County Notes for the Girlguiding Stockport Executive Committee Meeting

Held on Thursday 20th February 2020
At Tabor Lodge, Trinity Gardens, Stockport. SK3 8TL


Sue Beck – County Commissioner

Claire Lepine – Assistant County Commissioner & Guiding Development Young Members

Carol Lepine – County Exec Minute Secretary

Margaret Brookes – County Leadership Qualification Coordinator

Eva Bines – County Guiding Development – Adults and Membership Systems Adviser

Nicola Prydderch – County Leadership Qualification Coordinator

Jean Lawrowitsch – County Trefoil Guild Chair

Janet Davidson – District Commissioner – Heaton Chapel

Lesleyanne Rainton – District Commissioner – Werneth

Liz Luddington – District Commissioner – Hazel Grove

Caroline Calverley – District Commissioner – Marple

Emma Jarvis – District Commissioner – Cheadle & Gatley

Kat Croxford – District Commissioner – Ludworth & Lyme

Lisa Hopper –District Commissioner – Edgeley

Jo Hough –District Commissioner – Offerton

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Sue welcomed all to the meeting and welcomed Caroline and Emma.


Gillian Benson – County Treasurer

George Foot – County Outdoor Activity Adviser

Chris Brown – District Commissioner – Benja Fold & Bramhall Green District

Jenny Shaw – District Commissioner – Bramhall & Woodford District

Katie Whalley – Community Action Adviser

Frances Kennedy – PR & Communications Adviser

Claire Cawley – District Commissioner – Cheadle Hulme

Clare McGrory – District Commissioner – Cheadle Hulme

Minutes from 25th November 2019

Approved with no objections.

Matters Arising.

5th July between 2 and 5pm was confirmed as the date for Stockport Celebrates, Sue had booked the venue, Houldsworth Golf Club. It was felt 2-4pm was a little rushed last year.

Notification of Other Business


Pears Foundation Update

Sue told the group that along with the actions listed in Sally’s report, there was also a plan in place to emulate a system used by scouting to set up new units support by us but run by parents. Parents on the waiting list would be contacted to say that a place could be available for their daughter if they were willing to help fund the unit, parents would be mentored for 2-3 months and would then take on the unit running (with continued support). This will hopefully be trialled on a Saturday afternoon in Offerton. Emma had also looked at venues in Gatley and had been put on a waiting list of around 6-9 months.

Sally’s report included the following:

Target – What will we do? Timescale – When do we need to make it happen? How will we do it? Capacity – How much will it help us grow? When will we do it? Who will make it happen How’s it going?
An article in Stockport councils Newsletters Submitted by the end of Jan Write an article with info and photos from councillors, leaders and young members Call to action for Stockport Council employees. We may get some volunteers January Sally, Tess units that took part and Councillors 18/2/20 – Spoke to someone at the Council and they are going to put information in their internal newsletters
Weekend Unit – Start a Rainbow unit to meet at Benja Fold on a Saturday morning. Saturday unit Offerton Ready to start After Easter Approach all girls on Rainbow waiting list for a taster session with parents and girls. This will get a new Rainbow unit. Could also be a model for other areas. Jan – April Sally 18/2/20 – Potential unit at Gatley Hill house – venue not available for 6 months Offerton –
Cheadle Mosque – Approach Cheadle Mosque to encourage them to open a unit within the Mosque By End of February Research into Mosque make initial contact. Contact Cheshire West, in case they have any links At least one potential unit but could be a family of units Feb – April Sally 18/2/20 – Had a meeting at the Mosque, very positive. Keen to have Guide/Ranger however due to building work they wouldn’t be ready for a unit there for a couple of years. Keen to get girls and volunteers involved and trained up ready for when they are ready. Waiting to hear back as to whether the Imam is on board.
Units for children with additional needs Approach Treehouse, Royal School for the Deaf, Seashell trust and Together trust Ready for September Contact each separate organisation with proposals of a unit. Look into the joint Guide/Scout hospital unit Potentially a unit in each April – July Sally 18/2/20 – Research into locations and information on each place carried out. Initial contact made with Independent Options by L. Luddington Contacted a couple of established hospital units, going to visit Leeds unit
Businesses – Approach businesses with a day of activities they plan Volunteers doing 1 evening a term/half term Ready for September Come up with a variety of proposals, Skills Pool, skills builder’s day, interest badge starting point day. Email and post out info to all large businesses and follow up with a phone call Increase the number of volunteers and show off Guiding to potential volunteers from businesses By September Sally  


Margaret reported that an area of concern is Eurojam.  Despite a payment plan being set up and best efforts from Helen Clarke, payments are slow to come into the County account.  This means that when payments are due to Region, the county have to meet the cost, sometimes from Reserves.  There are still 2 places available for the trip.  If the places are not filled, then it is possible that we will still have to pay for them.

A new practice defibrillator is to be purchased to be used at First Response Trainings. Booking for trainings using Eventbrite is working well and we will continue to use this system.

Membership Subscriptions – trial invoices are now available and have been viewed by a number of districts/units.  However, there are still areas of concern across the County where they have not been viewed as yet and therefore no changes can be made after the deadline.

