Privacy notice

Girlguiding is committed to protecting your privacy. This notice details the information we collect from you when you access the Girlguiding website and the steps we take to ensure this information remains confidential.

This notice gives you important information about your personal rights to privacy, and about how we use your personal information.

We all give our personal data out every day – our names, contact details, or other bits of information – and most of us want to be sure that our data is being handled properly.

As someone who is in contact with Girlguiding, you may have given us information about yourself, like your name, or email address, or other details.

Giving your personal data is voluntary, although you often need to, for instance if you want to use our online shop or donate. This privacy notice explains what Girlguiding does with your information. It explains how we gather, use, disclose and manage your personal data, and it also tells you about your personal rights to privacy.

We take your privacy very seriously and we always aim to be clear to you about the way Girlguiding manages data. We make sure our privacy notice is up to date, and as comprehensive as possible. But it doesn’t cover every aspect of our collection and use of personal data, so please contact us if you need more information or have any questions about this notice. You can find our contact details in the ‘Get in touch’ section below.

What do: ‘Girlguiding’, ‘we’ or ‘us’ refer to?

In this notice ’Girlguiding’, ‘us’, ‘we’ and ‘our’ refer to the registered charity, The Guide Association (no. 306016 in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and our trading subsidiary, The Guide Association Trading Service Ltd (company no. 4301686). Our registered charity number is 306016 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and SC038436 (Scotland). Our ICO registration number is Z6907813.

Registered / Head office address:
17-19 Buckingham Palace Road
London, SW1W 0PT

In some instances, we may need to collect some of your personal information. This may include:

  • Name.
  • Parent or guardian name(s).
  • Contact details, including address, telephone number and email address.
  • Date of birth.
  • Health information.
  • Education, profession and skills.
  • Payment information (bank or credit card details) if you donate to us or buy from our online shop.
  • Records of your correspondence with us.
  • Records of your participation with us (including as a member or as a volunteer).
  • Donation history and gift aid details.
  • Information you enter on our website.
  • Photographs, video or audio recordings.
  • Online identifiers and behaviour.
  • Opinions and biographical information.
  • Data about criminal convictions or offences.
  • Data relating to fraud or financial irregularities.
  • Any other information you share with us.

We may collect this information in the following ways:

You give it to us directly. For example, when you give us your personal data through our website. This might happen when you make a donation or fill out digital forms and online surveys, or when you talk to us in person or by email, phone or letter.

We get it indirectly. Third parties might share your personal data with us. We work with third parties who help us achieve our aims and ideals, like Just Giving, Virgin Money Giving and Committed Giving; or with sub-contractors in technical, payment and delivery services. If you click on a Girlguiding advert on a website or social media platform which leads you to our website, these platforms may also share your personal data with us. We will notify you when we receive your personal data from them and tell you how and why we intend to use it.

It is available publicly. Your personal information may be available for anyone to see on external public sources like Companies House or the Charity Commission. We may access your personal information from social media accounts or services, depending on your privacy settings (for example when you choose to interact with us via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter).

When you visit our website. When you visit our website, we automatically collect the following types of personal information:

  • Technical information, including the internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your device to the internet, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions and operating systems and platforms.
  • Information about your visit to our website, including the uniform resource locator (URL) clickstream to, through and from the website (including date and time), services you viewed or searched for, page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, referral sources, page interaction information (such as scrolling and clicks) and methods used to browse away from the page.

We also collect and use your personal information by using cookies on our website (please see our cookie notice).

And we may combine your personal information from these different sources for the purposes set out in this privacy notice.

No. There are special categories of personal data, and data protection law recognises these as sensitive and therefore needing more protection. Examples are information about your health, ethnicity and criminal convictions and offences.

Sometimes we may need to collect and/or use these special categories of personal data, for example if we need to be aware of a medical condition that you or your child has, so they can participate in a Girlguiding event. We only process these special categories of personal data if there is a valid reason for doing so, and where data protection law allows us to.

We sometimes also collect sensitive personal data - like information about health, religion, sexuality, ethnicity, political and philosophical beliefs and criminal records. We normally only record this data where we have your consent. But sometimes we are permitted to do this in other circumstances, under data protection law. For example, we may make a record that a person is in a vulnerable circumstance to make sure that we don’t send fundraising messages to them. By doing this we comply with charity law and the Code of Fundraising Practice.  

