Blog / September 10th, 2020

The Leaders Toolbox – Facebook Interactive

On the morning of Saturday 5 September, we held our latest and ever-popular Facebook interactive session. These sessions are designed so that, for a set period of time various guiding specialists are available on the Girlguiding Anglia Facebook page to engage in chats, present new information and support and generally for you to ask any guiding questions. When we don’t know the answer we go away, find out and develop support to make guiding as smooth as possible for leaders in Anglia.

The sessions are also an ideal time for region staff and key volunteers to connect with our local leaders from across the region to share ideas, challenges and successes.

As always our topics generated much conversation therefore, we have compiled the most common and relevant FAQs below. All conversations, videos and resource links are still available on our Facebook page where we will also share future interactive dates so please follow our social media pages for further event dates and stay connected with what’s happening in the region.

Am I doing it right?

Are you familiar with the Five Essentials checklists?

As part of our ‘Doing Our Best’ standards, these lists can help you check that you’re incorporating all of the Five Essentials into your programme (however and wherever you’re currently delivering it).

Leaders shared how they get girls involved in leading the programme including:

  • Asking via parents on Facebook, emails or survey monkey
  • Using Zoom chat function when girls are unwilling to talk aloud on screen
  • Using Zoom polls
  • Giving a craft to do whilst on Zoom to encourage ‘natural’ chat
  • Using Jamboard or Zoom whiteboard

There’s also a set of checklists for Safety and Safeguarding.

These cover recruitment checks, safeguarding concerns, risks, emergencies and data security – key safety areas that are still relevant regardless of how we’re currently meeting.

The third set of checklists support Making Guiding Happen.

These are great for thinking about how your unit works together and how everyone uses their own knowledge and skills to positively contribute to your offer. There’s also a useful money section to remind you of your responsibilities for finance and accounts.

A leader also shared that completing the ‘doing your best’ training (available as an online webinar) was really useful in refreshing skills. Why not give it a go? E-learnings are available from the making guiding happen section of the Girlguiding website and webinars in the learning opportunities tab in GO.

Code of conduct

Everything that we do as guiding members links back to our code of conduct, please find time to refresh yourself on this and share with other volunteers in your unit.

We hope highlighting these checklists will ensure that you’re confident with doing things right and you can give yourselves a pat on the back.

Safeguarding and risk

Risk assessments

With risk assessments being a hot topic as we return to face to face guiding it’s not surprising that this was a hot topic among leaders.

One discussion centred around re-using risk assessments for multiple meetings. If it’s for the same venue and activity, then it can be reused without approval. But if the activities and participants are changing then your risk assessment does need to be updated.

For further risk assessment guidance specific to return to face to face guiding visit Girlguidings webpage on starting to meet in person again.

For an example risk assessment for online meetings visit the Girlguiding Anglia website resources section.


A Safe Space training is all about keeping our members safe including risk assessment and what to do if you have a concern.

By December 2020 everyone needs to have the correct level of A Safe Space training for their role.

Levels 1 and 2 are available as e-learnings and 3 and 4 as webinars run both nationally and regionally. Recognised prior learning can be accepted for level 3.

For more information on e-learning and national training visit the learning and development section of the Girlguiding website.

For information on regionally run level 3 courses visit the Anglia website with all information available in the level 3 Safe Space blog. (Level 4 courses are by invitation linked to role at this time).

Leaders discussed techniques they were using to ensure a Safe Space during online meetings, hints and tips included:

  • Sharing one positive thing that has happened in the past week
  • Talking to every girl as part of the meeting but not insisting on a verbal reply

Readymade resources

There are lots of resources available to pick up and go, no matter what style of guiding you are offering at this time. We shared a few of our favourites.

Peer Education goes virtual

Peer education topics Think Resilient and Breaking free are available virtually. Find out more here and book a virtual visit to your unit.

Region video library project

Over the summer of 2020 a group of Queen’s Guides in Anglia led a project to create videos explaining UMA’s that sometimes cause a significant amount of preparation for leaders. Taster videos were launched on the Girlguiding Anglia YouTube channel where the full set of videos will follow on 14 September. Visit the page here and don’t forget to subscribe!

UMA’s and skills builders for virtual meetings

Several of our trainers have put together some UMA adaptations that you can use for your own units.

Girlguiding Norfolk Archive Centre (ARC)

Leaders shared the brilliant experiences of their girls with the readymade ARC resources and also virtual meeting visits. Have a look at their website here for more information.

Programme changes

We discussed the recently announced changes to programme, with interest badge changes permanently implemented and the others until 31 January 2021.

  • Skill builders level 1-5 the girls can do 4 out of 5 activities
  • Level 6 they still need to do all 5.
  • You will then need to move the girls records forward to completion on GO
  • Unit meeting activity hours have been reduced by 1 hour for each section
  • GO will automatically update the girl’s records
  • Interest badges can now be worked on during the meetings but the girls MUST have a free choice of what they do and how to complete them

Leaders shared how this made delivering a girl-led programme so much easier and we agreed to pass on to Girlguiding the desire for these changes to become permanent.

Look up ‘our programme’ on the Girlguiding website for more details.

Money matters

With subscriptions coming up and many of us not having collected unit subs for some months our region Finance Manager joined the session to answer your pressing questions. We also asked what support you would like from Anglia in the coming months. Below are the highlights of the topics covered but what we took away is that you would like more focus on this in the coming months so watch this space!

  • Subscription information is not yet available with Girlguiding still looking into them. All levels of guiding had done everything possible to save money including furloughing staff and non-parent funding streams and significant cost-cutting is being looked at for 2021. Information will be cascaded through counties, divisions and districts as soon as it is available.
  • Anglia international trip refunds are still being worked on with insurance claims starting to come in.
  • Fundraising ideas were shared to be added to a region fundraising and grants support pack launching during the autumn.
  • The ‘subs during coronavirus’ section of the Girlguiding website has been helpful in explaining the need for funds to parents with template letters being updated as information changes. View this page here.