The County Risk Assessment has been updated and approved by the Finance Committee and is to be distributed to the exec members with the minutes of this meeting.

Gillian asked Margaret to inform those present that she had just received notification from Nat West bank that all banks are bringing in CoP (confirmation of payee). This means that the name of the person who we pay by bank transfer MUST be the exact same as the information on their account.

In future anyone we pay money to will need to ensure they give us the full correct name of their account and likewise people paying us must have the correct name of our account. All banks are bringing this in and so I’m hoping for all those that I pay regularly the correct info is on the bank templates I have.

Sue asked Margaret to explain how Finance had now been split into two roles between herself (now chair of finance, looking after strategy and governance) and Gillian (treasurer, looking after day to day bookkeeping) as the role had become too big for one person to handle.

Claire said that some subscription invoices had still not been viewed. She explained how district commissioners could go onto GO and check invoices. It had been suggested that a Facebook competition could be launched with people posting photos of themselves while posting the cheques, the first 10 to post would win UMA packs. Claire asked to be informed if there were any issues with subs.

Region Updates

Sue reported the following from the recent region executive meeting. She hoped to try and de-mystify Region and reminded those present that they should start thinking about a new county team as the current one would finish early 2021.


  • Finance & Property Chair
  • CC/Assistant CC rep on Finance Committee
  • Finance Reps
  • Merchandise Chair
  • Arts Award Adviser
  • Trainer Adviser
  • Peer Education Adviser
  • CC Awards Committee Rep

Louise Smith, Finance coordinator has now left, considering sharing a role with LASR, designer also resigned, considering a full-time post replacement.

Subscriptions: – Trial invoices out, some issues so please check carefully. Live invoices will include a warning about fraud.  Please push units who haven’t viewed yet.

2019 Accounts/Audit KQ advised that the audit has been completed and it is likely that we may end up with a small surplus, although we are waiting to see if the issue with Sport England’s funding may impact this.  We will have the final audit meeting before the next Finance Committee Meeting, which is on the 30 March, this will allow us to sign the Trustee Report at the April Exec meeting.

Strategy 2020 – One Team

Conference in March plans to have region strategy event for advisers and commissioners in June with a launch event in the Autumn possibly to tie in with Growth event.

Partnerships Update KH advised that; – British Army, partnership is working well in preparation for the Army Day – ABB engineering Rainbow/Brownie Innovate Stage 2 facilitated event, held at ABB offices in Warrington, the worry is that they are not going to have the capacity for as many members as we thought are waiting for them to get back to us – but potential date is the 10 & 11 October – Greater Manchester Police Duke of Cornwall Emergency Planning Badge, Greater Manchester West are piloting for us and then we can see if this would be something that we would want to do across the Region.  AH advised that plans are progressing well

Sealife and Lego Discovery (Trafford Centre), discounts to units, units just need to contact them, to organise. Still need to progress a potential large-scale sleepover – Papyrus may offer free mental health training.  JW agreed to contact them to progress – Stockport Grammar for Imagination  – Bolton School for a potential venue for the Strategy Day or the Thanks and Recognition Day, but KH has not heard from them so is assuming that it is not a favourable response – Manchester United Foundation – potential partnership to undertake a Dragon’s Den type partnership but need to meet with them to discuss further Girlguiding LaSER potential partnership looking at sharing a Finance Coordinator as discussed earlier

Safe Space: – Lots of discussion around how to achieve compliance (will be discussed on County agenda)

1-3-year badges will continue and will be available at April exec unless we want them earlier.

Succession Planning – It was recognized that we’re not great at succession planning and we need to look at the active pending roles aren’t just put into leaders’ roles when they wanted to do accounts etc. This is not easy, CCs are having conversations, but people don’t want to do anything else and it all feeds back into G&R.  That includes CCs as well. AC advised that they’ve had 3 experienced leaders who have left as they are not engaging in the new programme but asked where that is being fed back to.  The question was posed around whether or not there an exit interview.

GDYM structure to change, advisers now not as active as programme becomes embedded. New structure TBC. See it, Say it, Sort it- great day, good feedback

Commissioner training, next one in April full, adding another date.

Adventure and challenge: -Happy Pendle Hill Hikers CW advised that this has gone out but wasn’t sure how bookings are going.  Evade Haven’t got the confirmed date back yet but we have advised which dates to avoid.  Arts Award Adviser Need someone in post but struggling to recruit. 

Outdoor Advisers Meeting CW advised that she had a trip to Lorne last week and that KH had sent out the notes to CCs, big thing this year is to have a year of adventure future girl theme.  England Cricket Board are providing sessions to 5-8-year olds. Agreement with the Scouts about shared qualifications for events is just going through HQ, looking at sharing qualifications at joint events.

The new Travelling abroad module will come out in March and will be split into two parts, they’ll be more information to follow but the plan is to go live with this in 2021. There was a lot of discussion about people already with the qualification and what happens with them, but we need to wait and see.

