GBNI is the largest uniformed youth organisation in Northern Ireland. There are currently 287 GB companies affiliated with GBNI, providing weekly activities to almost 22,000 members.
There are three tiers to our structure: company, district and NI level. The functions and responsibilities of each tier are summarised in this section.
Company membership includes teams of voluntary leaders, selected by the local Church through their recruitment procedures, and girls from 3 - 18 years old.
As GBNI works in partnership with local churches, we follow a Common Protocol for Churches that relates to Independent Organisations working with children and young people.
A typical leadership team in GB would consist of the following roles:
Chaplain – The highest ranking Officer who is responsible for the overall spiritual and pastoral leadership of the company affiliated to his/her church/mission.
Captain – A Commissioned Officer of at least 20 years of age and a committed Christian. She is appointed by the church to coordinate, plan and lead the work of the company.
Officers – A Commissioned Officer of at least 18 years of age and a committed Christian. She is appointed by the church and is responsible for delivering a programme suitable for the members in her care.
Sub-Officers – A young leader of at least 16 years of age, appointed by the church to provide practical help with younger girls in the company.
Associate Leaders/Members – A Non-Commissioned Leader of at least 18 years of age, appointed by the church to assist in the supervision and leadership of its members.
Companies are grouped together in local areas to form districts that are governed by a District Executive. The District Executive is made up of a representative from each company and is coordinated by an officer in charge called a Commissioner, supported by others including an Assistant Commissioner, Secretary and Treasurer. They run the district, providing activities and events for girls and leaders eg. training, praise services, competitions, prayer and fun days; where they can meet, have fun, compete and share friendship and fellowship. Districts elect officers to represent the views of members in that District on NI level decision making teams.
There are currently 15 districts in Northern Ireland:
District 1. Castlewood
District 2. Shaftesbury
District 3. Cavehill
District 4. Ards
District 5. Strangford and Mourne
District 6. Lagan
District 7. Mid-Ulster
District 8. Glenabbey
District 9. East Antrim
District 10. North Antrim
District 11. North West
District 12. West Ulster
District 13. Riada
District 14. Bann
District 15. Lough Neagh
Northern Ireland Level
Girls' Brigade NI is run by volunteers for volunteers. A number of local representatives are elected to a NI level council, called 'GBNI Brigade Council'. This is a representative body of GBNI. Brigade Council meets three times each year for fellowship, training, discussion and decision-making regarding the ministry and strategic direction of GBNI. As the Council is made up of two representatives from each Girls' Brigade District, the views and opinions of local members are channelled directly to the decision makers in the organisation.
While the Brigade Council provide leadership and vision for the organisation, it entrusts the policy formation and the management of GBNI to the Executive Team. The GBNI Executive Team is an elected body whose purpose is to provide governance to the organisation. Collectively, Executive Team members meet every six weeks, making decisions about the overall strategic operation of the organisation; ensuring that money and property are properly used (and managed) to meet its aims and objectives; ensures that it operates within the law; abides by the organisation’s governing document; and finally, ensures that staff and volunteers carry out the best organisation’s services.
For practical reasons, the Executive works with sub-groups that are set up to focus on various aspects of Girls' Brigade work. These include Queen's Award, Spiritual, Training, Activities, PE, Duke of Edinburgh's Award, and Programme Teams. These Teams meet regularly throughout the year providing a valuable service to all GB Companies. GB leaders are nominated onto these subgroups by their Districts.
GB Headquarters is managed by the National Secretary, who coordinates the staff team to deliver a variety of services to the membership. Services including supplies, resources, administrative support, training, organising NI Level events and Award programmes. Click here for more details about Our Headquarters and to meet the Staff Team.
GB Europe is the part of the Girls’ Brigade family made up of England & Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The Fellowship has some 50,000 members and is working in over 1,101 companies.
The Fellowship Executive meets twice a year and is made up of Chairman (International Vice President), Vice Chairman, Youth Coordinator, Treasurer, Secretary, Director/National Secretary of each country, National Chair/President of each country, one delegate from each member country and Youth Representatives.
For more details visit the Girls' Brigade Europe website.
GBNI Europe Executive Representatives
- Alison Stevenson, GBNI President
- Gail Ferguson, GBNI National Secretary
- Danielle McAllister, GBNI Europe Youth Representative
- Megan Noble, GBNI Europe Youth Representative
Worldwide there are now over 3,000 GB companies with over 126,000 girls and young women meeting and discovering Jesus week by week through the work of The Girls' Brigade.
Girls' Brigade is working in 47 countries and islands around the world, each working towards the same aim. Girls' Brigade around the world is organised into groupings called 'Fellowships'.
There are five Fellowships:
Each fellowship is responsible for the development and administration of GB in its own geographical area. The leadership teams in each country and fellowship discern for themselves how God is leading them, in response to the worldwide vision and aims. This ensures that GB remains focused on its purpose as a Christian mission, culturally and contextually sensitive to the local area. Representatives from each fellowship, together with the International President and Treasurer, form The International President’s Committee who have the responsibility of the work of The Girls’ Brigade International (GBI). The President’s Committee meets annually to hear about, steer and respond to the challenges and growth of GB’s mission work in God’s world. Representatives of all countries meet once every four years at a meeting called the International Conference of Girls’ Brigade (ICGB).
For more details visit the Girls' Brigade International website.