What to do in an emergency

What to do, who to contact and how to deal with queries in case of an emergency

What to do in the case of an accident or incident

If there has been an accident or incident these are the first things you need to remember to do.

  • Keep calm. The most important thing is that you don't panic and you think clearly.
  • Make sure, as far as you can, that the girls and young women you are taking care of, and the other volunteers with you, are safe.
  • Call the emergency services if appropriate.

In case of a serious emergency you must then do the following.

  • If outside your guiding area, tell your home contact what has happened.
  • Call your commissioner to tell them exactly what happened and together decide what to do next.
  • Call Girlguiding's insurance department on 0845 260 1053 during office hours if it is a serious incident. If it is out of hours, please call Girlguiding's emergency PR line on 07990 553 940 or notify the insurance department on the next working day.
  • If it is related to a Safeguarding issue, please call the Safeguarding team on 0207 834 6242 ext. 3037 or the out of hours phone on 07508 032997. The out of hours phone line is for emergencies only, and is in operation 5pm-10pm Monday-Friday and 9am-10pm Saturday/Sunday.
  • Do not say that you were responsible or admit liability
  • Get witnesses' names and contact details.

Keep careful notes about the incident and developments as they happen, including dates, times and names. Keep copies of any written information, including letters, forms or reports. Please send these documents with a notification of accident or incident form.

Your commissioner is there to support you. Together you should decide what action is needed, for example:

  • provide support for those involved
  • contact your home contact and establish them as a central point where people can send enquiries, facts can be updated and so on. Alternatively, set up a central point to undertake this role
  • contact your local area's Public Relations Adviser, and ask them to communicate with the relevant parties such as the local community and the media
  • compile a confidential report
  • provide support resources, such as helplines or extra people.

In the event of a serious accident or death, Girlguiding must be notified immediately via the emergency PR line on 020 7592 1733 or the out-of-office hours PR line on 07990 553 940.

After any accident or incident

If an injury or illness occurs to anyone during a guiding activity or on Girlguiding property, the Leader should immediately complete a notification of accident or incident form and notify the appropriate commissioner. The form and any additional forms or documents should be sent to the Insurance team at Girlguiding HQ by post or by emailing [email protected] Please keep a copy of the form until receipt is acknowledged by HQ and then it can be safely destroyed. The form can also be found in the Emergency File which is sent to all units.

If contacted by the press

Don't make comments to them straightaway. Instead, take their name and contact details, ask for a deadline and tell them that someone will get back to them. You can then pass this on to Girlguiding's PR team.

After an incident

Following an incident, you must not admit liability at any time or take remedial action, for example by doing repair work, without first getting agreement from Girlguiding and Girlguiding's insurance department.

If you receive any correspondence from solicitors or claimants you must forward it and any attachments immediately to Insurance Department, 17-19 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0PT.

You should not reply to the correspondence yourself.

No offer of money should be made at any time.

Plan safe activities

Some accidents and incidents can be avoided by careful planning. Find more information and support so you're as prepared as possible.