International: -HHD attended the Academy leadership event in Slovenia WAGGS and WASM series of training and development sessions over 4 days.  Sessions focused on topics such as; funding, strategy, advocacy and diversity.  HHD relayed that it was a fun event with a mix of people attending from those with international roles and commissioners.  The monitoring and evaluating session had some good tips and ideas in terms of evaluating international offers and has also made some great networking contacts in Europe.  The event happens every November and it would be really good to send someone consistently every year and there is also a proposal for the UK to hold the one in 2021.

MR advised that she attended the Juliette Lowe Seminar in the Maldives, it is a triannual leadership training programme run by WAGGS. Previously only one member per membership organization can go but last year they wanted more young women to go so opened it up and had 18 hubs around the world, sharing in the learning but in different cultural contexts.  500 young women from 113 countries attended and they had talks via Skype from other countries.  Training included leadership practice as a woman in the world we live in based on mindsets, gender equality, sustainable goals, social innovation, young women in governance. Lots of full training days, but also included sessions on presenting, a protest march and a beach clean.  The Challenge from WAGGS was that you’ve had this experience now you need to impact another 100 girls.

JW advised that leading on from leading experiences, Miriam is one of 3 UK members going to the world conference; in Uganda in July.

ICE 2020 – There will be a 2020 Malta Ice trip which has 25 girls and 5 leaders attending.

National Objectives – They are hoping to see a big push on the WTD activity, but Exec had not seen a push on social media.  We have also been challenged to think about how we can offer other age ranges international experiences.  The national 18-30 opportunities haven’t had a great uptake and there have been some issues finance issues, we do not think that HQ will run them again.

Leader Selection – 28 March is the leaders’ selection day, previous years we have not had a good uptake so would like to get as many leaders there as possible.

Adventures in Lisbon – Adventures in 2021 will be in Lisbon suggested date is on Saturday 14 August, similar to previous years. It will be a mass event and will help leader gain TA License and new qualification. The cost will be £30 for the day event.  Exec were advised that Lisbon was chosen following a Facebook poll other options were Budapest but Manchester already going there this year.

There will be a Wide Game and evening event aimed at Guides and Rangers.  50 places will be available for other regions.  Exec approved this event.

International Team – We will be soon looking for new International team as Helen and Miriam finish later this year.

ICE Project 2021 – Leaders for this will be recruited in March and we will perhaps link the UK community service aspect to the event at the international celebration event at Waddow in October.

2021 Trips – Classroom in the Clouds in Nepal. This was run in 2018, the girls were involved in training programme on menstruation. The cost will be around £1,000 and then flights £800. It will be a 14-day trip and 3 adult leaders will be needed.

Camp Canada – Girlguiding Ontario Camp Doe in Toronto, Canadian Girl Scouts are excited at the idea of us joining the camp. The estimate is £2,000.  There will be a range of programmes, but we will ask for our girls to focus on leadership development.  We will need 3 adults for this trip.

Brownie international Adventure – Exec had presented to them a potential trip to le chateaux, which would have 2 leaders in charge which would be free to facilitate the trip.  Leaders would book and go with four Brownies or two leaders and eight brownies. Coaches have capacity for 45 so agreed a 42 capacity plus the 2 leaders in charge.  This was approved and it was agreed to target those leaders who haven’t had an international experience before.

BGO Camp – Opportunity is available to join the BGO camp for a county to enable 6 girls and 3 leaders to join the camp for 6 days in April 2021 in Malaga. Girls would be Guide age.  The team want to choose a county, so CCs were asked to let KH know if they are interested.

Express update

Working on role description

Social media- Instagram and twitter pages to be launched

Challenge badge to be launched

Lone guiding to change its name

CHQ Update

• Plan is for Girlguiding to be an unrivalled girl-led experience

 • UMA pack 7, bronze and silver awards have been launched

 • Future Girl Live will be on the 2 May

• Big Gig is confirmed for Birmingham Saturday 24 October

 • New Action for Change has 28 girls and 17 coaches

 • CC’s should have had their invitations to the conference, email will be sent with times and a programme soon

  • 120-day disclosures dropped off! Emily Hughes will investigate this at HQ, CC’s to keep a written record in the short term

• January 2020 – 3 days saw most badge activities ever recorded

 • Doing our best material – please use, let me know if anything needs updating. Free from trading stock code 6952

Subscriptions – still working to move to online payments, accept that cheques are antiquated

Joint activities with Scouts. Better working relationship, removing barriers about working together on joint activities. Permits and qualifications accepted by each organisation. Banned activities will not be offered to either at joint events. Start of a better working relationship

Safe Space refreshers – 3 year and full course. Just 3 and 4 need face to face, still not close enough for compliance for Dec 2020 – please do all you can

TAC’s – Becky Allen has been appointed strategic operations manager for all TAC’s, more events should be shared across all GG centres and should make for a better offer.

Proposal being put together to host WAGGGS/WOSM Europe Academy 2021

District Reports

Heaton Chapel

Janet reported a successful Rainbow sleepover. Rangers decorated the hall beforehand. Units working to programme- smaller units finding some aspects challenging. Small mixed guides rangers attended Sparkle and ice. District Meeting set up as social to encourage YL attendance this plan de railed by local college interviews.  Personal issues 2 leaders not able to guide some covering happening.

