At the end of June, all the units in High Barnet District are getting together to hold an On Your Marks event to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. While planning it, I was thinking about all the people I know at Girlguding UK who inspire me to work a little bit harder to provide more help to my community through guiding.
As a child, I was never a Rainbow, Brownie or Guide. I
wanted to be, but the waiting list for my local unit was just too long and
there wasn’t room for me! It is largely because of this experience that I have
chosen to become an adult volunteer. It meant I could help get some girls off a
waiting list and I get to do all the things I missed out on as a child! I
started helping out once a week and soon realised all I’d missed out on when I
was young: fun, friendship, female solidarity.
I have moved quite a lot in the last few years and have
always found that Girlguiding UK helps me to settle in to a new area and give
me a sense of belonging in a new community. This was especially so when I moved
to North London in 2010 and suddenly found myself with no job, no nearby
friends and no idea where anything was! Luckily, I’d planned ahead, got in
touch with guiding in the area and was placed with a Brownie unit in desperate
need of help. And I’m still there. Despite a tough couple of years, I keep
going back every week.
The girls are fab (even the ones who make me want to scream
sometimes), but it’s really my fellow Leaders that make it special. I know
wonderful women who have been in guiding for over 30 years and still bring
energy and enthusiasm to every meeting; women, who work full time and have
their own children, but still come along every week to run Guides; and women
who decided to run two meetings back-to-back because they knew, so many girls
were waiting to join, and wanted to give them the opportunity that I never had
- to join Girlguiding UK. Despite an age gap of more than 30 years, we all come
together every Friday night to do something that women and girls have been
doing for over 100 years, and that makes me feel like I’m really a part of
something pretty special.
So, I’m writing this blog post to say ‘Thank you’ to those
women, who have inspired me to stick with guiding and shown me how much it can
give you back if you give it your all. I hope that one day I can give someone
the sense of belonging that you have given me.