Girlguiding was first established in 1910, as a way to let girls join a group equivalent to boys joining scouts.
Over 100 years later and it’s still going strong, with over 538,000 members in the UK alone. But with 1 in 7 of all six year olds being a Rainbow, and over a quarter of all eight year olds being a Brownie, a lot of help and volunteers are needed to keep the units going.
Sarah Turfrey started out as a Brownie, and moved to 1st Roffey Guides when she was 10. The unit was struggling to recruit new leaders, so her mother, Wendy Colson, stepped in and qualified to be a Leader. She then opened up a Rangers unit (Chesworth Rangers) and Sarah (who was also a Young leader and Assistant leader to 1st Roffey Guides) moved up to the Ranger unit. Sarah recently received her 10 year Long Service Award, which was presented to her by (mum) Wendy at one of the weekly Ranger meetings.
Alex Tindall and I (both 17) were members of 1st Chesworth Rainbows, 12th Horsham Brownies, 1st Roffey Guides and currently with Chesworth Rangers. We are also training to be Leaders ourselves.
As Young Leaders we have been with 12th Horsham Brownies for three years, helping out once a week, planning the upcoming terms and organising and running evenings for the girls, such as Willy Wonka themed evenings, or seasonal crafts and games.
The unit was going to close after summer 2014, but luckily a mother of one of the Brownies stepped in and offered to take over, so fortunately we are up and running.
There is a real need for new volunteers to train as Leaders or Assistant Leaders and join Rainbow, Brownie, Guide or Ranger groups. Without volunteers we wouldn’t be able to be running these meetings, and girls wouldn’t be able to take part in opportunities, such as Alex and I did, when we went to Euro Disney in 2010 with Guides to celebrate 100 years of Girlguiding or going away on Brownie Holidays.
Such events are often many girls first time away from home, and they all thoroughly love it and want to go each year.
There are also camps for Guides and Rangers, where they go to places such as Blackland Farm, and spend weekends doing fun outdoor sports and activities, making new friends, and singing round a campfire in the evenings. These are all made possible because of volunteers of all ages, so if you are interested in finding out more about getting involved visit www.girlguiding.org.uk and someone from Horsham will contact you.
Pictured above is Sarah recieving her award at a Rangers meeting and below is me, my sister in the middle and Alex Tindall on the right when we were in the Guides.