessment?

The process for the outdoor and indoor meeting checklist and risk assessment should work in the same way as the Residential Event Notification form.

If your commissioner has not signed off your risk assessment, it’s best to talk to them about it. They might have questions about your planning or could ask you to make changes that will help you to reduce risk and keep members safe.

Can my unit sing and perform?

Singing in groups is a high-risk activity during Covid-19.

We recommend checking local guidance and assessing the risks of the activity and making sure your venue is well ventilated. Singing outdoors is safer than singing inside. And you should avoid having people face each other as they sing.

You can also (if local guidance allows singing) put on a performance with an audience. This should be risk assessed under the current restrictions but you should also have thought about what you will do if restrictions increase in the upcoming months. Find more information about planning a performance on the website.

How can I keep my meeting space clean?

Cleaning is an essential part of staying Covid responsible at our indoor meetings. You should include plans for cleaning in your risk assessment. This should say when it will be done and who will handle making sure it’s done.

When we talk about thorough cleaning, we mean:

  • Cleaning more often. It's essential to clean before meetings, in between consecutive meetings and after the meetings.
  • Pay particular attention to often touched surfaces and often used areas. For example, door handles, window latches, toilet flush, soap dispensers, taps.
  • Remove any unnecessary items. Taking things out of the meeting space means they won't be touched and will make cleaning more straightforward.
  • Reusable equipment should be, where possible, replaced with disposable versions. For example, use paper towels in the toilet, instead of a hand towel.

If you rent the space from someone else, find out from them who'll handle the cleaning. They might have an employed cleaner or designated member of their team who is responsible.

Are there any restrictions on what activities we can do in our meetings?

There are no restrictions on specific activities, although our prohibited activities list must still be followed.

You must risk assess all activities to make sure they can be done in a Covid responsible way, with everyone following the relevant guidelines for your area.

Check out our suggestions on how to adapt programme activities for socially distanced or online meetings.

The same process should be followed for more adventurous activities. If you’re using an external provider, ask to see their risk assessment and check they are working in a Covid responsible way.

Can I hold an event for multiple units?

Yes – more than one unit can come together for an event.

Total numbers should be within the limits allowed for your country. Throughout the UK, these are now based on venue capacity for the youth sector. You must stay Covid responsible during the event. Think about how larger numbers will affect your planned activities.   

If I have to cancel a trip and we don't get a refund, do I have to pay parents back?

If you can get any money back or can claim on your events insurance, then do pass the refund on to parents and carers. If you can’t recover any money, and parents or carers have already paid for the trip, then clearly explain what’s happened and why you can’t give refunds.

Although lockdown has now lifted, there’s still a chance that events will need to be cancelled because of Covid-19 cases or needing to isolate. Make sure this is explained to parents and carers before they book onto any trips.

I'm part of a management committee that looks after a Girlguiding property. What advice is there for managing a building?

Take a look at our advice on managing properties during coronavirus.

You should also stay up to date with the relevant government guidance on managing property during this time. For campsites and activity centres, you can find  UK government website.

Should I cancel events we've planned for later in the year?

At the moment, UK guidance means it’s ok to plan events for later in the year. But remember that regulations can change, so plan for the possibility that you’ll need to cancel.

Make sure you include Covid responsible measures in your risk assessment and check your insurance covers you if you do need to cancel the trip.

My unit have a trip booked with PGL, can we go?

PGL's centres are open and trips to these are allowed if you follow the guidance for your nation.

We’ve been working closely with PGL since the start of the pandemic. PGL are handling all enquiries and prioritising these by planned trip date. You'll be given the opportunity to move your booking if you’re unable to travel under current government restrictions. Please see their terms and conditions and contact [email protected] for support with any queries. If you need any further support, contact [email protected].

Can we do any Duke of Edinburgh's and Queens Guide award expeditions and explorations? 