One unit attending thinking day event. Fundraising for kitchen has begun.


Lisa reported – 1st Bridgehall Rainbows have been working on the Skills for my future theme award, some have completed the construction and book lovers interest badges at home. They have made fruit kebabs, learnt about different battery types, used screw drivers to gain access to the batteries. They’ve also learnt the importance of working as a team and realising we are all different in lots of ways, not just how we look but our personalities, likes and dislikes etc.

3rd Cheadle Heath Rainbows have been busy on another section of the new programme. The girls are enjoying learning all about recycling, reusing and reducing waste. Not sure the paper they made out of old paper will be of any use, but we tried… Some of the girls are getting interested in earning badges at home…watch this space. We are looking forward to attending the WTD with 10 of our girls.

1st Edgeley brownies have had fun trying some of the first aid skill builder stage 2 ,we celebrated Chinese New year by playing some games they do at New year, we decorated cakes for valentine’s, learnt about guides in Australia, and after half term we will be trying to make pancakes over tealights, visiting Brooklyn pottery and having a Zumba night.

2nd Cheadle Heath Brownies have been working on some of the new programme activities, Community action – kindness making good turn paper chains, magic moving postcards, can you see in the dark, living postcards. And as we had 7 new brownies, we have been doing a lot of Promise activities – Mission Promise as a reminder to older brownies too and leading up to our Thinking Day Meeting/Promise celebration after half term.

3rd Cheadle Heath Brownies: In December we had an indoor planetarium visit the unit and 3 girls made their promise inside it, and we had our Christmas party. We welcomed some new starters in January and have been working on various skill builders and UMA’s and we have finished the be well stage 3. We have also had our termly badge night. Next month we will be doing Russian activities for thinking day and attending the county event, we also have girls booked on the outdoor cooking skills day.

2nd Cheadle Heath Guides have completed a Mexico themed challenge badge and are working on the skills for my future theme.

The Guides are now meeting roughly every 2 weeks as due to work and family commitments Kirsten cannot make every week. We are very appreciative of the time she can give and are looking for another leader to assist her.

Benja Fold & Bramhall Green

Since taking on the post as District Commissioner Chris stated in her report that she had been in contact with all the units, held a district meeting, but still getting up to speed with Go and training required by leaders and I intend to contact all those who require First aid and safe space.

All units have enjoyed festive activities and a number of them attended the showing of Frozen 2 in Stockport in December. Some units are looking forward to attending the WTD fundraising event on the 23/02.

Numbers are healthy in all units, with the exception of 2nd Bramhall Guides, who currently have 4 guides and 1 YL, although there is the possibility of numbers increasing at Easter from a number of Brownie units locally.

Update on Bramhall Green

CHQ legal department (Property lawyers Chira and Guy) are currently looking at the break clause in the lease and ownership of the hut and I have a telephone meeting with them on Monday 24/02.

The council have recently held local flood meetings and Sharon kindly attended and advised that there were no plans to put in any flood defences in the Bramhall Green area.

I have spent some time contracting local venues for availability and costs with a view to relocating the units after the Easter holidays. I am having a meeting with the leaders from Bramhall Green on Monday evening to discuss possible new venues and the logistics of moving.

Ludworth & Lyme

Kat reported – Units are busy planning nights away in the Summer.

1st Disley Guides had a visit from the local PCSO to discuss personal safety and will be taking part in an aerial hoop workshop this term, they’re also attending the Lead Skills Builder Day at Fulwood Barracks. Disley units are taking part in a local heritage trail for VE day in conjunction with the Parish Council & Lyme.

We’re currently settling in some new volunteers and transition of leadership teams.

1st Mellor Guides went to the Carver theatre and Disley units to the panto in New Mills.


Lesleyanne reported – Harry Potter book night celebrated by guides and brownies in Romiley (4th) and was really successful, leading to a proposed pack holiday with the brownies using the same theme.

1st Romiley Guides will be celebrating their centenary this year and we are planning lots of activities around this along with a centenary camp in the summer (tbc). The guide hut will also be celebrating its centenary and our new committee are planning a community celebration, hopefully inviting previous members to join us.  

Woodley Rainbows have been working on knowing yourself theme

3rd Romiley brownies have been focusing on zero waste and recycling and plan a litter picking night.

Bredbury brownies have been looking at how the girls keep their promises and mindfulness.

Units are ready for annual subscription.


Eleanor stated in her report that – Handover from Heather is in progress

All leadership and long service awards are up to date as far as we know, Heather completed these before finishing. All units have current First Aid and I’m reminding those where they are due. Reviewing reports on Subs and Safe Space, but all looks good. Heather has been a fab DC and we’re going to organise a thank you from the district shortly

Unit news:

24th Stockport Guides are busy fundraising for their Swiss adventure this summer, tickets still available for their tasting lunch on 29th February (£10 from Sharon Fraser)

1st Woodsmoor Brownies are planning a residential at the Children’s Inn in March and PGL in May

12th Stockport St Georges and 2nd Woodsmoor Brownies are planning a joint trip to Pax Lodge in June to see the trooping of the colour

1st Woodsmoor Guides celebrated their 90th Birthday in November with an afternoon tea and trip to Pax Lodge in December.

