National award application guidance

Is there someone who really impresses you? Should you apply for a national award for them?

Do you know an amazing adult member of Girlguiding and want them to be recognised with either a Silver Fish or a Laurel Award?

These notes are to help you write an application and to decide which award to apply for.

Application guidance

First of all, look carefully at the award criteria for both awards. Does your nominee fit one of them better than the other?

Here are a few pointers for writing an application for either award

  • What makes you think of this person as a potential recipient?
  • What makes them stand out from other leaders?
  • There's already a process for recognising long service through the time-related badges. These awards are for outstanding or exceptional service.
  • Is the nominee involved as a unit leader or in any other roles in Girlguiding?
  • Is the nominee involved as an advisor or commissioner at county level or beyond? This is not essential, but it would be unusual for an award to be given if all service has been as a district or division leader.
  • Is this person an active member of Girlguiding who is involved in current initiatives and continues to be an inspirational leader?
  • What has been their continuing impact on young people and on other leaders? Can you give examples?
  • These are Girlguiding service awards. While it is interesting to hear about other aspects of their life, these are never the deciding factor.
  • Can you demonstrate great commitment to Girlguiding in your citations?
  • Adult members of all ages are eligible for national awards. They reward attitude, aptitude, achievement and, most importantly, impact.
  • A national award of a Laurel and Silver Fish will demonstrate impact beyond the local level.
  • The awards committee is made up of leaders from around the country. They won't know your local area. So if your supporting statement includes information relating to a place of interest within guiding (for example, a local campsite or a region building) please provide further information. This will allow the committee to fully understand the impact the nominee has had.
  • Describe the nominee's personal attributes and what their impact is. What is it about that person that makes them stand out?
  • And finally, try to bring the nominee to life with your description, so that the committee members can feel why they should be given the award.

Writing citations

  • One person should take the lead, but a small group of people need to be involved in writing citations.
  • Think about what each person can say about your nominee that shows off what they do. It really isn't helpful to the awards committee if everyone writes about everything or includes information that is already on the GO record.
  • There is no set format you need to follow when writing citations.
  • However, there must be a cover sheet that tells the awards committee who the citation writers are and what aspect of a nominee’s life they cover
  • In a citation, often less is more. A few well-placed examples or quotes from girls can really help make the person come to life.

Should you seek a Laurel award or a Silver Fish award?

The important thing to consider is whether a person fits the award criteria, so is either an outstanding or an exceptional leader.

For a Laurel award we are looking for outstanding leaders.

They will be those leaders who are well known within their county or maybe country or region for the impact they are making. They will demonstrate a deep commitment to Girlguiding and encourage and inspire those around them.

For a Silver Fish award we are looking for exceptional leaders.

They will be those leaders who stand out over a wide range of roles locally and within their country or region, or throughout the whole organisation.

Their understanding of Girlguiding will be deep and shared with many others. They will understand how the national organisation relates to our place in the world and in WAGGGS.

Through their knowledge, they'll help and encourage other younger or less experienced members to understand that this is a massive global movement and that opportunities are available for all if they wish to take them.

The impact of a Silver Fish award holder will be on a wide range of members of all ages. They will have come into contact with them either directly or indirectly, through the impact of their role.

What happens after the application?

If an award is confirmed by the national awards committee, a statement will be prepared to sum up the reasons why this person was deserving of the nomination. This statement can be shared at the awards ceremony.

If the award is not confirmed, you'll be given some information on why the application was not successful. In some cases, this will include suggestions for resubmission, letting you know which elements were not strong enough.

See examples of award recipients.

Find out more about the Laurel award and the Silver Fish award.