Here, Gail from the Scottish Borders shares why she started a Brownie and Guide unit girls can join for free at her local school, and why she’s glad she did.
“Knowing the benefits of guiding, and having worked in schools for years, I knew if we could set up a unit within the school we could make a real difference to local girls.
To get things going, the first thing I did was explore what support and funding was available from Girlguiding Scotland. The school was really supportive of the plan and I was able to get two of their support staff on board with the project early on. We applied for a Joining Guiding Grant and before we knew it meetings started taking place right after lessons ended.
In the beginning it was a challenge to get girls and their families interested in joining, but we stuck with it and continued to spread the word. Over time, the amount of members we had increased and parents, who were initially unfamiliar with Girlguiding, could really see the value of what we were offering.
Although it took a bit more work than we thought to get people to come along at the start, things did pick up and it has been so rewarding to see the impact the unit has had. The girls are proud to be part of something special – they’ve enjoyed learning new skills and trying new things. It’s great to see the excitement on their faces when they discover something different.
We’ve also put a lot of effort into building strong relationships with the girls, so they know they can come to us and talk about any difficulties they might be facing. These girls wouldn’t have been able to access guiding if it wasn’t for this school unit – it has impacted their lives in such a positive way. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved.”
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