Hazel Grove

Liz reported – We have planned our usual district thinking day celebration, scheduled for Wednesday 26 February, with rainbows, brownies and guides from across the district joining together to go on a world tour around various countries enjoying activities, crafts and food from different countries. We usually have around 100 girls at the event.

We are thinking ahead to Hazel Grove carnival on Saturday 11 July with a cosmic theme – any help from across the county is very welcome and if anyone has a lorry, we could borrow for the day that would be amazing!


Caroline reported that the main news is that we have had a change of District Commissioner to me with huge thanks to Jess Bray for all her hard work during her time as DC. I shall be passing the DC baton to Clare Manley in September as she had too many commitments (Mexico) being one of them to take on the role now.

At Marple we are in the midst of exciting building plans which will see our kitchen being enlarged with more space and a door to the gardens. A re-configuration of toilet facilities so we will have Ladies, unisex disabled toilet and additionally the disabled toilet will be a wet room.

Cheadle & Gatley

Emma reported – 2nd Gatley Guides is now a joint Guides and Rangers unit. They have recently been indoor skydiving.

3rd Gatley Brownies and Guides had a film night sleepover at the beginning of February. 1st Gatley Brownies are planning a visit from support dogs. 3rd Gatley Rainbows are planning a Sport Relief event with Diddi Dance.

1st Gatley Guides, 3rd Gatley Rainbows and 6th Cheadle brownies are all planning residentials at The Abney Centre in the summer.

Some units are collecting numbers to book places for Imagination Region event in July.

Emma raised the matter of Training week feedback – people felt it was late being advertised and a lot of leaders had already planned their full term and the plans sent out so that it was difficult to suddenly cancel a week’s programme. People attended but were not asked for feedback afterwards. Claire said she would make sure that feedback would be asked for in the future maybe via survey monkey as people had seemed to favour that with past events.

Emma also Suggested GO training as a further training opportunity as many were still not confident in this area or the new program recording. Eva suggested screenshotting the help pages as an option.

Cheadle Hulme

  • Opened new rainbow unit at Oak Avenue
  • Some Rainbows/ brownies have received their bronze badges for the new programme
  • Warwick close brownies have done a community tidy up
  • Brownie pack holiday and guide camp in March and some others in planning process
  • Having a rainbow District rainbow science day in March
  • Rainbow 88 event was attended by 7 units in Cheadle Hulme

In their report Claire Cawley and Clare McGrory asked if Trefoil could let them know what kind of things they could help with and who to contact. Jean said she was the Trefoil contact and would contact them directly. They also asked a question about subscriptions- our understanding is that they are paid at the highest level, so should that therefore be those that hold county positions are paid at county e.g. county first aider, Claire explained that payments are made where the members ‘main role’ is, this should be set to where they do the majority of their Guiding.

Moor Bank

Jo reported that the District is ready for census. Waiting lists continue to be very high especially for Rainbows but brownies too. Rainbow units are at risk of closure.

One of our units has asked if we can close waiting lists / enquiries on go as she feels overwhelmed & is doing lots of admin for girls who will never get a place.

Before Christmas had joint rainbow & brownie meeting to discuss waiting lists specifically. Plan is for these to continue as were felt to be useful.

I have forwarded safe space info from Eva to the unit leaders & am encouraging them to book on appropriate training.


Jean reported – Guilds have been busy celebrating post Xmas meals. Bramhall guild will be moving to an afternoon meeting slot at St Michaels Church on the 4th Monday of the month. All enquiries for new members to Chris Brierley or myself 

Guild members are helping at district and County Thinking Day celebrations. If you need help with events in your district, please get in touch 

Stockport Guild is hosting the Region Trefoil Annual Meeting at Stockport Town Hall on 14th March. A team has been busy planning the event and over 400 people will be attending so it should be a great afternoon with a speaker talking about her life as a Police Superintendent in GMP. If there are any 16+ members who could help with marshalling people and traffic on the day, please get in touch with me. Claire asked Jean to put it on to the volunteers Facebook page.

As always, we are looking for new members, anyone 18+ can join. There are lots of opportunities to get involved with locally, take part in national Topaz projects, and challenge yourself with the Voyage Awards and STARS.


Adventure & Challenge

George sent a report which stated: -We have had a good response to the outdoor cooking event. The water fun day has been booked and the flyer should be out early next week. The flyer for the bat walk is also ready to go out. The Thinking Day event is all planned and is next Sunday. There are still 6 places on the leaders’ weekend, but we have enough people going to cover the cost

New Events

Sharon is going to investigate running an outdoor/muddy day for Brownies this year (Linnet Clough, Manley Mere etc). She is organising an Alice themed indoor day for autumn for them. Girls 16+ are needed to marshal the Regional Trefoil AGM from 12noon to 5pm on 14 March at the Town Hall. Contact Tracey or Jean L with names please.

Carole’s fencing qualifications have run out and, because no units have used her skills or equipment (the Trefoil Guild have), she wants to hand the equipment to someone else. We suggested a Queen’s Guide or Gold DofE girl might be interested.

