New unit checklist

It might look like there’s a lot to do to set up a unit, but break down your tasks into sections and you'll get there in no time

Starting a new unit is an exciting challenge and a great way to get more girls involved in guiding

Once you've established the need for a new unit, there are lots of practical things to think about before you hold your first unit meeting. It doesn't need to be overwhelming though. Use this checklist to help you work through it all step by step.

You might take more or less time than we've suggested below or you may find that things work better for you in a different order. How you do it is up to you. 

Also, you may not need to do every task on the list. It will depend on your previous experience and training.

And remember - you don’t need to do everything yourself. Get your unit team to help you, talk to your commissioner about what she can do and see if there are other volunteers in your area who can help.

Before you start

  • Meet with your commissioner and go through everything there is to do. Ask questions and plan how you’re going to get to where you want to be.
  • Review how and why the unit is needed in the local area. Think about day, location and time.
  • Start planning how to recruit your volunteer team early. They can help you start the unit and share responsibilities and ideas. 

12 or more weeks before first meeting

Eight weeks to go

Six weeks to go

Four weeks to go

  • Follow-up meeting with your commissioner
  • Reply to questions from volunteers and girls
  • If you’re new to guiding, or new to your role, make sure you understand the principles of data protection and how to put them in place
  • Complete unit risk assessments. You'll need to continue doing these once you know the needs of the girls and activities.
  • Look over your term plan. Start planning what you'll do in the first few meetings and what resources you need.
  • Think about inclusion and activities that may need to be adapted and any care plan documents needed to meet girls’ needs.
  • Email volunteers and parents giving key information about the unit

Two weeks to go

One week to go

  • Check your programme planning for the first week and make sure you have backup ideas in case anything doesn't go to plan 
  • Talk to volunteers about learning and development opportunities
  • Email parents a couple of days before the meeting to remind them  

On the day of your first meeting

  • Ask parents to complete all relevant forms (or these can be emailed to parents) including:
    • Starting forms
    • Consent for activities outside the meeting place
    • Social media consent
  • Remember to thank your volunteers and have fun!

After your first meeting

  • Confirm girls have joined on GO and add extra information from starting forms
  • Talk about how everything went with volunteers and parents
  • And finally - celebrate, you've held your first meeting!