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Who we are

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Girlguiding is the United Kingdom's largest voluntary organisation for girls and young women. We have more than half a million members. Thanks to the dedication and support of 100,000 volunteers, we are active in in every part of the UK

'Girlguiding' is an operating name of The Guide Association.

The Guide Association is incorporated and governed by Royal Charter and is a registered charity (number 306016).


In this section:

Statement of purpose

Girlguiding enables girls and young women to develop their potential and to make a difference to the world.

Aim of guiding

The aim of guiding is to help girls and young women develop emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually, so that they can make a positive contribution to their community and the wider world.

Girlguiding and World Guiding

Girlguiding makes guiding available in the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies, its overseas territories and in British communities overseas, to every girl and woman who wants to take part.

There are Girl Guide Associations in all 53 countries in the Commonwealth. Most are independent and a small number are Branch Associations of Girlguiding.

British Guides in Foreign Countries (BGIFC)

Where a British community exists in another country, Girlguiding units may be formed with the permission of the local Association. British Guides in Foreign Countries (BGIFC) is an integral part of Girlguiding with its own Commissioner and support structure. It is administered in a similar way to the other Countries and Regions in the United Kingdom.

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)

Girlguiding is a founder member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which currently has ten million members in 145 countries. All WAGGGS member organisations share a number of common principles:

  • commitment to the ideals embodied in a Promise and Law
  • membership that is open to all girls and women irrespective of faith, race, culture, nationality or any other circumstance, provided they are able to understand and are willing to make or work towards making the Promise
  • membership which is voluntary
  • independence from any political organisation
  • membership which is self-governing, with freedom to formulate its policy and put it into practice.

Guiding's distinctive Method

Girlguiding believes in the value of learning by doing. This is put into practice through a Method with five interlinking elements, known as the Five Essentials of guiding:

  • working together in small groups
  • encouraging self-government and decision making
  • a balanced and varied programme
  • caring for the individual
  • sharing a commitment to a common standard

The Guiding Method is delivered to young members grouped by age into four sections: Rainbow Guides, Brownie Guides, Guides and members of The Senior Section. Its principles apply to all members, including adults. Details of the section and volunteer structure can be found in Structure.

All female members of Girlguiding are occasionally referred to using the generic term Guides.

The Promise

As a result of the recent Promise Consultation, the following wording of the Promise will take effect from 1 September 2013. Further information and frequently asked questions can be found in the news section of the Girlguiding website:

Adults, members of The Senior Section and Guides work towards making, or reaffirm, the following Promise:

I promise that I will do my best:

To be true to myself and develop my beliefs,

To serve the Queen and my community,

To help other people


To keep the Guide Law.


The Brownie Guide Promise is:

I promise that I will do my best:

To be true to myself and develop my beliefs,

To serve the Queen and my community,

To help other people


To keep the Brownie Guide Law.


The Rainbow Guide Promise is:

I promise that I will do my best to think about my beliefs and to be kind and helpful.

The Laws

The Guide Law (for Guides, The Senior Section and adults) is:

  1. A Guide is honest, reliable and can be trusted.
  2. A Guide is helpful and uses her time and abilities wisely.
  3. A Guide faces challenge and learns from her experiences.
  4. A Guide is a good friend and a sister to all Guides.
  5. A Guide is polite and considerate.
  6. A Guide respects all living things and takes care of the world around her.

The Brownie Guide Law is:

A Brownie Guide thinks of others before herself and does a Good Turn every day.

The Rainbow section does not have a Law.


There are constitutions that govern various organisations within Girlguiding as required by the current legislation for the country within which they are operating.

Links with other childcare and youth organisations

Girlguiding is a recognised part of the UK's youth service provision and is affiliated to or linked with other organisations within the childcare and youth sectors.

The Trefoil Guild

The Trefoil Guild is part of Girlguiding but has a separate constitution and is independently administered.

The aim and objectives of The Trefoil Guild are:

  • to give practical, financial and moral support to Guiding and Scouting
  • to keep alive among members the spirit of the Guide and Scout Promises and Laws
  • to carry that spirit into the communities in which members live and work.
Page last updated: 12/20/2013