A Targeting Leaders event was suggested for the summer – “One Adventure” in Denton? Bowmen of Bruntwood? An archery/shooting competition day for leaders?

Kat asked if it was still ok for guides to go away with the scouts. Sue said it was fine but there were specific rules and that anyone planning it should speak to Residential Advisor, Andrea Markham first. Claire added that anything could be sorted if there was enough time and to always check that all leaders have the appropriate qualifications. Janet suggested that leaders might need help from another unit.

Sue said she had received an email regarding the coronavirus for any international trips before 25th May but didn’t think there were any planned.

Adventure and challenge are in need of someone to design flyers for their events – an ad will be put out on Facebook volunteers page and in the newsletter.

Guiding Development – Adults Update and County Go Co-Ordinator

Eva, in addition to her report below, emphasised that it was very important to push young leaders to do level 1 and 2 training, dates were to be advertised through Eventbrite and the Newsletter. She stressed that everyone had to be compliant by December 2020, their membership could be withdrawn if they hadn’t complied, it only took approximately 20 minutes per level to complete.

Nicola asked if parent helpers had to do the training? Eva said level 1 had to be completed by anyone who was in contact with the girls. Eva added that every unit needed to check to make sure they were fully compliant.

Guiding Development – Adults Update

First Aid Report

We had a successful course in January with 1 refresher and 12 full attendees and we were joined by some Poynton leaders as their county uses Ensure, who only run full day courses (it’s not cost effective to ask them to do refresher courses), so they struggle to renew their first aid. We had 9 attend last Sunday’s course. We have a fully subscribed course for March (10 refresher/4 full) and 5 booked on refresher in April. Of 14 units with no cover (as at 13.1.20)   3 units are closing down/didn’t open, 1 is now covered, 1 runs alongside another unit, 2 have cover (still getting glitches with Go), 2 waiting on external course details/certificate, 5 need following up. Of 12 units due to expire by end June. 5 have done a refresher course, one is booked on for March 2 booked on April course, 2 have done/doing an external course, 1 waiting to hear from leader, 1 has cover (Go glitch).

I understand that there may be another unit that has appeared on the units with no cover. Can commissioners PLEASE make sure that if someone changes role, moves unit, leaves etc that the unit is covered for first aid (and relevant safe space) as these units should NOT be appearing on the list.

With regard to people doing a refresher, it seemed to take a post on the Facebook page to encourage people to book on a course, however there are still people who need to do refresher courses, despite an email being sent to individuals in advance.  I would hope that commissioners are running their own reports at least every half term to pick up units/leaders that need first aid. To clarify, my role is NOT to contact/chase individuals, this is down to commissioners and the individual themselves.

Can anyone who books onto a course (First response or Safe Space) book individuals on. People have been “block booking” 2/3 tickets which means the trainer/facilitator doesn’t know who is attending enabling them to check that they have the right course for the individual’s needs.  (i.e. that they haven’t let their course elapse too long or that they only need to do a refresher not a full course etc). Claire is looking at Eventbrite to see if this can be limited to one booking per person.

Safe Space

Since the last executive there has been 3 trainings organised.  Due to the small number of attendees I moved the trainings to the County office. Five attended the December training, 9 the January training and 3 the February training totalling 17 attendees.  Although the numbers were low, I decided to continue with the trainings rather than cancel.  E learnings completed Level 1 – 17, Level 2 – 20 and level 3 – 11.

Unit compliance figures have risen from 104 to 129 units, but we still have 32 units without a level trained leader

Unit Safe Space Compliant Yes No Unit Safe Space Compliant Yes No Benja Fold & Bramhall Green 6+1 1 Heaton Chapel 8 0 Bramhall & Woodford 4+2 2 Ludworth & Lyme 7 1 Cheadle and Gatley 9+3 3 Marple 11+2 3 Cheadle Hulme 9+3 3 Moorbank 9+3 3 Davenport 13 0 Offerton 3+2 3 Edgeley 7 0 Reddish 7+2 3 Hazel Grove 5+2 2 Werneth 6+1 5 Heald Green 0+4 3 Totals 129 32              

I have emailed all commissioners and where there is no Commissioner the unit main contact to explain who needs what in the unit to be compliant.

Currently we have over 100 young leaders who require levels 1 & 2 plus all our Advisers and Mentors who require level 3 safe space.   I would like to do a specific young leader training for safe space and am open to suggestions on how we can do this.

All the roles and which levels are required for that role were posted onto our Facebook page. Hopefully this will be clearer to everyone.   I have looked at the data for each level and we may all need to give more encouragement to people like unit helpers, occasional helpers etc to get these people completed.

Level 1 –Those with the membership status of ‘recognised volunteer’.  These roles are unit occasional helpers (including residential), young external volunteers and treasurers. Currently there are 315 roles that require this level, including other members)

Level 2 – Unit helper, young leader, assistant leader or leader in training. (There are 337 including these roles of which over 100 are young leaders)

Level 3 – There are 18 mentors and advisers who are yet to complete level 3.

Level 4 – District commissioners (of which there are 7 who require this level).

The figures for Levels 1 & 2 may seem high and that may be due to those who trained in 2017 now have an expiry date showing this year.

Guiding Development – Young Members Update

Claire reported that the GDYM team has been a little neglected and we haven’t had a meeting since the last exec. We are currently recruiting for 3 advisors, Rainbow, Ranger & Young Leader. Details have been on the Vols FB page and Instagram and will go in the next newsletter. Claire asked for recommendations of anyone who was thought to be suitable for available Advisor roles

Sue & Claire have discussed the possibility of amalgamating of the Adventure and Challenge and Guiding Development Young Member teams, we feel that there is a lot of crossover in the teams and that 1 larger team would be more effective. This was agreed by those present. The specialisms that the advisors bring would enable future events. For projects such a training week, separate sub committees could be formed.

Community Action

Katie had sent her apologies and said she was back at rainbows now as an extra pair of hands at the moment. She was hoping to take back more tasks and get on with some community action work soon.


Membership systems

Level 1

In October Level 1 e-learning added the auto-upload to GO for the course. There is no need to complete the survey monkey at the end.  The volunteer just pops in their membership number and email address and it will be added to their GO record.

For this to work, they must use the email address attached to their GO record; therefore, if it’s a unit email account they need to enter that and not their personal address. For individuals without an email address they will either need to have one added, or they will need to send a copy of the completion message to so that we can add this.

For members of the Trefoil Guild and for non-members they are advised to save a screenshot of the completion message and advise that this has been done.

Level 2

Back in August the follow up chat was removed and replaced with an assessment at the end of the e-learning and auto-upload to GO.

What happens if someone has failed the assessment?  They will have two additional attempts to complete this. If they still fail, then they will be required to attend a face to face training.

If anyone completed the previous version (without online assessment) it will show as A Safe Space Level 2 Part 1 of 2 e-learning on their record. At some point they will either need to complete the new version e-learning or attend an in-person session to complete Level 2.

Commissioners should not be holding follow-up chats and instead direct people back to the e-learning. The good news is that once they do the new online training it still lasts for three years.

When volunteers complete Level 3 they get an email with some follow-on suggestions including the Level 3 top up e-learning but this is not compulsory. This email signposts to some additional topics which trainers have suggested should be in the Level 3 but cannot fit into the training due to timing.

A Safe Space for international trips

A set of slides have been put together by the International team to help those organising and leading international trips to consider some possible situations where a safeguarding incident could arise. If anyone requires this, please inform your safe space trainer in advance of the training.


Throughout the year Headquarters will continue to directly remind people as to which levels they need to complete their level training.  As we move closer to compliance deadline, we should be clearer about what will happen to those who don’t complete the levels.

London are continuing to look at what will happen come January 2021, to those who have not completed their training, and this will be agreed by the Operations board. At the moment we’re planning a series of reminders throughout this year of the requirement to do it. In the autumn we’ll explain very clearly that their membership is at risk if they do not complete it by the end of the year. This allows a term for any stragglers to do their training or, if they have real mitigating circumstances, to explain them. We hope that only a small number of volunteers will have their membership withdrawn and for any that do, an appeals process will be in place. If you have any thoughts or comments on what to consider when putting together this process and the messages to volunteers, get in touch with Gemma Donovan (

Suggestions on how we can achieve compliance.

Build a local ‘compliance training day’ to offer ASS and 1st Response. ‘Fast track’ young leader weekend – plan a weekend where you offer all the relevant trainings for young leaders and a chance for them to network. Use meeting place and time to let young leaders, unit helpers and occasional helpers do training – perhaps get someone in to help with girls that night (e.g. external/Trefoil Guild – take phones, laptops, tablets etc to get them to use to complete it.) Or why not try this at District/Division Meetings. Offer weekday trainings within school hours.

Offer cross county training – put as many trainings as you can on the local websites or other areas and add to the team-up calendar – if your places are not full can you offer those close by to attend.

County Learning week to encourage Units to take a 2 week half term, can the county then put on ASS every night of one week for leaders to attend instead of their unit meetings. Ask the county commissioner to give a letter to give parents to explain why they need to do training

Offer face to face Levels 1 and 2 at a local Ranger unit – many will be young leaders and for others it will be good CPD

Offer to run Level 1 and possibly 2 for local Trefoil Guild as many will be occasional helpers

Get a group of family and friends who are unit occasional helpers together – run Levels 1 and 2 face to face or bring laptops and tablets to complete online and offer food afterwards

Take laptops and tablets to camp – get together over breakfast or lunch and do together – good way to catch occasional helpers and young leaders too

Whilst completing a DBS/PVG check – support the new leader to get Level 1 done online and talk about other requirements

Target units with young leaders to encourage the girls to set up their GO with email address and complete the training

When commissioners sign RENs check if all leaders, including YL and occasional helpers listed have completed the necessary levels (NB not a reason not to sign the form but encourage them to complete it)

Help files – Many of the helpfiles were showing new when they have been updated some time ago.  That has now been removed.  The recording the programme helpfile has been updated February 2020.

Can you help us test new programme content?

