Silver Fish award

Girlguiding’s highest award is given to active adult members of Girlguiding, or a Branch Association, in recognition of distinguished service

The Silver Fish award recognises what a member has achieved across the breadth of Girlguiding

The award is for an exceptional contribution to a wide section of Girlguiding, including international guiding either in the United Kingdom or abroad. This award may be given to an active adult member of Girlguiding or one of the Branch Associations.

Only a small number of these awards are granted.

Award criteria

The application should reflect the nominee’s outstanding service, which must be of an exceptionally high standard.

  • Guiding experience - the member should have held a range of roles in guiding at district/division/county levels and beyond. Within this range of roles the member should have demonstrated excellent leadership skills and made significant contributions as a team member.
  • Impact - the member should have made a significant contribution to supporting, motivating, nurturing and developing guiding for both girls and adults. This should be over a range of roles, both locally and internationally.
  • Personal attributes - the member should be outstanding and an exceptionally high achiever who is always ready to take on a challenge - someone who makes things happen, and who inspires and motivates people.
  • International - it's not essential for the member to have travelled abroad. However, their work should demonstrate a major contribution to guiding in other countries, resulting in the strengthening of guiding relationships between countries.

Guidelines for making an application

An application must be:

  • submitted without the knowledge of the nominee or their family
  • accompanied by a fully completed awards application form
  • accompanied by a copy of the member’s Guiding history report
  • accompanied by letters of support, no more than eight in total for a Silver Fish application. If possible the letters should not be repetitive and each should cover a different aspect of the nominee’s service. The letters should include the supporter’s role/position.

The application process

An application for this award may be initiated by any member of Girlguiding and the nomination needs to be discussed with the relevant commissioner.

Completed applications for the Silver Fish award must be submitted to the relevant country or region office, or the chief commissioner for British Girlguiding Overseas (BGO) for initial consideration and approval. Applications are then submitted to the Girlguiding Awards committee for the final decision.

The Girlguiding Awards committee usually meets twice a year.

Letters of support

Remember that the Awards committee can only base its decision on the content of the letters of support. These letters should:

  • be no more than two sides of A4 long
  • state in what capacity and for how long the nominee has been known to the supporter
  • describe their personal attributes and what makes them stand out from others - try to give examples to build up a picture describing their special character and personality
  • describe their guiding service, giving examples of outstanding achievements
  • describe their influence on others – leadership skills, innovative ideas, inspirational work, stories from girls about what they have done
  • describe any specific event or project where the nominee has made an outstanding contribution
  • include facts and statistics where possible
  • describe any other aspects of the nominee’s life which are relevant to this award.


Make an application

Use the application form to nominate someone for this special award.