Yes, you can do expeditions for these awards as long as you follow all the residential guidelines for your area. Visit our Duke of Edinburgh and Queen's Guide award guidance pages for our latest advice.

When can I plan residentials in the UK? 

Yes, residentials can go ahead throughout the UK.

Check the rules of your nation to make sure you follow any restrictions when you plan your trip and stay Covid responsible.

When can I travel internationally?

Groups based in England can go on international trips. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, overseas travel is not yet allowed.

Groups need to take into account the changing nature of Foreign, Commonweath and Development Office guidelines. Be aware that countries continue to move between red, green and amber lists. You need to include the changing nature of the guidance in your planning and risk assessment.

I already have permission to plan for a trip abroad later this year. Can I get started on planning?

If you’re already planning a trip for later in the year, you should think about the practicality of the trip before deciding to go ahead with planning.

Look at your terms and conditions, cost, the current regulations around coronavirus and speak to your leadership team, girls’ parents and carers, and your provider about your options.

If you need more guidance after you’ve talked to key people involved, then you can get in touch with your country and region international advisor for support.

You should only make payments for the trip once you have comprehensive insurance in place and you know travel will be possible. This will protect you in case the situation changes.

I already have permission to plan for a trip in 2022. Can I go ahead with planning?

You can plan and fundraiser for trips as long as you follow the relevant guidance for your nation.

Do not pay any deposits or booking fees until you have comprehensive insurance in place, to protect you if the situation changes.

Can I start planning a new international trip?

Before starting to plan an international trip, you should discuss this with your country/region international advisor. Permission to plan forms must be submitted at a country/region level.

Do not pay any deposits or booking fees until you have permission to travel from your nation and you have comprehensive insurance in place, to protect you if the situation changes.

How can I make sure my insurance cover is comprehensive?

You need to find the best cover to suit your trip.

Covid-19 cover varies, so try to get the most thorough cover you can find. It’s unlikely you’ll find insurance that will cover all eventualities, so make sure you understand what is included and what is not. Make sure this is included in your risk assessment. And explain the insurance cover to everyone attending the trip or their parents and carers.

Some key things you should consider when choosing insurance. And include these possible situations in your risk assessment:

  • What happens if the trip can’t go ahead due to government restrictions? Will you get a refund from the travel providers or be able to claim on the insurance?
  • What happens if someone can’t attend because they’ve got Covid-19, has symptoms or needs to self-isolate? Is this covered and what refund will they get? What happens if it’s an essential person, like the trip leader? If you’re finding it hard to find group travel insurance with good Covid-19 cover, you might want to consider taking out individual travel insurance. Talk about this with your international adviser.
  • What happens if someone catches Covid-19 on the trip and needs to go to the hospital? Usually, your insurance will cover illness, but make sure this specifically includes Covid-19. Check if you have cover for cancelling activities, in case your whole group need to isolate or return home.
  • Assess the risks of any other scenarios you might face, check what cover is available and then decide. If you find a new company that offers the cover you want but you are not familiar with it, you can check it with the Financial Conduct Authority.

I'm planning a large-scale event. How can I decide if it should go ahead?

We know there's a lot to consider when planning a large-scale event. Look through our large-scale event guidance and support.

When you’re planning, consider these points before deciding to go ahead:

  • What costs will you have? Look at all the different elements, contracts and terms and conditions. When do you need to pay the deposit and the full balance? And what happens if you need to cancel or postpone? It’s a good idea to put these into a timetable and risk assess the different scenarios.
  • Use this to decide if you can go ahead or to see when you’ll need to make that decision. Make sure you understand the financial risks to the organisers and to the participants.
  • Any financial risk to the participants needs to be made clear when they’re signing up. Make sure everyone knows what will happen if the event is cancelled or postponed, or if they can’t come.
  • Check what elements are covered by your insurance. It might not be possible to get cancellation cover with full Covid-19 cover so you need to understand what you’re covered for and what you’re not. Include this in your risk assessment.
  • If you’re inviting international guests or members of British Girlguiding Overseas, you’ll need to think about changing travel restrictions, both in the UK and for the country they are travelling from.
  • Check the numbers allowed at an event and in groups in your nation. Will groups be expected to stay separate, or can they mix?

