A Glasgow-based Girlguiding Scotland volunteer has been recognised in The Queen’s New Year Honours for her work supporting girls and young women for more than 50 years.

Alison Spurway, Vice President of Girlguiding Glasgow, was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen in honour of her inspirational efforts.

Alison, 70, first became involved in guiding when she joined her local Brownie Unit in Dunfermline in 1953. Since then she has continued to play an active role, moving onto Guides and Cadets (now known as The Senior Section). She achieved her Queen’s Guide Award and volunteered as a Young Leader for Brownies.

Alison went onto volunteer with a number of units and spent more than 40 years as a Leader with the 207th City of Glasgow Guides, which supported girls with disabilities to access the fun and adventure of Girlguiding Scotland.

As well as her role as a Guide Leader, Alison played an active role at a local, Scottish and international level, as a former County Commissioner for Glasgow, a Scottish Adviser for Members with Disabilities, and a Board Member for the Olave Baden Powell Society which provides financial support for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, helping girls in 146 countries to grow in confidence, learn new skills and use their voice.

Alison’s highlights during her time with Girlguiding Scotland include helping to run a series of accessible Challenger Camps for girls from all over Scotland, enabling girls to take part in amazing adventures including accessible Tall Ship voyages, and creating resources to help unit Leaders make guiding accessible to all girls and young women.

She has also had the chance to support guiding internationally, travelling to India, Tanzania and Cambodia to meet girls and young women there and find out about the  impact guiding has had on their lives.

Alison said: “I’m extremely proud to receive this award. It came as a huge surprise and I was so touched.

“Volunteering is such a rewarding experience and it’s been wonderful to work with so many young women and girls over the years and see the difference guiding makes to their lives.

“I’m proud to be part of an organisation that offers all girls a safe space to enjoy new experiences, explore their beliefs, use their voice and be a powerful force for good. I’ve especially enjoyed doing my part to help make sure all girls can be part of the fun and adventure of guiding.

“I’ve seen the huge impact this can have, not just for girls in Glasgow and Scotland, but for girls and young women around the world. It really is life-changing.

“Being a volunteer for Girlguiding Scotland has also offered me some fantastic experiences – making life-long friends across the world.

“I would like to dedicate this award to all of the girls I have had the privilege of knowing over the last 50 years.”

Sue Walker, Girlguiding Scotland’s Chief Commissioner, said: I want to say a huge thank you to Alison for her years of service, offering a safe space for hundreds of girls to discover new talents, grow in confidence and be a force for good in their communities and beyond.

“Her commitment to ensuring all girls can join in the fun and adventure of guiding in their local community, across Scotland and even around the world is truly inspirational.”

Girlguiding Scotland is the leading charity for girls and young women in Scotland. By giving just one or two hours a week, our volunteers help local girls and young women enjoy a wide range of exciting activities, gain new skills, grow in confidence and have fun at the same time.

The charity welcomes volunteers of all backgrounds, ages, cultures, faiths and abilities. For more information about volunteering with Girlguiding Scotland, visit www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk/get-involved/


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 www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk