The concept of Lone guiding has existed almost as long as Girlguiding – the first Lone Guide Company was established in 1912 by Agnes Baden-Powell. Lone members work towards the Girlguiding programme in their own time, using friends or family for group activities, and accessing resources and support from Leaders via email or through the post.
There are many reasons why Lone guiding may suit a girl including not being able to travel to a physical unit, having caring responsibilities, chronic illness, other commitments clashing with unit meeting times, or even being a long way down on the waiting list for a local unit. Whilst Lone members may undertake the majority of their activities independently, sometimes they link up to work together with other Lones and attend camps and events with other units.
Girlguiding South West England has one Lones unit covering the whole region, which is open for new and existing young members to join and complete the Brownie, Guide and Ranger programmes. Members have ownership over the route they take within the Girlguiding programme, supported by the leadership team to adapt activities where needed. After evidence of their efforts are emailed in, any badges earned are posted out. Additional activity suggestions on a theme are also sent out several times a year, which provides the non-programme activity. Just like every other young member, Lones pay an annual subscription, this year will be £40.