We're here to support you

If you’re not sure you can cope with another lockdown, don’t worry. We’re here for you, and we’re ready

11 January 2021

Well, here we are again. Although we had such high hopes for a new start this year, we find ourselves back in a full national lockdown.

With schools across the country closed, we know that all of our members, whether you’re a volunteer, a parent, or both, will be under a huge amount of pressure. However, for us at Girlguiding, there’s one big difference in Lockdown 3.0. This time, we’re ready for it. We’ve spent most of the past year creating content to help girls of all ages to have fun, learn new things, and go on adventures even while they’re stuck at home.

So we wanted to bring you a round-up of all the resources we’ve developed to help you support the girls in your life, whether you’re a member wondering how to keep your unit engaged, or a parent searching for activities to keep your children occupied during a long period of home-schooling. We’re here for you, and we want to help.

For volunteers

All the information you need to create a safe virtual guiding experience for your unit is available on our website. This includes practical safeguarding guidance, technical advice on what digital platforms to use, and inspiration for content for your unit meetings.

  • If you’ve never tried out virtual meetings before, it’s not too late! We teamed up with Barclays’ Digital Eagles to develop three webinars that will help you build up your digital skills to the point where you can feel confident running online meetings.
  • If you still feel a little lost on how to get started, check out our blog on ‘Having your first virtual meeting’. We take you through the process of planning, setting up and running a meeting, step by step.
  • If you do decide to run regular unit meetings, we’ve given you a head start on content. We’ve developed a 6-week programme plan for each section, so that you can get a head start on planning. These are all in word documents, so you can edit them however you like. They’re all available on our website, along with advice on how to adapt activities for virtual meetings.

If you’ve been running virtual meetings for a while, you might be stuck on ideas for content. Here are some places you can look for inspiration. We will continue to add to many of these over the coming months, so do keep checking back for new ideas!

  • Our How-to video series is perfect for virtual unit meetings, as they provide girls with easy to understand instructions on how to complete activities on their own at home.
  • Adventures at home  – as well as lots of activities girls can do alone at home, our Adventures at home hub features games for every section that can be used as fun warm-ups in virtual meetings.
  • Activities for wellbeing - we've shared activities from our Think Resilient peer education resource that can help children and young people explore their feelings during this time.
  • We’ve also partnered with a lot of amazing organisations who have developed amazing resources focusing on lots of different topics, from inventing to stargazing.
  • Remember to reach out to your fellow volunteers if you ever get stuck! We’ve been blown away by the creativity shown by our members over the past year. Our member communities on Facebook and Twitter are great places to reach out for ideas, inspiration and reassurance. Remember that things won’t always go to plan, and that’s ok!

For parents

If you’re feeling at a loss for how to keep your children occupied while balancing all your other working commitments, we want you to know that we’re here to help. We have lots of fun, free and adaptable content available for you to use either alongside online learning, or just to keep girls entertained in their breaks from studying at home. Even if your daughter’s unit meetings aren’t currently running, we want her to be able to access all the fun of Girlguiding:

  • Check out Adventures at home. Here we have activities, games, challenges and videos designed for girls of all ages. Perfect to do together, or for girls to do on their own.
  • Complete some interest badges. A key part of the Girlguiding programme, interest badges are designed for girls to do on their own at home, independently of their unit meetings! The idea is for girls to choose what interests them the most, either by doing activities they’ve never tried before, or digging deeper into what they love. If your daughter wants to collect them all, it all counts towards earning her Theme awards. You can pick up Badge Books in our online shop.
  • Watch our Adventures at home festival – created last year, our first ever virtual festival included lots of different sessions on fitness, animation, chemistry experiments, inspiring talks and much more.

If you just don’t know where to start, our Girlguiding community is always here for you, and we have loved hearing from parents on how they use our materials. All our content is designed to be adaptable, so that you can use it in whatever way works best for you and your daughter.

For your mental health

We know this return to a full lockdown is incredibly hard on everyone, and the knowledge that we’re all doing what’s necessary doesn’t always make it any easier to bear. Throughout last year, we wanted to make members’ mental health a priority, so we gathered advice from experts, volunteers, parents and girls on ways to cope with anxiety and uncertainty during the pandemic. We’re resharing that here, in the hope that it might include something you need to hear right now.

  • Mental health, wellbeing and coronavirus – our biggest compilation of resources and advice to help you prioritise your mental health right now.
  • Five ways to boost wellbeing – a blog from Girlguiding advocates and Wellbeing champions Alice and Hen.
  • Five creative ways to explore mindfulness – a great roundup of activities you can do with children of all ages to help them feel less stressed and overwhelmed.
  • How to talk to young people about Covid-19 – these top tips are applicable whether you’re a volunteer or a parent.
  • It’s okay to just be. At Girlguiding, we want as many girls as possible to experience the comfort and fun of regular unit meetings. However, we also recognise that our volunteers have already given a huge amount, and that this is an incredibly difficult time to go the extra mile. If you’re a volunteer feeling the pressure right now, we want you to know that you are incredibly precious to us, and that we want you to prioritise yourself and your wellbeing first and foremost.