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Question? Post can someone give me some advice

Hi, I am new to guiding i became a unit helper last February at my 2 daughters brownie unit since then I done my Leadership and my run another unit as well, i have a problem and was hoping if someone can give my some advice or even tell me i am wrong. my commissioner suggested my OH became involved with guiding so he had a CRB check and was helping out, on the night she was giving me her handover of the unit (after 6 weeks) and thus her leaving the unit to me, she told me my OH could only help out with things like BBQ's etc, she said that he can not lead the unit which up until that day had never, on this day he did as us three were the only adults there and she wanted to handover during brownies time. we were in the same room and it was just a party so he was just handing out food. without our knowledge my commissioner then asked a local scout group if my OH could become a leader there to which my OH said he didn't want to he only wanted to be involved with brownies for me and our girls to which she wasn't happy as she had already told scouts he would go there. so he just stopped going. the brownies have asked where he is every week ince. a few weeks back one of my members of staff cryed off an hour before brownies (and we have to leave 45 mins before it starts to get there and set up) and were had planned on making gingerbread men, so i asked my OH if he could help out to supervise the kitchen, which he did he just stayed in the kitchen all night while me and the other leader were in and out with the brownies, i told my commssioner (as soon i i got home) as i know she would have heard it through the grape vine anyway, to which she is not impressed she wants me to inform her everytime before hand my OH attends brownies and that she told me it could only be in one off occassions. My OH has 26 years experience in the RAF has 4 daughters (to me 2 not brownie age yet) and was involved with a cadet force for 15 years, i don't understand what i am doing wrong and why it is that he can't come can someone please advise me what to do please


knackered Brownie Guider
You aren't doing anything wrong.

Your commissioner seems to have gone too far with this especially daring to tell him where he should or should not volunteer.

You can have a male UH as far as CHQ is concerned. If your commissioner has a problem with that then ask her to point out where in the manual or handbook this is written.


Staff member
Ridiculous! There are units all over the country that wouldn't be able to function without male unit helpers. We have several members on this forum who are male unit helpers and they are actively involved with their units. Men cannot be leaders, but there is absolutely no reason why they cannot attend every week or run activities. I can understand the caution of being a girl-only space, but the simple fact is that men can be unit helpers and a member of GGUK (there is now no non-member unit helper function available) but they cannot make the promise.

And as for signing him up for Scouting without his knowledge or permission - it is just plain rude!
Thanks guys for your thoughts and help. so should I inform her as and when he attends? As don't need to do it with the other staff


Guide Leader
You should not have to inform her atall If she is your DC I think perhaps you should send an email to the Div C or CC, which ever is next in your area, explain it to her and ask her to have a word with DC.
As for telling scouts he will join them I am not suprise he stopped coming that is really not on, I think you perhaps need to mention this to Divc/cc as we are all volunteers you can not be told you are attending such unit guiding or scouts.


Veteran (100+ posts)
I agree with all of the above. The only other point you mentioned that I'd like to pick up on is the bit about the Commissioner saying he can't 'lead the unit'. What did she mean by this?

If she meant he can't be a leader (as in, Guider) then she's right. He can't be a Guider, he would have to either be a Unit Helper and have cencus charged for him, or he can be an Occasional Helper, whereby he would only help occasionally, and census would not be charged for him.

If however, she meant what I interpreted from what you said, and she meant that he cannot 'lead the unit', that is simply not true. Of course, he can't be the primary/main leader, but there's nothing to stop him leading a meeting or two if and when neccessary. For example, in the case that you gave, where you were on the sidelines sorting out handover of the unit, and he was leading the activity the girls were doing. This is absolutely fine, and she is wrong to say that isn't allowed.

As for her demanding to be informed every time he helps out, the only justification I can see for that would be if he was registered as an Occasional Helper, and she wanted to ensure he is only helping occasionally, and so not breaking the rules almost by being there a lot more frequently and so should really be registed as a UH and have cencus paid for him. But if that's why she wants to know, then I'd say that shows a complete lack of trust in you to say the least!

