GIRLGuiding units in Sidmouth are at risk of closure due to a lack of volunteers.

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More than 80 local girls aged between five and 14 are in desperate need of helpers and leaders to keep their rainbow, brownies and guide units running.

Two thirds of all the young girlguiding members across Sidbury, Sidford, Sidmouth and Newton Poppleford could lose out on fun and challenging activities in the near future.

Personal reasons such as pregnancy, illness, new jobs and house moves - all happening at once - mean there is an urgent need for at least eight new leaders in the area.

Without new volunteers, the Sidford Rainbows are likely to close in January. They need a permanent leader to take over the running of the unit.

Similarly, the 2nd Sidmouth Guides, who meet in Newton Poppleford, need a leader who is willing to run the pack between at least January and September 2014 while the current incumbent is off on maternity leave.

Organisers says this unit will remain open for the start of the year, but fear that if no-one comes forward it too may close – affecting more than 30 girls.

Across the whole district five new Brownies leaders are also needed, to avoid the closure of two packs later in 2014. District commissioner Nikki Peckham said: “Volunteering with Girlguiding is a great way to give something back to the community, make friends and participate in lots of great experiences and training opportunities.

“It also helps people to develop their confidence and when added to a CV it is very well respected. Most of all, through Guiding, I find I have many belly-laughs, much light relief from my other daily activities and a huge sense of satisfaction in seeing the difference I am making to the young girls. It is fantastic to see them growing in confidence, challenging themselves and developing team working and leadership skills, in a girls-only space, where they feel safe to voice their own opinions and explore their views and beliefs.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can call Nikki on 07891 602975 or email her at 2ndsidmouthguides@gmail.com.

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