Our independent Senior Section unit

Leader Julie explains how her independent or 'Lone' guiding group stay involved even though they're busy or far away from girls in their age group, thanks to UYSAF funding

We're a 'lone' unit so we ‘meet’ online rather than in person. We do seasonal activities, and we're running a mini-series on well-being.

I run a Brownie unit and a Guide unit and our local depot and just started a Senior Section unit - with a difference.

We're a 'lone' or indepedent guiding unit so we ‘meet’ online rather than in person. We don’t have a set time, we mostly use Facebook to communicate, and generally have a conversation about something every day or so. We also send out monthly newsletters and sometime e-mails. We (both Leaders and girls) suggest ideas for the girls to do and they decide whether they want to do them or not.

Lone units also add flexibility for girls and volunteers when they have other commitments -  such as studying or caring responsibilities or where an illness or disability can prevent them from attending regular meetings.

What the girls work on

The girls are all different ages and are working on a variety of things - such as Look Wider, Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Commonwealth Award, Queen’s Guide Award, Trainer qualification and some of them on their Leadership Qualification.

Since joining the lone Senior Section unit, I feel I’ve changed as a person. I’ve learned a lot as the Leaders offer guidance and support with badges, activities and new opportunities. These opportunities wouldn’t have been available to me without this unit. I’ve grown in confidence and hope to continue doing so as I stay with the unit. - Sophie Gregory, 20, a member of the group

As a unit we are mostly looking at Look Wider and have started some of them on their Commonwealth Award, as they requested. In the newsletter we include seasonal activities and information, and we're currently also running a mini-series on stress and well-being.

The group also attends local, regional and national events together and some of the girls and Leaders met up earlier this year at Alexandra Palace to celebrate 100 years of the Senior Section! 

Most of the girls took part in a Christmas card swap within our unit and some took part in the Scottish Lone Senior Section unit swap as well - connecting girls all over the UK.

What we're doing next

Several challenge badges were suggested for this year, and we will be doing some social action at some point, I just don’t know what yet!

I have been a member since I was six. Girlguiding has helped me become the person I am today and I want other girls to have that. I strongly believe in the help that Girlguiding gives to girls. I love my Brownies and Guides and enjoy watching them grow and develop. And although The Senior Section Unit is quite new - I’m sure I'll come to love them too!

I would definitely recommend lone units as they’re extremely flexible and open up guiding to all girls and volunteers. 

More on independent guiding

If you want to be part of giving girls who have less time or live far away from a unit, the chance to be involved in guiding then be part of running lone guiding!