The other thing I though of, could your Commissioner's concern be based around the fact that it is possible that your and your husband could be the only two adults present sometimes? This isn't a problem in itself, but heaven forbid, if an incident occured, and it was just you and your husband and the girls, then you wouldn't be seen as impartial witnesses to anything as you are married. But if this was her concern, she could just say so, and not be seemingly obstructive to your arrangements for no apparent reason. A good number of units out there are run by families alone, e.g. mother and daughter(s), or sisters. And this argument could apply to them as well, so obviously it's not something GGUK are too bothered by. So there's no reason your Commissioner should be either! Just make sure the two of you are never alone with one girl, for your own safe guarding!

And finally, if she keeps causing you hassle, just take it higher to your Division or County Commissioner! As long hs he is registered on GO! correctly, and has a valid CRB, tell your husband to carry on helping whenever he wants, and don't inform your DC. You are not breaking any rules whatsoever, as I said, just follow the safe from harm rules for your own protection!
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Thank u everyone

So plan of action ask her to make him a unit helper instead of OUH and pay his census and if she allows great if not seek advice From CC as she is divC we have no DC, also we do have one other member of staff not related and one 17 yo young helper,

I thought the hardest work would be controlling 20 odd kids not the fallout from the adults lol

Thanks again
Yet another tale of a Commissioner not knowing Guiding policy and being obstructive & unsupportive.
What an advert for Girlguiding. It makes me really annoyed.


The Wicked Witch of the West (15,000+ posts)
it would just be sensible for him never to be 1-2-1 with the girls (but then that applies to adult leaders who are female too)

I had dad helper for a while and he was brilliant


Veteran (100+ posts)
just read through this post, and it makes me really angry. My hubby is a great UH who for several year would not have been able to have run the pack due to lack of leaders. I really hope you can sort this out, sounds to me that your commissioner really does not know what she is talking about.


Veteran (100+ posts)
put him down as unit helper wich is allowed , remember to mark his attendance as with all your staff , if he is helping less than 3 times a month , change to occaisianal helper and save on subscriptions


Rainbows & Brownies Leader
i have a similar problem one of the dads wants to help out on an occasional basis and when he is at the unit all he does his makes brews for parents/leaders and then makes snacks he doesnt take an active role as such in the group activities or anything like that but my dc has said that he cant be there as its a girl only org and then says he will have to be crbd no matter what which confused me as if he isnt allowed then why would he be crbd. He isnt there every week maybe three out of the four at the most . what do i do?


Darth Vader (12,500+ posts)
If a male has been CRB'd then he can come along each week, as others have already comprehensively answered.

Whilst we have an ethos of a girl only space, we also need to have consideration to their wider needs. I had a male adult helper for many years and it was positive for many of my girls to see that a male can be reliable etc, given I had many from one parent families where they either never really came into contact with a male or had only had negative experiences.

Yes, we were careful etc and balanced in what role he played, but he led some of the adventure part of the programme as he was a member of mountain rescue and had numerous qualifications we could pull on when the girls wanted climbing, abseiling etc, etc, etc.


Guide Leader
I would ask her why he can't some again and if he cant why would he be crb'd? If nothing much from that then go on to ask if you could be pointed to those written facts in the manual/Handbook as you have not seen it anywhere and you know of Male UH's who help every week.

Snowy Pink Owl

The Doctor (5000+ posts)
I thought unit helpers could help every week but don't really know much about male helpers, can't imagine they can't help every week as long as there are other leaders there with him


i have a similar problem one of the dads wants to help out on an occasional basis and when he is at the unit all he does his makes brews for parents/leaders and then makes snacks he doesnt take an active role as such in the group activities or anything like that but my dc has said that he cant be there as its a girl only org and then says he will have to be crbd no matter what which confused me as if he isnt allowed then why would he be crbd. He isnt there every week maybe three out of the four at the most . what do i do?
Occasional helpers do not need to be CRBd (doesn't matter which gender) as they do not have 1:1 contact with girls - there is always an adult with a CRB supervising. Unit helpers can attend every week, if they wish to - if they are attending more regularly (or helping at residentials) they would need CRB - again that applies regardless of the gender of the Unit Helper.


Veteran (100+ posts)
For goodness sake male Unit helpers can even come to camp!
This woman does not know what she is talking about.
Get your facts from the manual and show them to her.
Good luck and Well done to your husband.


I have been a unit helper for many years infact some of our brownies were grand daughters of my first guides
I have been crbed have helped at both guides and Brownies continuously including visiting a unit while on holliday
I have run many sessions when asked to
Its about time some one told commissioner its time she retired as she is definatly out of touch with rules and needs to read the manuals