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Blog / September 28th, 2020

Chief Commissioner’s Blog

Hi everyone.

I hope you are all staying safe and well, we have seen a change over the last few weeks with the coronavirus infection rate increasing, which I’m sure you are all very familiar with. As a region we have not experienced any local lockdown as yet, but some areas have been on the watch list. Other parts of the country are currently under tighter restrictions which of course impacts upon their guiding. We want to reassure you that we have plans in place in case an area within our region does have a lockdown situation and support and guidance will be in place.

There is an autumn feel to this morning, and I can’t quite believe we are heading to October already. As we have commenced this autumn term, we are very much looking at our blended offer to our members. A blend which suits you as leaders, your girls, and the situation around you. When I think of a blend, it’s about a mixture of the best things creating a whole, something may be a little different than we have tried or offered before.

All the guidance you need can be found on the Girlguiding website with guidance on risk assessments (remember to make them individual to your situation), lots of help with planning virtual activities, a six week programme plan and guidance on indoor and outdoor meetings. The region website has resources and information to help leaders continue to offer great guiding along with our unit newsletters which will continue through this term. I know the current situation is challenging and we have never encountered this before so we have to plan and review Government and National Youth Agency guidance in order to keep us all safe and well. As a region we endeavour to update our guidance as soon as it is available to support you all.

Recently the membership subscription figure for 2021 was announced by Girlguiding and some of you will have joined the recent Zoom calls with Amanda Medler, Chief Guide and Angela Salt, CEO. They both explained the membership subscription payment and what this goes towards providing, for those unable to join, Girlguiding’s figure will be £17.70, a slight increase from last year. The region membership subscription figure will be £10.00, and we have budgeted on the same amount as last year. I know this doesn’t make up the whole amount as counties will be adding their levy too. I am aware all our county commissioners are working hard to look at their budget in order to keep the costs as low as possible. If you are concerned that your unit will struggle financially, do raise this now with your commissioners, so support can be offered. We will all have to look at grants and other avenues of fundraising too.

I’m looking forward to our next virtual region events with R.O.V.E training day taking place Saturday 17 October and our Under the Stars festival on 24-25 October. These are made possible by our lead volunteers, task and finish group members and our staff members, working together as one team. This brings me back to our Girlguiding strategy, Today, Tomorrow, Together, working together for today and for the future.

Let’s keep our guiding light shining.

Keep smiling and stay safe.