Speak Out Champions – Katie’s story

Katie Young, 21, is a Speak Out Champion and leader in training with the 12th Clydebank Guides. On International Day of the Girl 2019 she shares with us what being a Speak Out Champion means to her.



I applied to be a Speak Out Champion because I think that it’s important for Girlguiding Scotland as an inclusive, feminist organisation, to champion the issues that are directly faced by girls and young women in Scotland today. By helping to develop our new campaigns, it means that girls are truly in the lead. Girls are involved from the very beginning all the way through to highlighting our advocacy work in the media and online.

Since taking on the role, I have met with the Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey, and the Mental Health Foundation to discuss the findings on mental health and girls happiness in the Girls in Scotland 2018 report and consider what we can do to improve this.

I’ve also been involved in the integration of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots Law which included a day at Edinburgh Zoo talking about children’s rights with other young people.

These are opportunities that I wouldn’t have had without the support of Girlguiding Scotland and gave allowed me to develop my skills in public speaking, my confidence as well as how to be a good advocate.

As a Speak Out Champion, I’m really grateful for the platform I’ve been given to represent girls and young women, both in my local area and across the country, and  the chance to shape Girlguiding Scotland’s campaigns with the interests of our 50,000 members in mind. Having girls and young women involved in decision making processes allows us to help to create positive change that will benefit our lives and tackle the things that matter to us most.

Through my involvement with Speak Out, I’ve found it really interesting to see the ways in which Girlguiding go about developing new campaigns, and I have loved being part of the process! I would recommend Speak Out to anyone who is passionate about making positive change and representing girls and young women, and who feels that they have something to speak out about.

Interested in becoming a Speak Out Champion? Apply here now!