Process of closing a unit

Follow this process when closing a unit in order to support girls, their parents and volunteers

Work with your commissioner to close your unit in the best possible way

Before you start, consider all options for keeping your unit open. This should include identifying the reasons you’re considering closing and creating a plan of actions to take.

If there are no other options and the decision has been made to close your unit, your commissioner should support you with the formal process of carrying this out.

To make sure the process is followed efficiently, involve your commissioner from the beginning. Keep parents, other leaders in your area, and your unit members up to date throughout the process.

Getting the timing right

With your commissioner, create an action plan with realistic deadlines that you can stick to.

As the leader it’s really important that you shouldn’t feel that the process to close the unit has been rushed but, equally, it shouldn’t take too long. If a member feels as though they’ve been pushed out quickly, they may not want to continue in guiding. If the process has been too slow, they may feel as though their needs haven’t been considered.

Step 1: Approach your district

Identify nearby units that could possibly take some of the girls from your unit. Ideally you should aim to keep girls in small groups to make sure that there is a support network when they move.

Step 2: Hold a meeting with parents of active unit members

Communication with everyone involved with the unit is important. Hold a meeting and advise parents and members of the situation, and explain why you’re closing the unit, including steps that were taken to try to keep the unit open.

Invite leaders from the other units to attend and be on hand to answer any questions that parents may have about potential groups their daughter could transfer to. 

Give out a letter, or send an email, and fact sheet which explains everything discussed at the meeting. Make sure this goes to all parents including those who could not attend. Make sure that all parents have their daughter’s membership number, as this will make transfers through GO easier.

Step 3: Contact any girls waiting to join

Tell prospective members that your unit is closing, and that unless they hear otherwise, you will refer them onto an alternative unit.

Step 4: Make girls and volunteers inactive on GO

Once you have checked there are no active or waiting-to-transfer girls in the unit that is closing, you should make the volunteer roles inactive.

Step 5: Submit unit accounts

Make sure your unit accounts are independently reviewed and submitted to the district.

Step 6: Make the unit inactive

Contact the county GO coordinator to ask for the unit to be made inactive. If you’re unsure who this is, you can contact them via your commissioner.

Step 7: Transfer any leftover funds or assets to the district or division

The district or division should hold onto the money as a separate amount for one year in case the unit reopens. After that period, the funds should be dispersed into the district or division accounts. Read more about managing assets from closed units.

Step 8: Close the bank account for the unit

You must get evidence that the account has been closed, and pass this on to the local commissioner.

Support your volunteers and girls

Alongside these practical steps, it’s important to make time to support the girls and volunteers in your unit, as well as consider your own options for continuing in guiding, if you'd like to.

As with the girls, help adult members to find nearby units where they could continue their involvement. If there isn’t another suitable unit role, suggest they consider other supporting roles that might be available to them.