Stories of support

How we're helping each other during lockdown

Eleanor, Girlguiding member communications team
23 June 2020

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been hearing lots of stories of how Girlguiding volunteers have been spreading positivity and love in their local communities.

You’ve done everything from making face masks to providing emotional support to lonely and vulnerable neighbours. And you’ve also been supporting each other. Here are some of your stories.

Staying connected

Lots of you are taking full advantage technology to check in with your teams remotely on a regular basis.

‘We do a leaders Zoom for chat and drafting every Monday. We also have a constant conversation going on WhatsApp that is a safe place to vent and celebrate in equal measure. Supporting each other is vital to our team’. – Emma Compton

‘Having just moved to a completely new area, I was worried I’d lose out on building new relationships. But the leaders have Saturday evening drinks each week! For one of the Guide leader’s birthdays we played bingo and then watched the satellites pass over… all through Zoom!’ – Beci Hudson

‘We are continuing with our virtual meetings and commissioners are continuing to check in with units. I’ve been very touched to hear about what some of our leaders are doing, from delivering activity packs on foot to sending party poppers with completed Brownie interest badges, to promises being done on Zoom. 

We have a high number of key workers in our volunteers too, as well as staff who have more work, have been furloughed or have children at home alongside work. And we have volunteers who are shielding, isolating or distancing and I think this is a very challenging time for them. It’s very hard as a division commissioner to support everyone, even with an excellent team of dedicated, hardworking and committed commissioners, and we just hope that all our volunteers continue to feel valued, supported, cared for as individuals and a part of Girlguiding throughout and following this very testing time.

I’ve been very conscious not to make those who cannot meet or support our young members at the current time feel like they should be doing more, but rather provide things that parents can pick up themselves.’ – Harriet Wibberly

Acts of kindness

We’ve heard from many volunteers that it’s the often the smallest gestures that make the biggest difference.

‘I live alone, am the lone leader for my Brownie unit and am a frontline nurse. I’m having weekly Brownie Zoom meetings and girls’ parents have taken to messaging me to make sure I’m ok. Numerous virtual sisters, now friends from Facebook, have kept me laughing and supported.’ – Jacqueline Smith

‘At Easter I got a text from one of the leaders saying there was a present on my door step… she’d left me some daffodils and a little pack of mini Easter eggs. It made my day’ – Beci Hudson

Keep guiding going

You’ve also been helping each other figure out how to keep going with Guiding in challenging circumstances. We’ve loved seeing your innovation and creativity.

‘One of our leaders has developed a series of ‘guiding light’ posters for our members, and we are proud that the initial one was shared hundreds of times. We worked together to then develop a specific activity pack for the current time, full of activities for members young and… not so young!

Other resources have been written out and shared to support young members to do programme activities, such as a certificate to send out for members who complete a badge while we can’t physically get a badge to them’. – Harriet Wibberly

Thank you for continuing to support each other

Seeing how our volunteers have stepped in to look after each other during these challenging weeks has been wonderful.

If you have yet to come back to guiding or set up a virtual unit meeting, remember that you have a huge community who can support you and give you ideas.

Take a look at our member channels on Twitter and Facebook for inspiration.