Delivering diversity

Find out what we learned from pilots seeking to increase and diversify our membership

We want to get even more girls into guiding.

Delivering Diversity saw us undertake four pilots focused on understanding how we can make Girlguiding accessible to all.

At the end of 2017 until March 2020, we embarked on a project to increase and diversify our membership. It was funded by The UPS Foundation and WAGGGS (the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) to help us understand how diverse and inclusive we are. We explored barriers and potential solutions, to improve the socio-economic, racial and religious diversity of our membership. 

Over the two-years the project ran it helped to: 

  • Recruit 2,131 new volunteers  
  • Welcome 3,837 new girls  
  • Create a Core Data and Insight team so that key decisions could be driven by data and led by insight 
  • Deliver two successful national volunteer recruitment campaigns  
  • Support volunteers to welcome new volunteers  
  • Secure new funding from the Uniformed Youth Fund to expand pilot ideas during the project, helping us recruit and welcome new volunteers so more girls can join  
  • Secure new funding from People’s Postcode Lottery and Sport England to take forward learnings from the project and other recommendations that were made  

In the project, we rolled out pilot ideas to learn how we can be more inclusive and diverse. These included:  

Grant pilot 

We offer a number of national grants at Girlguiding to support new and existing units. The grant in this pilot offered units financial support so that any girl who wants to become a member of Girlguiding can, no matter what their background or circumstance. However, feedback from members showed there were barriers to those in need of grants getting them. From this pilot we learned the importance of awareness, accessibility, and simplicity when offering grants.  

Flexible guiding pilot  

This pilot let us explore different ways to ‘do’ guiding. We tested different models of guiding to suit the needs of girls, their families and volunteers, by working with specific communities to redefine the restrictions of the classic model whereby units meet after school and in term time. It became clear we would need to allow more time, provide more encouragement and offer direct support to help volunteers adapt to these needs. 

Underrepresented communities pilot 

We found that, in some communities, Girlguiding has limited visibility and there is a lack of understanding about what we do. To explore ways to improve this, we ran a pilot which built a relationship with the Muslim Council of Britain. We attended key events, including Visit my Mosque and presented to their aspiring leaders on the Women in Mosques Programme. We also invited them along to some of our key events.

This pilot helped to start much-needed dialogue and helped us take positive steps to being a more diverse and inclusive organisation. We released new multi-faith badges, mandatory staff diversity and inclusion training and a diverse recruitment process for new trustees.  

Volunteer recruitment pilot  

This pilot was set up to take Girlguiding to new audiences for volunteer recruitment. We wanted to make sure volunteers received the warmest of welcomes so that girls have representative role models in Girlguiding. We did this by supporting commissioners with their commitment to diversity and inclusion, creating recruitment toolkits, delivering national and local recruitment campaigns and creating warm welcome pilots. 


Through this project, we reached four recommendations which have helped us create our new Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Power up our inclusion, flexibility and collaboration 

We need to ensure that everyone at Girlguiding takes responsibility for diversity and inclusion. One way we can do this is by designing and delivering learning and development opportunities that give local Girlguiding volunteers confidence to proactively reach underrepresented communities.  

Build a stronger, more collaborative relationship with volunteers

We need to build confidence and enhance the support on offer, which includes improving the equality and diversity training given to staff and provide volunteers with the same level of training. 

Build trust, and design guiding with girls and their communities 

We need to understand cultural differences and gain confidence in community outreach. One way of doing this is designing growth projects in collaboration with the girls and communities we are targeting. 

Make funding work harder for our strategic goals 

We need to create deep and long-lasting impact to ensure our projects leave a legacy. We need to engage and manage long-term relationships with a more diverse range of non-funding partners.