CHQ in London have created some new safe practice resources to help Guides and Rangers learn about the importance of staying safe. The content is based on the A Safe Space training but delivered in a girl-friendly way. These activities will primarily be aimed at Guides and Rangers working on their permits but will help all girls/units learn what safe practice is. (This will not replace the need for any young leaders to complete ASS in full required levels). To make sure they are the best they can be, we want you and your girls’ expertise in testing them. If you’re interested in helping please email: by Friday 21 February.

Growing Guiding Update

Sue said that Growing Guiding numbers were decreasing alarmingly. She pointed out a number of action points in Sharon’s report.

Development Worker Report February 2020 – Sharon Fraser

Current Members Numbers

Following on from the previous report I have been keeping a close eye on the membership figures. It is the time of year when Units make sure their figures are up to date, however after having 2868 girls in the half term Sept/Oct we have dramatically decreased to 2726. This is a decrease of 17 Rainbows, 41 Brownies, 29 Guides and 12 Rangers. We have also seen a decrease of 33 adult members and an increase of 9 recognised volunteers.

It seems that Units have not taken on as many girls in January this year, which is reflected in the apparent number of spaces, we have available in Units. According to the unit capacity we have 727 spaces available. I have had enquiries from other Counties about girls moving house and they think Units have spaces when in fact they don’t.

Action: Units to check unit capacity of Go.


Since November we have had 246 new enquires to join and an overall reduction of 76 enquiries, these are girls who have actually joined or duplicates that have been deleted.

We have 54 girls who are at the meeting arranged staged and of these the majority have meeting dates in the past. This is currently suggesting that girls have joined but have not been moved into the Units. This means girls are missing out on time for their anniversary badges and also any activities they have completed in the Unit won’t be recorded on Go.

Action: Please encourage Units to confirm roles when girls join or move them back to the waiting list if they need to be, rather than leaving them at meeting arranged.

Action: Talk at District meetings about which Units have space so that girls can be moved from waiting lists into Units that do have space.

Action: Please check your enquiries to see if you have girls that are actually too old to join. If you do, please discuss with the parents about referring them to the next section.


We have had 24 new volunteer enquiries since the 18th November that are still on the enquires part of Go. In total we have 54 volunteers waiting for recruitment checks to clear. 21 of these are new volunteers, but 33 of these are DBS renewals.

Action: Can commissioners please make sure they check if new volunteers have had references added to their enquiry when they complete the DBS check, and chase these up with the volunteers if needed.

Action: If anyone is struggling with doing DBS checks please get in touch with Margaret or myself.

Other work:

  • Helping new Commissioners with Go and DBS
  • Supporting new Rainbows in Cheadle Hulme
  • Bronze and Silver Awards now in stock alongside Gold Awards.

Leadership Update

Nicola reported – I haven’t progressed with an event for New Leaders after the cancellation of the September meeting and will move forward with this.  If anyone has any suggestions, I am happy to look into ideas. Kat said she was authorised to offer an afternoon tea at Lyme Park with a tour.

Nicola said she continued to be kept busy with Leadership books, she was surprised at how many there were in a good way! A combination of volunteers completing the Leadership Qualification and those completing an additional module for a new section. A good sign!

I am currently working through a list of expired/expiring Leaders in Training.

Please continue to support new Leaders in your area, so that we can help them through the Leadership Qualification.


Marketing & PR Update

Frances sent her apologies.

Her report said that the team of 3 was working across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They were holding a PR meeting tonight in order to plan for 2020 and are expecting a NW PR advisor to attend as well. We hope to work closer with NW in the year ahead. 

PR Figures 

In terms of the newsletter, we are getting an average of 40.8% of subscribers opening the newsletter. Only 3 emails bounced which is positive and we will continue to ask people to update their emails in GO.


926 people follow the page which has increased by 60+ in the last 6 months. We have an average of 347 people engaging with the page per month which includes adding a story or clicking through. Daily reach average in the last 6 months is 176 – this was an average of 395 people reached per day in December a month with additional activity. We are open to any feedback from County.


None Received

New Appointments

Caroline Calverley – District Commissioner – Marple

Ends of Term

Janet Davidson – District Commissioner – Heaton Chapel would be leaving in May and would be looking for a successor.

Any Other Business

Eurojam – Sue said there were 3 places still available, flexible payment plan available if this would be helpful. 2 of these were in Stockport. Dates were 27 July to 7 August.

Kat said she was looking for young volunteers to help with projects at Lyme and suggested their help could go towards Arts awards and Duke of Edinburgh, Kat will circulate further details.

Jo told those present that funding for Stockport Carnival had not yet been secured however, she had heard that it would be back this year. She thought she would be on holiday on the day but would be happy to decorate the float but would need volunteers for the day. There was no date yet and a there was talk of a new route. Jo was asked to progress a Girguiding float and keep us updated on progress.

Dates of Future Meetings.

Thursday 16th April 2020, The Guide Hut, Underhill, Romiley, SK6 4HY 7.45 for 8pm start.

Wednesday 17th June 2020, Heaton Chapel Guide Hall, Chandos Rd, Stockport SK4 5AJ 7.30pm start.

Tuesday 22nd September 2020, Marple Guides, 21 Brickbridge Rd, Marple, Stockport SK6 7BQ 7.45 for 8pm start.