• Welcome Guest to the new look forum. For more information refer to this thread

Question? Help!!! How do you encourage a UH to be more helpful?


Beginner (10+ posts)
Recently my unit helper of 5 years has started to become increasingly unhelpful to the point where the girls won't respect her anymore! She'll talk at the back with my y/l, will either start an activity then give up part way through because the girls won't listen but without trying anything more than a quiet voice to ask them to be quiet and listen (which often can't be heard in our hall if anyone else is talking) or she'll ignore me when I ask her to get something. She offered to bring stuff for an activity then didn't bring it and denied saying she would. She often says she'll come to an event then a few weeks later or a few weeks before the event she'll decide she isn't going. I don't know why or how to help her become more involved again. I tried setting aside some time to talk to her as well as my y/l who I was concerned about (have now found the root cause) but my uh interrupted us and demanded that I took over because the girls wouldn't listen to her and she wasn't going to do it so I'd have to. I went to see what was going on, my other y/l was running the activity and my uh and y/l were talking at the back o the room again ignoring the girls. My uh also seems to think that I can't do anything without her, (for example when I tried saying thanks and expressing that I couldn't have done it without, she'd genuinely been really helpful, she replied with "yes I know you can't" in a tone that implied "obviously") I'm getting to the end of my tether with her as the girls are becoming increasingly unwilling to ask for her advice. Any advice will be greatly accepted!


Have you tried having a chat when the unit aren't around (whether before/after the unit meeting, or at a separate time) or is this not an option?

What does the Unit Helper want her role in the unit to be (if any)? Does she want to train to be a Leader, does she want to be akin to a Leader, does she want to help with specific topics, does she want to leave but is wary of leaving you in the lurch?


Veteran (100+ posts)
Sounds to me that she is burnt out/over it.
Perhaps ask your DC to chat to her about if she is still interested in Guiding, and/or if she wants a role change? (maybe suggest that all leaders & unit helpers could do with the same chat!)
It can be hard to admit you've personally moved on/disengaged, but staying when you're over it just poisons your memories and makes the people who are still invested upset and resentful.


Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
There seems to be a common theme that she believe's the girls are not behaving well or not listening, is that the case or is it just her they don't behave for.

Does she feel underappreciated or are the reasons she still comes more as a social event for her rather than giving soemthign to the unit.
I do think a chat is in order. Maybe organise a drink or a meal away from the meeting place. maybe invite the DC and see what else is going on in her life, find out why she still comes and why she's demotivated..

Sent from my SGP712 using Tapatalk


Beginner (10+ posts)
Hi guys, thanks for the ideas, it's not possible to chat before or after as she never gets there before the girls and always leaves as soon as the tidying up is done. She also won't travel at night unless she really has to! I don't want her to feel singled out by meeting up for coffee and chatting about this but it's difficult to get my y/l to finda free time for me to do it with them! The brownies don't misbehave for anyone else other than being a bit chatty at times and nome of the girls will ask her for help anymore! I will try having chats with all of them about one thing or another but never having done anything like this before, could anyone give me some tips on what to say? Thanks


Beginner (10+ posts)
To be honest, it sounds like a case of burnout, as MsLaurie suggests. As a unit helper for over 10 years with a guide unit, I recently found it more and more diffuicult to get motivated, and planning anything was a chore, rather than the joy it used to be. All of our older girls have left in the past couple of terms, to go to rangers, and we only have the younger ones left (no one over 11), and their attitude seems different, to me. Guiding is not the pleasure it once was for me, more of a chore.

Someone needs to have a chat with your UH, I would say you, in the first place, but a DC, or even Trefoil member (some of our trefoil have helped me put things into perspective on a couple of occasions. If you struggle for time for a chat, then how about when the term is planned. Are there planning meetings held?

From my point of view, I spoke to my leader team, and DC, and a former DC who actually brought me into Guiding. Unfortunately I couldn't see my mojo coming back, and am about to embark on my last term with guiding before I leave, (although I have had some rather bitter tasting experiences within guiding, that I don't think I have ever quite gotten over, so my tale is only a cautionary one, and yours may not have the same ending().