Data helps us support and improve interactions with Girlguiding. It help us to:

  • Update you on Girlguiding policies and procedures.
  • Keep members and volunteers safe.
  • Monitor equal opportunities.
  • Manage guiding activities, making sure the right care is in place for activities.
  • Communicate with you, for example when collecting membership details or arranging payments.
  • Process donations and gift aid claims.
  • Manage fundraising.
  • Develop our services.
  • Keep a record of your relationship with Girlguiding for our administration, and to let you know about changes to our services or policies.
  • Investigate and respond to complaints, legal claims or other issues.
  • Fulfil customer orders for goods or services, including processing payment and letting you know about delivery.
  • Meet obligations under consumer protection law.
  • Carry out research to improve our services and communications.
  • Prevent and detect crime.
  • Assess applications for volunteering and employment.
  • Manage risks so our members can enjoy guiding in a safe environment.
  • Keep you up to date with our fundraising and marketing activity through our website, direct mail, SMS/text campaigns, email and telephone (see below for more information).

Data helps us engage on social media

If you post content on social media and share these posts to our social media channels we may ask for your permission to use your content. We do this under our legitimate interests of engaging with those who support us publicly.

 Data supports and improves our research and your experience of us

We may use your personal information to create a record of your interests and preferences. With this we can make sure we send you information that is relevant to you. It helps us to understand a bit more about our supporters so we can make appropriate requests to those who may be willing and able to give more than they already do. This helps us raise funds sooner and more cost-effectively.

We also may also contact you to ask if you would like to take part in questionnaires, surveys or other research to help us understand where we can improve our offer for girls and women. We will always tell you if questionnaires, surveys or other research are anonymous or not.

If you would prefer us not to use your personal information for supporter research, please let us know by using the contact details below.

To keep you up to date

 In a similar way, we may use your personal data to give you information about our work, services, events or products which we think may be of interest to you, for example:

  • Updates about our work.
  • Newsletters.
  • Information about appeals and fundraising activities (this can include requests for donations, information about legacy gifts and updates about how funds have been used).
  • Volunteering information.

We only send this information to you by email, SMS or telephone if we have your prior consent (unless we may do so by applicable law).

Yes! You can withdraw your consent and unsubscribe from or update your marketing preferences at any time. Just use the details in the ‘Get in touch’ section below.

If you’ve given us your consent previously but don’t want to be contacted by us with marketing or fundraising material in the future, please let us know by email at [email protected].

You can also opt out of receiving emails from us at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of our emails.

And you can opt out of receiving fundraising communications from us by signing up to the fundraising preference service.

If you make changes to your consent, we will update your record as soon as we possibly can. Emails will be stopped immediately, but it may take up to 30 days for our systems to update and stop post being sent to you.

If you tell us you don’t want marketing, fundraising or campaign communications, you may still receive messages about transactions and services from other connections you have with us (as described below).

We need a lawful basis to collect and use your personal data under data protection law. The law allows for six ways to process personal data (and additional ways for sensitive personal data). Four of these are relevant to Girlguiding. We can use information on the basis of:

  • Your consent (for example to send you direct marketing by email or SMS).
  • Your contractual relationship with us (for example to provide you with goods or services that you have purchased from us).
  • Compliance with a legal obligation (for example to process a gift aid declaration and carry out due diligence on large donations).
  • Girlguiding’s legitimate interests (please see below for more information).

We rely on the legal basis of legitimate interest for the capturing of photographs, video, and recordings during Girlguiding events and activities, these captures may be used in our promotional materials. Please inform the local organiser in advance if you do not wish to be included in any photos, recording or video footages. If images of you or your child have been posted on one of our social media platforms, you can request that this be removed.

Personal data may be legally collected and used if it is necessary for a legitimate interest of the organisation using the data, as long as its use is fair and consistent and does not adversely impact the rights of the individual concerned.

When we use your personal information, we will always consider if it is fair and balanced to do so, and if it is within your reasonable expectations. We will balance your rights and our legitimate interests to make sure we use your personal information in ways that are not unduly intrusive or unfair. Girlguiding’s legitimate interests include:

  • Charity governance. This includes delivery of our charitable purposes, statutory and financial reporting and other regulatory compliance purposes and intergroup transfers of data between Girlguiding and our trading subsidiary.
  • Administration and operational management. This includes answering enquires, giving information and services, research, events management, administration of volunteers and employment and recruitment requirements. It includes sharing information with regional and local Girlguiding branches. 
  • Fundraising and campaigning. This includes administering campaigns and donations and sending direct marketing by post (and in some cases making marketing calls), sending thank you letters, analysis, targeting and segmentation to develop communication strategies and maintaining communication suppressions.

