Celebrating the power of social action during #iwillWeek

We’re delighted to be part of #iwillWeek, celebrating the brilliant social action young people are involved in across the UK. To mark #iwillWeek a group of our Queen’s Guides from Glasgow shared how their social action project helped bring practical aid to refugees.

Annie, 25, a Leader with the 259th City of Glasgow Guides, said: “When I started working toward my Queen’s Guide Award I was really excited to meet a group of girls who all cared about the refugee crisis like I did and wanted to do something to help.

We teamed up with a grassroots charity called Edinburgh Cares who were collecting good quality second-hand shoes to distribute to refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and the surrounding areas.

At the start, we set ourselves a goal of collecting 3,000 pairs of shoes, roughly one pair for every unit in Scotland, but we were overwhelmed by the response with shoes coming in from the Borders to the Highlands and Islands and everywhere in between. We’ve already smashed our target, collecting over 5,600 pairs of shoes so far, with one collection still to go.

As well as donating shoes and socks we asked girls to write a message of support to refugees. It was really inspiring to read – one Rainbow wrote ‘these are my favourite red sandals; I hope they make you as happy as they make me’.”

Rachael, 23, of the 259th City of Glasgow Guides, says: “I think our project and the fantastic response we had from so many girls, shows that age isn’t a barrier to making a difference. Young people can have an impact even on complex issues like the refugee crisis.

As well as making a difference to others taking part in this project helped me to develop my own confidence and skills. From doing a live TV-interview to organising the logistics of getting thousands of shoes from all over Scotland to one drop-off point – it was a big challenge but I’ve gained so much from doing it.

I hope the #iwill campaign encourages other young people to get involved in social action. My advice would be – if there’s something you care about, just give it a go! It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure how you can make a difference. But if you start with something small and find others who share that same passion to support you along the way, you could be surprised by just how much you can achieve.”

Find out how you and your unit can support the #iwill campaign here.