It’s best to follow the current guidelines in your plan but remember that things can change and might become more, or less, restrictive. This is the same approach Girlguiding is taking to planning its own large-scale events.

Can I hold an event for multiple units?

Yes – more than one unit can come together for an event. This includes running large scale events for many units. Check our advice on running large events.

Total numbers should be within the limits allowed for your country. For the youth sector across the UK, this is based on the capacity of your venue. You must stay Covid responsible during the event. Think about how larger numbers will affect your planned activities.

Can we take young members on a day trip?

Yes you can! You'll need to take steps to keep your trip covid responsible, according to the restrictions for your nation. All day trips should be risk assessed and a copy of the risk assessment sent to your local commissioner for sign off.

Do I still need to do my A Safe Space training?

Yes, A Safe Space training is mandatory for all volunteers.

Level 1 and 2 can be completed online as e-learnings. And we’re now able to also train Levels 3 and 4 remotely – ask your commissioner about how this is delivered in your area or contact your country or region office.

All volunteers must complete the training levels needed for their role and renew regularly to remain up to date. Renewal must be done before your expiry date.

I’ve been sent a reminder that I need to do a DBS check, but I can’t do the check in a Covid responsible way. What can I do?

If you're not currently volunteering you don't need to do your check, as long as you do get one completed before returning to your volunteering role. You must talk to your local commissioner about ending your volunteering role on GO. All active volunteer roles must have a disclosure check, so if your role stays active when you’re not volunteering you risk having your membership withdrawn if you do not complete the check.

Active volunteers should complete DBS, Access NI and PVG checks following our usual process.

If you have health concerns or personal circumstances that mean you cannot safely meet with an ID verifier to complete a DBS check, get in touch with the compliance team at [email protected] to request an extension to the deadline.

I have outstanding actions from a complaint, compliance, or safeguarding enquiry, do I have to continue with those requests?

As much as is possible yes. The complaints, compliance and safeguarding teams will continue to offer support to investigate and supply outcomes for concerns raised.

In many cases, this information can be gathered via email, video meetings and phone calls. If that's not possible and you're unable to progress an investigation, let the relevant team know. They can work with you to mitigate any risks and plan the next steps.

I'm concerned about a young member or an adult volunteer who has lost their Girlguiding support network, what can I do?

If you have concerns about a volunteer who may be more vulnerable without their social or guiding networks - please get in touch with our safeguarding team to share your concerns [email protected].

What happens if my 1st Response training expires while there’s no training being delivered?

Parts of 1st Response can be done virtually, and we now allow people renewing their 1st Response qualification to act as a first aider before they complete the practical session. Read more about renewing your 1st Response training.

In-person training is running in some areas, so talk to your commissioner or country/region office to find out about upcoming training.

What should I do if I know a young member is not following Covid-19 rules outside of guiding?

We can’t police what happens outside of the unit meetings and guiding activities. Young members are our responsibility once they come through the door of their unit meeting. This is why we’re Covid responsible while they’re with us.

How many volunteers can meet in person if it's an adult only meeting?

Check the information for your nation for the local limits on group numbers. There might also be limits put in place by your venue, so check with them too.

You must continue to stay Covid responsible at adult meetings and training. We recommend sticking to small groups where possible. See our organising indoor training sessions guidance for further details.

Social meet ups for volunteers and leaders should also follow the relevant national guidance.

Is the London Girlguiding shop open?

The Girlguiding shop on Buckingham Palace Road is open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Is there any advice for opening volunteer shops?

We know that all volunteer shops work differently. So, if you're ready to re-open, we recommend you do a risk assessment and follow the UK government guidance.

If you have any questions that aren't answered in the FAQs above, please contact [email protected]