Unit recovery grants

Support for units in areas of need

Units in England that have been affected by Covid-19 can now be nominated for a grant to help their recovery

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.


Update 31 March 2022: The Unit recovery grant programme has now ended. If you have not received payment for a grant you were awarded, please contact [email protected]

Regions may have limited funds for unit recovery grants. Please speak with your commissioner if you need this support.  

Units in Scotland, Ulster and Wales should check out our webpage on grants in these areas.


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'm a commissioner and want to nominate my unit  

Nominations have now closed.

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.

What is the deadline to apply? 

We've allocated all payments so this grant scheme is closed to new applicants.

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 2021: Invitations to apply begin and the application form opens online. 

October 2021: Payments begin. 

December 2021:Final grants awarded.

January 2022: Our first post-grant monitoring surveys are sent out.

February 2022: Final payments sent.

How will the grant be paid?

To give us your payment details, fill in the survey at Surveymonkey.

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 and show all the details above. If you use online 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. 

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. Please be patient with us as we send out the grants and don’t chase payments. We're getting to everyone as quickly as possible.

I am changing my bank account – how can I get paid?

If you are transferring the account via the account switching service the bank will forward the payment to the new bank account. If the account is closed we will get a payment return advice and we can pay them again.

If you would like to wait a couple of weeks until you have the new details to send us that is also fine. Alternatively you can give us the details of a different Girlguiding account.

When do I have to spend the grant by? 

Do 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's 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 aa survey in January or February 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 above. Please keep your receipts in case we need to see these for audit purposes.  

Please note you must spend the full £200. If you haven’t yet paid your subscription, you can tell us how much of the grant will go towards this. Everything else must be spent by 18 February unless you are still waiting for payment 

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].

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 have awarded 1,875 grants between September and 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 Participation on a plate .

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]