Purpose of Support Group
Support Groups are essential to the smooth running of Districts as they assist the Leaders in many ways and provide a resource for future Leaders. The Support Group will take the major role in fundraising in order to keep term fees down. Funds will be needed to pay meeting place expenses such as insurance premiums, lease payments, utility bills and to make contributions to Leader/Manager expenses such as uniforms, badges, training and membership fees. The Support Group also offers support in any areas requested by the District Manager, e.g. property maintenance, transport to events, promotions activity, assistance at camps, establishment of parent rotas, provision of resources, badge assessment and Leader recruitment. The support given by Support Groups allows the Leaders to concentrate on their role of providing great Guiding for girls.
Members of the Support Group
The Support Group is made up of parents and interested community members, including members of Guiding who do not have a leadership role. Members of the Support Group are entitled to vote, nominate an office bearer or accept nomination as an office bearer. The District Manager attends Support Group meetings as an ex-officio member and has full voting rights. Unit Leaders and others in leadership or management roles cannot be members of the Support Group and do not attend. Most States have information tailored especially for Support Groups, see the Resources section.
Establishing a Support Group
If you are establishing a Support Group from scratch, the most important decision is who will be president or chair – not only an enthusiastic parent but also someone who is confident in chairing meetings. You will need to decide where the Support Group meets or even if the meeting place should vary. Brief the new president on the issues facing the District and the areas where you need immediate support. Your discussion should also touch on meeting frequency, agenda /format and ways of encouraging parents to join.
Roles in Support Group
The role of the District Manager is to liaise between the Support Group and Leaders and to present a summary of District news. You also have a role in actively encouraging the parents, guardians and carers of your Guides to take an active part in the Support Group. Many Support Group members go on to take up leadership roles in Guides, so by investing in the Support Group you may also be building a future talent pipeline for leadership positions.
The Support Group is chaired by a parent, although in exceptional circumstances the District Manager also has the right to chair the meeting. The Support Group will also have a Secretary and Treasurer and specific members may take responsibility for projects or events, e.g. fund-raising or property maintenance. It may make sense to have particular parents responsible for welcoming new families, or running the transport roster or managing subs or a group of dads carrying out grounds maintenance or a sub-group who focus is on raising funds or PR activities to grow the District membership.
The function of the Support Group president/chair is to optimise the support which is offered to the District. This role involves organising, delegating and monitoring to achieve goals, and also building enthusiasm and passion for Guiding from both the parents of Guides and the wider community.
The president, secretary and treasurer of the Support Group are elected at the Annual General Meeting by a simple majority of members. Nominations should be sought prior to the Annual General Meeting. In some States the Treasurer is required to have a police check. Some Support Groups have Patrons and this is by invitation and normally for one year.
Last Modified: 14/07/17 at 10:53 AM