If you would like more information on our uses of legitimate interests or to change our use of your personal data please get in touch with us using the details in the ‘Get in touch’ section below.

If you are under the age of 14, you must get permission from your parent or guardian before registering or giving us any information.

Girlguiding keeps your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. We decide how long is appropriate to keep personal data based on necessity.

We do this by considering the amount, nature and sensitivity of the personal data:

  • The potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data.
  • The purposes for which we process your personal data.
  • Whether we can achieve those purposes through other means.
  • Legal requirements.

Unless we still need your personal data for the purpose for which it was collected or processed, if you are a member and leave Girlguiding before your 18th birthday we generally keep your personal data up until the date of your 24th birthday. If you are an adult member, this date is your 70th birthday or six years after you leave, whichever the later. 

As a charity for girls and young women, we have a requirement to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our members. One aspect of this is regarding accident and insurance. In accordance with the Limitation Act 1980, our rationale for the retention duration is set in line with the Normal limitation rules, where an individual can claim for negligently caused personal injury up to three years after, or deliberately caused personal injury up to six years after the event. In the case of a child, this is postponed until they reach 18 years of age. Should a young person have experienced an accident at Girlguiding, they (or someone acting on their behalf) have until their 24th birthday to claim this on Girlguiding’s insurance. We therefore retain all young person data until this date so that they have the opportunity to seek this avenue if they wish to do so and allow for the time that a claim takes to reach settlement.

We also have a duty of care from a safeguarding perspective. Should an issue or concerns have arisen about the welfare of a young member, we have a requirement under the Children’s Act (2004) and the ‘Working together to Safeguard Children’ statutory framework (2018) to report this to the relevant authorities. With all young person data, we retain for this length of time to ensure that there is adequate time to progress or address any safeguarding concerns. This is also the case for our retention of adult member data until their 70th birthday, or 6 years following the end of their membership, whichever is later. Should an issue or concerns have arisen about the conduct of a member, we have a requirement under the Children’s Act (2004) and the ‘Working together to Safeguard Children’ statutory framework (2018) to report this to the relevant authorities.

The retention of this data is key to ensure Girlguiding can adequately respond to a claim or concern. 

We will remove your data from our records before this date if:

  • Your personal information is no longer needed in connection with the purpose.
  • We are no longer lawfully entitled to process it.
  • You validly exercise your right of erasure (see below).

If you ask us to stop contacting you we will keep some basic information about you on our suppression list to avoid sending you more unwanted messages.

We do not sell your personal information to third-party organisations for marketing, fundraising or campaigning purposes. We may share your data for market research purposes where we have your consent.

We share your personal information with our trading company and relevant regional and local Girlguiding organisations to:

  • Administer your membership of Girlguiding.
  • Manage your participation in Girlguiding activities.
  • Conduct market research so we can improve our offerings to you and as an organisation overall.

We share your personal information with an international affiliate of Girlguiding if you tell us you have an interest in joining that international affiliate.

We also share personal information:

  • With data processors working on our behalf. For example, if you buy an item in our online shop, we use a third party to process payments.
  • Where we are required to by law, for example to law enforcement or regulatory bodies.
  • Where we think it is in the best interests of Girlguiding or a third party to make a disclosure, and where we are satisfied that a disclosure does not put us in breach of data protection law.
  • Where it is necessary to protect the vital interests of an individual.
  • If we have your consent.

We may use third-party suppliers to manage events, campaigns or mailings for fundraising appeals, to carry out research surveys or for storage of your personal information on our behalf. You can find out more about the suppliers that we use by contacting us using the details in the ‘Get in touch’ section below.  

We screen and monitor these companies to get the best protection of your privacy and security. They may only use the data in accordance with data protection legislation, under strict instructions from Girlguiding and in accordance with a data processing agreement.

We use technical and organisational ways to protect your data and prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information.

The transmission of data over the internet is not completely secure. Although we do our best to protect your personal data we can’t guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our website. But once we receive your information, we use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

We process all credit card payments securely through our secure payment gateway which is PCI DSS compliant. We do not store credit card details.

We only use the personal information and credit card details that we request to fulfil your order or process your donation.

And we keep the personal information that is required for our accounts secure, and only for as long as required by law.

The information we collect from you may be transferred to and processed and/or stored at a destination outside the European Economic Area (EEA). If we send your personal data outside the EEA we will take reasonable steps to make sure the recipient uses appropriate measures to protect your information.

