Building your team

Pull together a fantastic team of volunteers to help your new unit run smoothly

You'll need enough volunteers to safely run the unit and to support each other 

Having a good number of volunteers also means you'll have a sustainable leadership team who can run both regular meetings and activities outside the meeting place.

Who should I include in my leadership team?

Your team must have one or more unit leaders (or someone working towards their Leadership qualification). They can be supported by a number of unit helpers and/or young leaders. Find out more about these volunteer roles.

There aren’t mandatory adult leader to child ratios for unit meetings in your meeting place. But you'll need to make sure there are enough adult volunteers to comfortably run the unit and to allow your numbers to grow.

When you take part in activities outside your meeting place, different mandatory ratios apply for different sections. Find out about adult to child ratios.

You might have one person with overall responsibility for the unit, or several people who share leadership roles. Give everyone who wants to help clear roles and responsibilities. You can split responsibilities according to what people like to do and where their skills lie. Think about the skills you need to run the unit - from activity organisation and unit administration to communicating with parents and leading girls on adventures.

If you’re new to guiding you may want regular involvement from your commissioner or other experienced Girlguiding volunteers. This can be a great way to build your confidence and get support.

Remember, there must always be at least one volunteer attending the unit meetings who has undergone all the recruitment checks, including a criminal record check.

Make sure you know who in your team needs to have a recruitment check by reading through our information about membership administration.

You must also have at least one volunteer who has completed a recognised first aid qualification. 

What qualifications do I need?

You don’t need to have completed Girlguiding’s Leadership qualification to run a meeting as long as your local commissioner is happy with the arrangements you have made.

How do I recruit new team members?

There are lots of ways that you can recruit volunteers for your leadership team,  from talking to colleagues and friends, to running a full recruitment drive. The more people who join you, the more support you'll have when you start.

Take a look at our ideas for recruiting and retaining volunteers for inspiration.

Once you've recruited new volunteers to your team, it’s important you’re able to support them to get the most out of guiding and stay involved.

Welcoming volunteers

Make your volunteers feel welcome and valued. Remember - you’re setting up the unit as a team. Your commissioner will be able to support you and provide guidance and tools to help volunteers settle in.

We've a range of tools including an induction booklet, guide to learning and development and welcome video available.

Make sure you respond to enquiries quickly and consider all offers of help. If you’re all new to Girlguiding you can share questions and take them to your commissioner as a team.

Being flexible with volunteers

Flexibility is key to creating a successful leadership team. Flexible arrangements make it much easier for volunteers to combine guiding with their home or work lives.

Using rotas, building roles around specific skills and being creative with meeting times are all great ways to think flexibly with volunteers. Find more ways to offer flexible volunteering.

Working as a team

Once you have your team in place, you'll need to discuss which responsibilities people will take on and how you'll work together.

Take a look at more information about working with and managing a team, including how to thank your wonderful volunteers.

How to find and keep volunteers

Get our latest guidance about how to increase the number of volunteers in your new unit.