A Girlguiding leader from Brighton and Hove has marked National Volunteering Week with a call for helpers.
Sarah Grice said “thank you” to the 250 adults who already give up their time for the Guides and Brownies across Brighton and Hove.
But more helpers are needed and she has timed her appeal for National Volunteering Week which started on Saturday (1 June) and runs until Friday (7 June).
She said: “We regularly hear about the Big Society but what does it really mean in Brighton and Hove?
“If you heard that 250 adults provide 1,500 young girls with unique opportunities to discover new things and grow as individuals you would probably assume this was as local school.
“But this is the number of local volunteers working with young girls across Brighton and Hove through Girlguiding UK.
“Many organisations survive on charitable support from good-willed dependable volunteers.
“Guiding in Brighton and Hove is one such example with its volunteers who regularly go unsung.
“With over 1,500 girls aged 5 to 16 taking part in Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section, they need all the support they can get to keep the units meeting week in, week out.
“It’s not just the two-hour meetings they’re needed for. The planning and preparation that goes on behind the scenes is staggering with some individuals giving up 15 hours each week of their free time to keep the units thriving.
“On average each one of them will give up at least 290 hours each year in communications, accounts, gift aid claims, membership records, planning and clearing away after meetings.
“Not to mention sourcing all manner of equipment to give today’s girls the unique opportunity to enjoy a varied programme of activities.
“The super fun bit comes when the girls go on residential trips which are their most memorable experiences in Guiding.
“These local volunteers are truly valued by their girls and their parents.
“The leaders get paid £0 per hour which is an incredible £0 per annum!
“So why do they do all this?
“To see the girls grow in confidence and mature, to be alongside them as they discover and learn about the world in which they live and to know that we have helped make a positive difference to a girl’s self-esteem and development.
“When asked why she was a Guide, a 2nd Preston Park girl said: ‘We get to try new things we don’t do at school, like build fires, cook our own recipes, try new crafts and go on loads of great trips. I have been rafting, camping, to the Paralympic Games, Jubilee concert and camped in Alton Towers.’
“Volunteering comes in all shapes and sizes and it’s vital that charities like Guiding receive support to enable the girls to grow into the leaders of tomorrow.
“With National Volunteering Week it’s time we said thank you to our leaders in recognition for all that do to keep this great organisation alive.”
Anyone interested in volunteering in any capacity with Guiding can contact Sarah Grice at email@example.com.
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