Volunteers’ Week: Girlguiding is for all

As Volunteers’ Week wraps up for another year the final blog in our #VolunteersWeekScot series is from Sonya. Sonya, an author and unit helper with Cerebral Palsy shares how she’s been welcomed into Girlguiding.

I have been writing a memoir for many years to help encourage others starting out in the working world with a physical disability like me. I met the unit leader Lise one day at church and she asked if I would like to come to talk to the unit who were working on their Disability Awareness Badge about my experiences as a disabled person.

I developed an instant bond with Lise’s unit so when the volunteer team asked if I wanted to help out in the future I jumped at the chance!

I received an amazing welcome from both the Brownies and all the leaders and I absolutely love helping out and it’s been a real privilege to watch the girls grow and develop. Here are my favourite things about being a volunteer.

  1. Helping out at Brownies provides me with a great way to socialise and make new friends for life. One of my biggest problems is my speech pattern but the unit weren’t deterred and the more people communicated with me the better things got.
  2. I’m able to use and develop my existing writing and computer skills in new and creative ways while helping, from spreading the word about what we’ve been up to on social media to reaching out to new volunteers.
  3. I really enjoy helping the girls’ imaginations run wild by getting stuck in to a variety of arts and crafts as often as possible.

Sometimes girls are a bit nervous around me at first because my speech can be unclear and many of them haven’t come into contact with someone who relies on a power chair. But, now they don’t see me as any different.

The main thing I hope the girls take away from my time helping out is that although I might have slightly different needs, I’m more than happy to join in and I’m always ready to have fun.

Find out how you can become a unit helper
Whether you can give a little or a lot of time, there are ways to become a volunteer that works around your life. Get more information here.