Local support groups

Make the most of support available in your community, including Friends of Guiding and Joint Supporters' Committees

Work with local supporters to make guiding in your area even better

Joint Supporters' Committees serving Girlguiding and Scouts

A Joint Supporters' Committee can be formed when a number of Girlguiding units and Scout Groups are attached to the same meeting place or sponsoring body. The approval of the District Commissioners for both Girlguiding and Scouts is required before the committee can be formed.

Members of a Joint Supporters' Committee do not wear guidewear unless they're undertaking a role in guiding that entitles them to do so. They may wear a Friend of Guiding badge but this does not confer membership of Girlguiding. All supporters are encouraged to be members of Girlguiding.

Organisation and finances for Joint Supporters' Committees

A constitution must be drawn up when a Joint Supporters' Committee is formed and agreed by the Guide and Scout County Commissioners. This should include details of how any money raised will be spent.

Finances for committees

All money raised or received by a Joint Supporters' Committee belong to the individual Girlguiding units and Scout Groups concerned. Before a major fundraising event, the Guide and Scout Commissioners concerned must agree how the proceeds will be distributed.

The funds must be paid into the building society or bank accounts of the unit(s) and Scout Group(s) as soon as possible, either:

  • following the agreed distribution set down in the constitution, or
  • as agreed in advance.

The Joint Supporters' Committee should only retain funds to cover its operating costs. This amount must be agreed with the units or areas it supports and should not exceed 10 per cent of the funds raised during the year.

Property

A Joint Supporters' Committee may not own property of any kind. If a joint headquarters exists it must be either:

  • vested in either The Guide Association Trust Corporation or The Scout Association Trust Corporation, or
  • held by local trustees, for the benefit of the Guide units and Scout Groups concerned.

The headquarters must be run by a joint management committee with representation from both Guide and Scout supporters. Income and expenditure should be shared on an agreed basis that is regularly reviewed by the Guide units and the Scout Groups.

Friends of Guiding

Who are Friends of Guiding?

They are parents, friends, supporters and members who support the ideals and aspirations of guiding and work to help their local unit, District, Division or other area. They form a group which is known as ‘Friends of Guiding in (name of town)’. Every District and/or Division is encouraged to have a Friends of Guiding group.

What do they do for guiding?

The aim of each group is to help local Leaders or Commissioners, for example by fundraising, providing resources for events or establishing contacts with other local organisations.

A Friend of Guiding does not wear guidewear unless they are undertaking a role in guiding that entitles them to do so. They may wear a Friend of Guiding badge but this does not confer membership of Girlguiding. All supporters are encouraged to be members of Girlguiding.

Organisation and finances for Friends of Guiding

How groups are organised

A Friends of Guiding group must have a written constitution approved by the appropriate local Commissioner. The Commissioner is an ex-officio member of all Friends of Guiding groups and their Executive Committees, in her area. The group is under the authority of the Commissioner concerned who may disband it at her discretion.

A Friends of Guiding group:

  • has no responsibility for, or involvement in, running the area or unit(s) it serves
  • may not make any decisions that affect members of Girlguiding without consulting the appropriate Commissioner.

Finances for groups

A Friends of Guiding group:

  • is financially self-supporting
  • has no call on unit funds.

A group must only own funds to cover its operating costs. Its accounts must be prepared in accordance with the Charities Acts (or appropriate legislation in Scotland) and be presented at the group's Annual General Meeting. Funds raised by a Friends of Guiding group, or an individual Friend of Guiding, must be put to use for a specific guiding purpose. The appropriate Commissioner must be consulted before funds are spent.

Drafting a constitution

We have put together guidance to help draft your Friends of Guiding group constitution. This document is to be adapted to the needs of your group and once agreed it should be used as long as the group exists. Download the Friends of Guiding Constitution template

Get more guidance on Friends of Guiding

Find more information about Friends of Guiding, including forming a group.