A Dunoon woman who has helped thousands of girls to grow in confidence and realise their potential has received Girlguiding’s top honour for her outstanding service.

Elaine Kelly received her Laurel award in recognition of her outstanding service and was presented with a specially-designed brooch by Girlguiding Scotland’s Lead Volunteer, Moira McKenna.

Elaine, who first began volunteering for Girlguiding Scotland when her daughter’s Brownie unit needed extra helpers, has shown more than three decades of commitment and passion for supporting girls, young women and other volunteers to be all they can be.

During her time as a volunteer, Elaine, who is currently a leader with the 1st Dunoon Brownies, has supported hundreds of girls to enjoy new experiences, learn new skills and grow in confidence – whether helping them to achieve interest badges in everything from science to sport or taking girls on their first ever camping trip.

In addition to leading her Brownies in fun and adventure every week Elaine has volunteered in a wide range of roles at a local and national level including volunteering as a county commissioner, leading guiding in Argyll and a county guiding development advisor helping to come up with new experiences and activities for girls. Last month she completed a five-year term as a deputy chief commissioner for Girlguiding Scotland, one of the charity’s most senior volunteers.

Elaine said: “I was delighted – and more than a little bit shocked – to receive my Laurel award for doing something I love. Throughout my time as a volunteer with Girlguiding Scotland I’ve enjoyed some amazing experiences.

“It’s been so rewarding to watch girls grow in confidence and discover their talents in my role as a Brownie leader but I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know other volunteers – in my community and across Scotland – and supporting them to take on challenges and offer even more fun and adventure to girls.”

“I’ve especially enjoyed the chance to support girls and volunteers across the country in my role as one of Girlguiding Scotland’s deputy chief commissioners and I’m looking forward to my next challenge. In the years ahead I’m excited to plan more fun and adventure for my Brownie unit, as well as continuing to advise and support Girlguiding Scotland volunteers across the country and helping to grow and develop the Trefoil Guild in Scotland, Girlguiding’s network for adult volunteers and supporters.”

Denise Spence, Chief Executive of Girlguiding Scotland, said: “I’ve been lucky to work alongside Elaine for the last five years and seen her dedication first hand.

“Throughout her time as a Girlguiding Scotland volunteer she has shown a true talent for supporting and empowering others and it’s been brilliant to watch her inspire our network of volunteers to take on new challenges and help us get even better at what we do for girls.

“I’m delighted she’s received this well-earned award in recognition of all she’s done and continues to do help even more girls to join in the fun and adventure Girlguiding Scotland has to offer.”

The Laurel award is given to adult volunteers in recognition of outstanding service to guiding in the UK or any of Girlguiding’s international branch associations.

Girlguiding Scotland is the leading charity for girls and young women in Scotland offering girls age 5 to 25 the chance to take part in a wide and varied programme, encompassing everything from outdoor adventure to social action, campaigning to international travel, arts, science, sports and international travel.

To find out how you can join the fun and adventure of Girlguiding Scotland – as a young member or an adult volunteer – visit girlguidingscotland.org.uk/get-involved




For further information, please contact Mairi Gordon, Media and PR Officer at mairi@girlguiding-scot.org.uk or call 0131 226 4511 or 07852 554 779 (out of hours)

Notes to editors:

About Girlguiding Scotland:

Girlguiding Scotland is the leading charity for girls and young women in Scotland, with 50,000 young members. We build girls’ confidence and raise their aspirations. We give them the chance to discover their full potential and encourage them to be a powerful force for good. We give them a space to have fun. Find out more at girlguidingscotland.org.uk