What do our Trustees and the Chief Guide get up to?

In the first of her new quarterly updates, Valerie gives us the scoop on what the Trustees have been talking about and the decisions they're making

Valerie Le Vaillant, Chief Guide
25 Nov 2016

In her new quarterly updates Chief Guide Valerie Le Vaillant lets us know what decisions the Board of Trustees have been making about our guiding future

At our October Board meeting  I reported to Trustees  that my first few months  were a whirlwind of activity taking in - among other events - the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) Conference in Norway where I met my international counterparts, Queen’s Guide Award ceremonies and the Girlguiding Council which marked my official appointment to the role. 

Since then I have taken in events as diverse as International Jamborees, the BIG GIG (where I led shout outs with 12,500 girls!) the Royal Welsh Show (where I joined Girlguiding Cymru on their day of social action) and The Senior Section Spectacular centenary celebrations.

I joined guiding members on the Mall for the Patrons Lunch and I was honoured to represent Girlguiding at a poignant vigil held to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme on 30 June.  It has been a fantastic summer taking in all of what makes Girlguiding great.

My vision for Girlguiding

Over the summer I have shared with the Board, Chief Commissioners and the Council, my vision of Girlguiding and its future direction with each of them and seeking their buy-in. I feel passionately that we should both increase and widen our membership so that as many girls and young women as possible can benefit from the wonderful programme we offer.  Delivery of this will be a shared responsibility between national and local guiding working with our members and HQ staff to share skills, resources and experience.

The Board of Trustees had a whole extra day to devote to some big questions on 30 September. This was followed by our quarterly Board meeting on 1 October. We debated long and hard about balancing budgets and big priority projects for Girlguiding, such as:

  • an exciting new programme
  • how best to support our volunteer network to welcome more girls into guiding from our waiting-to-join lists
  • how best to ensure all our volunteers have the development opportunities in guiding they need
  • while working to update our membership system Go! to make our members’ lives easier.  

Making the decision about priorities is always hard and we concluded that, with so many demands across so many key areas, compromises would have to be made but it was a time when Girlguiding needed to invest in the future.

At our meeting on 1 October we scrutinised the latest quarterly report from the Executive team which shows how delivery of the plan for the year is progressing against the budget allocated to deliver it. We considered too how we could make governance at Girlguiding the best it can be (the Board and its sub-committees). The Board approved a new Equality and Diversity policy, together with a revised Health and Safety policy.

Unbelievably our next meeting on 8 December is fast approaching.  That will be the opportunity to approve plans and budgets for 2017 based on our priority debates at our last meeting and to talk more about how we can grow the wonderful offer that is guiding to welcome more girls.