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Opening groups in areas guiding has never been to before

Opening groups in areas guiding has never been to before

11th November 2015

We're sharing our pick of Girlguiding's plans for 'Being our best' in a series of blogs. Becky Hutchinson, a Development Worker and Division Commissioner for Bradford South, explains how, thanks to funding from the Youth United Foundation, guiding is being provided to young people in new areas and communities.

Leeds is a thriving city. It's a very multicultural place and is home to a spectrum of different religious and ethnic communities. However, there are also areas of extreme deprivation and many people that have never heard of Girlguiding before.

That's why my role as a Development Worker is so important. I've been in guiding since I was a Brownie, so I want as many girls as possible to benefit from the same amazing experiences I have had.

Making guiding accessible for all

One of the challenges we face in Leeds is that many girls in the area are unable to attend a group on a weekly basis because of transport issues or because they regularly attend Mosque after school. That's where flexible guiding comes in.

We ran the South Leeds Holiday unit for several days over the summer and 18 girls came – which was fantastic! So we will be running it again during the October half term and the Christmas holidays.

We also have to get creative about inviting people to these events, as lots of families don't have access to the internet and social media. So we went to a local family festival where we handed out flyers, ran sports and put on craft sessions. It was great to show people who don't know about us how fun Girlguiding is. The day was a roaring success and I had the opportunity to engage with lots of new girls and their parents – many of whom have joined the Holiday unit.

How my work in Leeds is supporting 'Being our best'

The second theme of 'Being our best' is Access. Girlguiding really is for all girls, whatever their background, religion or circumstances and it's my job, along with 18 other Development Workers across the country, to reach out to them. One of our aims is to create places for 1,500 girls and recruit 220 volunteers by March 2016, so we're right at the front line of including more girls than ever.

My mission is to open groups in areas guiding has never been before and since I started as a Development Worker in January we have opened five new groups in Leeds, and we're opening another in October half-term!

By Becky Hutchinson, Development Worker and Division Commissioner for Bradford South

This blog was originally published on the Girlguiding website on October 15

If you would like to learn more about Girlguiding please click here