Being our best

As 2020 draws closer, we look back at everything we’ve achieved over the last 5 years.

17 December 2019

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When we revealed our Being our best plan for 2020, it was the first time we had all – girls, volunteers and staff – come together to decide what we wanted Girlguiding to look like in the future.

It was a huge consultation involving nearly 23,000 people. Together we laid out our vision for the future of Girlguiding. What we’d work on and what we’d achieve. And over the last 5 years we’ve been making that vision a reality.

Everything we wanted to achieve was grouped under four themes – Excellence, Access, Voice and Capacity. And as we approach 2020, and talk to even more of our members, parents, and girls in our planning for a new strategy, we wanted to look back at some of what we’ve done together to make a difference.

Excellence

A huge part of our plan for excellence was reviewing and renewing our entire programme of badges, activities and everything girls do in unitsThroughout the renewal journey, we were talking to girls and members, trying new activities, testing ideas and changing what wasn’t working.

In summer 2018 we revealed our new, modern and inspiring programme to the world, landing in National newspapers and trending on Twitter! Now everyone in guiding, no matter what section they are in, works to the same programme. And we’ve introduced topics and skills that are relevant to the lives of girls today.

Another part of getting better was giving more support to our members to help them deliver great guiding. We’ve introduced lots of fresh e-learning and we launched new A Safe Space training, so we can all know we’re being our best at keeping girls safe.

 That’s not all - we started new events for girls, offering them laughs, learning and challenge at our Activity centres and around the country.

Access

The Access theme was our pledge to work together and make sure that more girls from all backgrounds would benefit from what we do.

To reach even more people, we spread the word about guiding in our first ever awareness campaign. Announcing to the world that we were #ForTheGirl in a brilliant short film. The following year we turned the phrase ‘know your place’ on its head to show women and girls that they had a place with us – inspiring the next generation. And inspiration was the theme for last year’s Inspire Girls campaign. This latest campaign has attracted 5,396 new volunteers into guiding.

It’s been great to spread the word about guiding, but we also wanted to make sure we’re able to support all girls. We’ve been developing and sharing thorough guidance on including all in your unit, from how to support disabled girls and volunteers, to practical advice on overcoming social or economic barriers that hold girls back from taking part. We’ve launched new grants to help accessibility, for units in need, and for units that are growing in less-well off areas.

And we celebrated all our LGBT members, with units up and down the country attending Pride marches and showing everyone that girls can be proud.

More Access: We ran successful projects to improve access to guiding and deliver diversity across our organisation.

Voice

In the Voice theme, we committed to listening to girls and promoting their voice. We made strides in raising Girlguiding’s profile and making change on issues important to girls, like sexual harassment in schools and Sex and Relationship Education.

Our Advocate panel gives girls the opportunity to influence the advocacy and research work we do, and speak out about Girlguiding and the issues that matter to them. And similarly, Action for Change gives girls the tools to not just speak out, but use their voices and actions to make a real change on the issues they care about.

Outside of these projects, we’ve been listening to girls across our organisation, from Rainbows to Rangers. When we launched Future Girl, we heard from over 76,000 girls about the changes they’d like to see in the world. And we’ll keep working to make those changes a reality. Girls told us they are worried about the environment, so we ran our first community-wide social action week, Future Girl Acts, where 5,859 units (approximately 104,124 girls) took action on plastic pollution.

We also heard from girls every year in our Girls’ Attitudes Survey – which reached it’s 10-year anniversary in 2018. We’ve now been listening to girls, in and out of guiding, for 11 years. Using this survey to share their thoughts and fears on wellbeing, safety, sexism, technology and more. It’s even been used in parliament!

Future Girl wasn’t the only time we asked what girls thought – we did huge consultation when creating our programme of badges and activities, and girls and members across the country have shared their views to form our new strategy for 2020+.

Capacity

Our Capacity theme was all about working collaboratively to improve our processes and decision-making. And we’ve made lots of big changes, involving you, our members, at every turn.

Girlguiding has launched a new website and a new online shop, giving Girlguiding a modern presence in the digital world and making it easier for you to find what you need. Both these sites were developed, built and tested with insight and advice from volunteers and members.

We’ve gained some incredible new partners, meaning we can bring even more benefits to our members. Partners like Googlethe British Army and Odeon help us bring new experiences to girls – like our favourite movie screenings – and support our programme by sponsoring badges. Their support means we can do more and reach more people.

And it's not just been girls’ we want to hear from in all our consultations – we’ve spoken to members about the programme, our strategy for 2020+ and how we communicate with all our members. And our annual membership survey gives everyone a chance to tell us how we can improve.

What you’ve done

All our members have done amazing work to support our Being our best plan – thank you for everything you’ve done to help us achieve this amazing vision. We couldn't do it without you!

  • 55% of volunteers completed Level 1 of A Safe Space training.
  • 533,537 skills builders completed.
  • 205,652 interest badges completed.
  • 55,000 leaders have completed some programme training.
  • 111,659 tickets sold for Big Gig.
  • 24,068 girls and members went to Wellies and Wristbands
  • 655 miles run by Girlguiding supporters in the London marathon
  • 102 full marathons have been completed by marathon and half marathon walkers
  • 92 supporters have ventured overseas to China, Peru, Costa Rica or Vietnam to complete a charity challenge.
  • 786 Queen’s Guide awards achieved.