Cookies are small text files placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used to make websites work more efficiently for visitors, and to provide information to the owners of the site.

We use cookies to:

  • Remember certain information about users so they don’t have to give the same information again.
  • Measure how people use our websites so we can improve the way information is provided.
  • Display adverts based on what parts of Girlguiding websites people have visited.

You agree to our use of cookies by continuing to use our websites. You can find more information on the exact cookies that we use on our cookies page.

The Girlguiding website may share your personal data with remarketing services - including Facebook, Google Adwords and Google Analytics - to serve our adverts to you on third party websites.

Third-party vendors, including Facebook and Google, use cookies to serve ads based on someone’s past visits to the Girlguiding website. Read more about the cookies we use.

We cannot be responsible for any information you give in public community areas of the Girlguiding websites, or on websites that we link to from our platforms. This information can be viewed or collected by any third party - you should always be wary of publishing any personal information in public community areas.

You should also read the privacy notices of any other websites that we link to from Girlguiding websites which you visit. This is so you may understand what information is collected from you and for what purpose.

Girlguiding cannot be held responsible for the policies of any third party website that we link to, and you access these websites at your own risk.

Where we rely on your consent to use your personal information, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This includes the right to ask us to stop using your personal information for marketing or fundraising purposes or to unsubscribe from our email list at any time. You also have the following rights:

  • Right of access – you can write to us to ask for confirmation of what personal information we hold on you and to request a copy of that personal information. Provided we are satisfied that you are entitled to see the personal information requested and we have successfully confirmed your identity, we will provide you with your personal information subject to any exemptions that apply.
  • Right of erasure – at your request we will delete your personal information from our records as far as we are required to do so. In many cases we would propose to suppress further communications with you, rather than delete it.
  • Right of rectification – if you believe our records of your personal information are inaccurate, you have the right to ask for those records to be updated. You can also ask us to check the personal information we hold about you if you are unsure whether it is accurate/up to date.
  • Right to restrict processing – you have the right to ask for processing of your personal information to be restricted if there is disagreement about its accuracy or legitimate usage.
  • Right to object – you have the right to object to processing where we are:
    • Processing your personal information on the basis of the legitimate interests ground.
    • Using your personal information for direct marketing.
    • Using your information for statistical purposes.
  • Right to data portability – to the extent required by data protection law, where we are processing your personal information (that you have given us) either:
    • By relying on your consent.
    • Because such processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are party, or to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contact, and in either case we are processing using automated means (i.e. with no human involvement), you may ask us to provide the personal information to you – or another service provider – in a machine-readable format.
    • Rights related to automated decision-making – you have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing of your personal information which produces legal or similarly significant effects on you, unless such a decision is:
      • Necessary to enter into/perform a contract between you and us/another organisation.
      • Authorised by EU or Member State law to which Girlguiding is subject (as long as that law offers you sufficient protection).
      • Based on your explicit consent.

We may ask you for more information to confirm your identity and for security reasons before we can disclose to you personal information requested. 

Please note that some of these rights only apply in limited circumstances. For example, we may not be obliged to comply with requests to access your personal information which are made at unreasonably frequent intervals. For more information, we suggest that you contact us using the details below.

You are further entitled to make a complaint about us or the way we have processed your personal information to the data protection supervisory authority in your home country. In the UK, the data protection authority is the Information Commissioner’s Office.

If you want to exercise any of the above rights get in touch at [email protected].  

We will consider each request in accordance with all applicable data protection laws and regulations.

Get in touch with us

If you have any concerns about the Girlguiding privacy notice or about how we deal with data, or how we’ve used your data, please get in touch. Write to or email the data protection team at:

The data protection officer
17-19 Buckingham Palace Road

[email protected]

We will be happy to help and discuss your concerns. If you are not satisfied with the outcome or have concerns regarding how we handle and use your data, you can also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s office and the Fundraising Regulator.

The ICO contact details:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113

ICO website 

The Fundraising Regulator contact details:

Fundraising Regulator, Eagle House, 167 City Road, London EC1V 1AW

Helpline number: 0300 999 3407

Fundraising Regulator website

Changes to this privacy notice

We may update this privacy notice from time to time. We will tell you about significant changes - by contacting you directly where it’s reasonably possible for us to do so and by putting an update notice on our website. You should check this notice from time to time.

This notice was last updated on 16 October 2023.