Unit recovery grants

Grants to help units in disadvantaged areas recover from Covid-19

05 January 2021

Update March 2021: The Community Match Challenge grant programme 2020-21 is now closed and all grants have been awarded. Final grant payments should be received by 24 March 2021.
There will be a new grant programme later in 2021. We'll have further information on this page after August 2021. We will also be contacting eligible units and their commissioners when the fund is launched.  

Support for units in areas of need

Girlguiding units in disadvantaged areas can receive a unit recovery grant of £250 to help them continue supporting girls in their community during the coronavirus pandemic.

The grants have been made possible thanks to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Pears Foundation, as part of the DCMS Community Match Challenge, alongside additional funds raised by our amazing members during the Act your Age challenge in partnership with BBC Children in Need.

Who will receive a grant? 

The grants are there to support young people living in disadvantaged areas or units with exceptional circumstances. Evidence shows that disadvantaged areas have been worst affected by Covid-19. We’re therefore targeting the funding at selected units in areas of high deprivation, based on the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI). A small number of grants will also be offered to units nominated by their commissioners due to exceptional circumstances. 

If your unit is eligible, you’ll receive an email inviting you to apply.

Part of the funding for these grants is specific to England and we will be contacting units in England first.

I haven’t had an email but I need a grant. Can I apply?

From 20 January we will invite units that have been nominated by a commissioner to apply. If you haven’t been invited to apply, then unfortunately you aren’t eligible to apply for this funding round.

Some local areas are offering financial support to units from other funding sources – contact your commissioner to find out about other support options. If you have been unable to make contact with your commissioner and urgently need help please contact Volunteer Support.

Receiving your grant

If you have received an email inviting you to apply for a grant, you need to: 

  • Apply as soon as possible because grants will only be awarded until funds run out 
  • If your application is approved, your grant must be spent by 31 March 2021.
  • You can apply for more than one unit, but you can only apply for units you have received an invitation email to apply for. 

What can I spend the grant on?

The purpose of the grants is to help keep Girlguiding units open. The £250 can be spent on:

  • Annual subscriptions
  • Equipment/materials to support face-to-face guiding (indoor or outdoor) such as Covid safety materials such as sanitiser and masks
  • Equipment/software to support virtual guiding such as activity packs
  • Materials/expenses related to at home guiding
  • Training
  • Venue costs such as hall rent - the grant can't be used to buy or improve a venue building
  • Volunteer recruitment or retention
  • Young member recruitment or retention such as posters
  • Other purchases that will help your unit to stay open

How will the grant be paid?

We'll send the grant to your unit's bank account and you’ll receive an email letting you know it's been paid. If your unit doesn't currently have a bank account, or your bank account is not accessible, you may apply for the money to be paid into another Girlguiding bank account, such as another unit, your district, division or county.

You'll need to include full bank account details and upload a photograph or scan of your most recent bank statement or building society book to complete the application. We cannot pay grants into personal bank accounts.

When will the grant be paid?

The earlier you apply, the quicker we'll be able to process it. Our response times will depend on the volume of applications we're processing. So applying close to the deadline will likely result in a longer wait for money. You’ll receive an email to the address you provided in your application to let you know it has been paid.

What if I don’t need the grant?

Please help us to offer grants to units in most need by letting us know as soon as you can via the application form you received in your invitation email.

How is the grant funded?

Unit recovery grants have been made possible thanks to a range of support. 

The majority of funding has been granted through a match-funding partnership between Pears Foundation and DCMS, as part of Government’s £750m charities support package.  As a long-term Partner of Pears Foundation, Girlguiding has been chosen to distribute these grants to units most in need.

The grants also include funding raised by our members during the Act Your Age challenge in partnership with BBC Children in Need in November 2020.


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