Published in TR11 magazine June 2015
Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK. The guiding experience offers girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities.
Christine Bunnett, the District Commissioner for the Falmouth area spoke to TR11 magazine: “There are 11 guiding units within Falmouth. We have a varied programme which is all girl led. They decide what they want to do.”
What do girls in guiding do?
Rainbows have fun
Rainbows are girls aged 5 to 7 and follow a programme called the Rainbow Jigsaw, through which they can take part in lots of different activities with girls their own age. Falmouth has two Rainbows units, both meet on Mondays, one from 4-5pm and the other from 6-7pm.
Brownies do cool stuff
Brownies are girls aged 7 to 10 who become a member of a Six and follow a programme called the Brownie Adventure. Brownies opens up a world of exciting challenges and the opportunity to try new things and to make brilliant friends. Falmouth has two Brownie units, two meet on Mondays and two meet on Tuesdays.
Guides make things happen
Guides are girls aged 10 to 14 who are given the chance to explore their individual skills and abilities and try out new challenges as part of a team. Girls can get involved in anything from adventure sports to performing arts, travel and taking part in community action projects. There are currently four Guide units in Falmouth, they also meet on Mondays and Tuesdays. However a new leader is needed for one of the Monday groups from September or the group will have to close.
The Senior Section explore more
The Senior Section offers young women aged 14 to 26 the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities through a flexible and inspiring programme which offers a huge variety of challenges, activities and opportunities for personal development. This group meet fortnightly on a Tuesday.
Why is guiding just for girls?
Our young members have told us that it’s important for them to have their own space where friends can explore the issues they care about and have the confidence to enjoy new experiences and learn vital skills.
Why do you still wear a uniform?
We feel as an organisation that it is important to have a uniform to develop team spirit and a sense of identity. With around half a million members, we have girls from very different social and economic backgrounds – having a standardised range of clothing helps girls relate to one another without embarrassment.
How is Girlguiding funded?
Our volunteers give their time completely freely. We are a charity which is funded through membership subscriptions, and other supporters – for example, generous individuals and legacies from supporters – as well as through gifts from trusts, foundations and partners.
We are always interested in talking to people or organisations who would be interested in supporting our work financially. Please contact the Fundraising and Marketing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on ways to ensure guiding is the place that girls and young women choose to be for the next 100 years.
What is Girlguiding’s policy on accepting girls with disabilities?
We are an open and inclusive organisation and our programmes are specifically designed to be flexible enough for girls and women of almost any level of ability to participate. Many of our girls with disabilities say that guiding is one of the few places where they are accepted as ‘normal’.
The Falmouth guiding units offer a wide variety of fun, age-appropriate activities. If the weather is fine they might go geocaching or for a nature walk or visit a local park or have a barbeque and play games on the beach. Indoor activities include arts and crafts, cooking, playing games and science experiments.
Guiding units also get the opportunity to go on camps. This may be a weekend away under canvas such as the Condurrow camp near Truro where the girls can try out kayaking. Others are longer; a week away at a PGL camp offers plenty of adventure including biking, orienteering, abseiling, zorbing and zip-wiring. There are also day trips out to local places of interest such as a recent trip to Port Eliot.
Girlguiding in Falmouth is only made possible with the help of voluntary leaders, assistants, administrators and the members themselves. More girls and women are needed to keep these groups active. If guiding sounds like something you would enjoy doing, please get in touch to arrange a free taster session. We would love to hear from you.