Unit recovery grants

Support for units in areas of need

In September 2021, Girlguiding units in England that have been affected by Covid-19 will be able able to apply for a unit recovery grant of £200 to help them continue supporting girls 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 (CMC), alongside additional funds raised by our amazing members during the Act your Age challenge in partnership with BBC Children in Need.


Commissioners in England can now nominate their units for the CMC grant by filling in this survey.

Units in Scotland, Ulster and Wales can still be nominated through this page.

Get all your questions about CMC grants answered at our weekly online surgeries! Surgeries will be held on Thursdays 1 to 2pm from 26 August to 16 September and 7 to 8pm 23 September. 

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. We also received additional funding from Pears Foundation to expand these grants to Scotland, Ulster and Wales. 

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. 

What can I spend the grant on?

The purpose of the grants is to help keep Girlguiding units open. You can spend the £200 on: 

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

Who is the grant for? 

The grant is for units that have been particularly affected by Covid and need the grant to keep going in the longer term. If that describes your unit, please ask your commissioner to nominate you.  

I am a commissioner and want to nominate my unit  

Commissioners in England can now nominate their units for the CMC grant. Please send us your nominations by using this survey.

I got a grant in the first round (December 2020 to March 2021). Can I get the grant again? 

Yes, if you had a grant in year one you can apply again for this round. 

I haven’t been invited to apply – can I still get the grant? 

In September 2021 we’ll be inviting units to apply who have been nominated by their commissioner. If you can’t get a nomination from your commissioner, check back on this website after 11 October 2021. If there are still grants available, we will tell you here how to apply.  

If you were nominated but didn’t get the email, check your spam Folder. If the invitation isn't there, contact us at [email protected] with your unit name and level number.  

I’m not in England – is there a grant for my unit? 

Yes! If you want to be nominated for a Unit Recovery Grant and are in Scotland, Ulster or Wales, please check out our page on grants in these areas.

How do I apply?

Log into GO and follow the instructions in the help file which can be found in the help section. Be sure to apply as soon as you possible. Go will time you out and give you an error message if you take more than 15 minutes on the form without saving. You can save without submitting as long as there are draft answers to every question and the box at the end hasn’t been ticked.

Can any unit volunteer fill in the application? 

Yes, the form can be filled in by any unit volunteer or even by a commissioner. 

What documentation do I need to apply? 

You'll need to include full account details for the Girlguiding account you want to grant to be paid into. We will need a photograph or screenshot of the most recent bank statement or building society book to complete the application. The document must show the account’s: 

  • Name 
  • Account Number 
  • Sort code 

If you have a building society account, we need to see the account’s long reference number.

Save your document with your level number as the name.

What is the deadline to apply? 

The application form will close when we have received the limit of applications we can award. The form will open in mid-September and may close as early as mid-October so do apply as soon as possible. Check back on this webpage for updates.  

What is the schedule for the grants programme?

August 2021: Check that your details are up to date in GO and particularly your email address. Let your commissioner know you need the grant so they can nominate you. 

August 2021: Commissioners nominate units. 
Late September: Invitations to apply begin and the application form opens online. 

October: Payments begin. 

December: Payments end by 31 December.  

How will the grant be paid?

Email [email protected] with the bank details in the body of the email, the documents attached and named after your level number, and ‘CMC’ as the subject.

You can use any Girlguiding account for the payment. 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. Find examples of what we're looking for in this PDF.

Once the grant has been paid, you’ll receive an email from the Finance team with this remittance advice.  

We can pay the grant into any Girlguiding unit. We need to see a recent document or screenshot that shows that account’s: 

  • Name 
  • Account Number 
  • Sort code

This can be a photo taken with your phone, but it must be clear (not blurry) and show all the details above. If you do internet banking, you can send us can a screenshot or downloaded statement.  

If you only have a building society passbook, we need to see the account's long reference number. 

If you are having problems getting documents for your unit’s account, please remember we can pay into any Girlguiding account as long as you can provide the documentation. 

When will the grant be paid? 

We hope to get the payment into your account within a month of your application. You’ll receive an email to the address you provided in your application to let you know it has been paid. Please check this page for news about payment delays.  

Has my grant been paid yet? 

The Finance team will email you at the email address in Go to let you know when to expect the grant in your bank account. You might need to check your spam folder and add [email protected] to your safe senders list.  

When do I have to spend the grant by? 

Please spend it as soon as you can. Everything that isn’t subs must all be spent by the end of February 2022. If you are putting some towards your subs payment and that is delayed, just tell us the amount you will spend on subs when you get the post-grant monitoring survey. You will need to spend every bit of the grant, even if that means buying a few stamps to use it all up. 

Should I tell you how I spent the grant? 

We will email you a few weeks after the grant payment to ask how you spent the grant. It is ok if you spent it differently from what you said in the application form as long as the items are on the list of eligible items. Please keep your receipts in case we need to see these for audit purposes.  

Can I send you my lovely case study of how I used the grant? 

Yes please do! We will need these as soon as you can and no later than the first week of March 2022 please. Do also share it on your social media accounts - videos and photos are particularly encouraged where appropriate and possible! When communicating about the funding on social media, the hashtag #CommunitiesCan should be used, along with the handles @PearsFoundation and @DCMS. Please do alert us to any stories or releases, so we can help share them through our channels. 

Other questions

I haven’t received an email from you that I was expecting 

Check your spam folder.  You should also add these addresses to your safe senders list: [email protected] and [email protected]   

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 by logging into GO and following the instructions in the help file to ‘Decline’ the grant. This can be found in the help section.

What if I have 'X' amount in my account?

We understand that some units will have money in their account that is already committed to something else and we won’t penalise you for this. Please explain the circumstances when you send us your bank details.

Why is the grant programme different this year? 

We took your feedback from year one and consulted commissioners. They told us that the best way to get the grant to the units most in need is to ask commissioners to nominate their units and to have more grants of a smaller amount.  

How many grants are there? 

We will award around 1800 CMC grants from September - December 2021. 

Can I involve the girls in deciding how to spend the grant?

Please do! There are some activities here that might be useful for that in this PDF.

What other Girlguiding grants can I apply for?  

The other grants can be found on our website

How can I contact you? 

Contact the CMC team at [email protected] 


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