Funding update: unit recovery grants

Find out what feedback we got after we awarded the unit recovery grants as part of the Community Match Challenge.

19 May 2021

We have awarded all unit recovery grants and completed payments for the first year of the Community Match Challenge programme – and have received lots of useful feedback.

The government’s Community Match Challenge scheme supports frontline charities working with
those most affected by Covid-19. At Girlguiding, we used this funding to deliver our unit recovery grants to support young people living in disadvantaged areas or units with exceptional circumstances.

What grants were made?

The programme gave unit recovery grants of £250 each to 1,836 units in England. The grants were made possible thanks to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Pears Foundation, as part of the DCMS Community Match Challenge.

We received additional funds from Pears Foundation to fund 400 grants for Scotland, Ulster and Wales.

Funds raised by our amazing members during the Act your Age challenge in partnership with BBC Children in Need were used to award grants to 40 British Girlguiding Overseas units in 5 countries and will be used to award more UK grants in 2021.

What feedback did we get?

We got a lot of positive feedback from our unit leaders and commissioners:

"This is brilliant news. One of my parents has just cried with relief at this news. She has had to take time off work to look after our Rainbow who has had Covid and she is already on a low income. She is really struggling to pay for food. It has kept her, and other Rainbows in the unit in guiding. These are the girls who will get so much out of it. Thank you so much."
– Unit leader

"That’s great news thank you so much for supporting our unit, means so much to be able to keep our Brownie unit going during these strange times."
- Unit leader

"Big thank you, much appreciated and less sleepless nights. Appreciate all your hard work in the background in securing this funding. Our parents are grateful for all our continued support to their girls throughout this current lockdown. The girls are an inspiration to us all. They bring a smile to my face every week and are a medicine to keep us all sane. Stay safe and keep up all the good support."
– Unit leader

"I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who has worked on getting these grant applications processed and out to us all. This will really help our girls so much. Well done everyone involved."
- Unit leader

"The psychological impact in the units that were successful with the grants has been immense. The relief they experienced was very real. We really think it made a substantial difference to volunteers mental well-being."
- County commissioner

You said, we did

Leaders who applied for the grants also gave us feedback about what their units need to survive and thrive. Here are some of your responses and what we did about them:

  • You said you would like a national campaign to help with recruitment of girls. This is being rolled out in June 2021.
  • You said you need more volunteers. A targeted recruitment campaign began in April 2021 in the areas most in need of volunteers, followed by a big uptick in enquiries.
  • You said you would like other help with recruitment of girls and volunteers. Have a look at our recruitment resources and get in touch with your commissioner for more help.
  • You said you would like more activities for virtual guiding. Check out this new pack of unit meeting activities, which we released in February.
  • You said you would like more guidance on how to meet safely during Covid-19. Find our guidance on keeping safe here.
  • You said your volunteers and potential volunteers need more access to training including First Aid and A Safe Space. More staff support has now been provided to make this happen. Also, volunteers who have completed their theory refresher but not their practical module will have a further six months to do this.
  • You said you would like more support with fundraising. You can find our fundraising resources here. Get in touch with your commissioner if you’d like more help.
  • You said you need more time to spend the grant. We will have a longer lead-in time for the next Community Match Challenge grants programme.
  • You said you needed more communication from the grants team about various topics, for example when you will be paid. We will improve this for the next grants programme.

Next year of the programme

We are now starting to plan year 2 of the project. We expect to open to applications in late September. Find out more on the Community Match Challenge grants page.

If you have questions we haven’t answered here, contact us at [email protected].