Girlguiding is expanding into new areas as innovative new schemes help more girls experience the opportunities offered by the charity.
One of them is the 1st Lowick Brownie group which is linked with Holy Island and gives girls from surrounding rural areas a chance to get together.
Thanks to the group, which started up in June, the only girl of Brownie age on the island is able to take part and meet new friends.
Sara Morgan, who helped set up the 1st Lowick Brownies said: “I started volunteering as my daughter, Charlotte, has always wanted to be a Brownie. When I saw the school newsletter to become involved I thought ‘why not?’
“At first I was a bit nervous about running my own group but with lots of help from the other leaders I’m finding my feet. The local response has been really positive! The parents have been great too, offering to help out and we’re hoping to start a Rainbow group in the near future.
“There is so little for the girls to do locally that I think it’s really important for them to have a group like this. Sometimes the girls in rural areas like Lowick only have a handful of children their age nearby so being part of the Brownies means they get to meet many different girls away from their school friends and it definitely broadens their horizons.”
The 1st Lowick Brownies have enjoyed a jam-packed schedule of activities since the group opened including a sandcastle competition and a teddy bears’ picnic.
Jennie, eight, a new member of the 1st Lowick Brownies, said: “I enjoy the fun activities we do in Brownies such as sports badges, doing the Brownie promise and having a sandcastle competition with another Brownie group.”
Charlotte, seven, who attends the group said: “I enjoy the games we play in Brownies. We played a game where you picked up marbles with your toes – that was so much fun. The best thing we have done is our teddy bears picnic and taking our promise, I loved that.”
Girlguiding opens up a world of opportunity to girls aged five to 25, incorporating Rainbows (ages five to seven), Brownies (seven to 10), Guides (10 to 14) and the Senior Section (14 to 25).
As well as providing girls with a safe, girl-only space, the charity offers a girl-led programme incorporating everything from adventure activities and peer education on body confidence to learning new skills and international travel.
Members are encouraged to consider how they can engage in their communities, taking practical action in a variety of ways such as local volunteering, fundraising, peer education and speak out on issues that matter to them.
Gill Slocombe, Girlguiding’s Chief Guide, said: “Girlguiding is for all girls – whatever their faith, background or circumstances – and I want as many girls as possible to experience the fun, friendship and adventure that Guiding brings.
“We’re always striving to open new Guiding groups – to reach even more girls and young women, and we’re always keen to hear from new volunteers. I’d urge anyone to come along and check out what Guiding is all about.”