Be prepared to help the guides

PUBLISHED: 17:11 27 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:33 18 June 2010

GIRLS who want to join Sidmouth Guides are being turned away because there are not enough volunteers. But Chris Chapman, District Commissioner, is hoping in the near future all girls will have the opportunity to join the GirlguidingUK fold. In the past t

GIRLS who want to join Sidmouth Guides are being turned away because there are not enough volunteers.

But Chris Chapman, District Commissioner, is hoping in the near future all girls will have the opportunity to join the GirlguidingUK fold.

In the past there were many Guide and Brownie units in the Sidmouth District but now there are only three Brownie packs and one Guide unit, which cannot take more than 16 girls due to lack of adult help.

Chris, also known as Otter, said: "Our older brownies are desperately disappointed they cannot go on to become guides as there are no places."

Although she acknowledges the pressure of modern life, Chris hopes some people, who are willing to give up some of their spare time, will come forward.

She added: "We urgently need help with our only Guide unit which meets in Sidmouth. This would mean the Guide leader would be able to take on more girls than at present."

Alternatively with enough help another Guide unit could be started in Sidford or Newton Poppleford.

"Either way this would mean we would no longer disappoint our girls who have enjoyed brownies and would love to be Guides," Chris said.

She also wants to dispel the stereotypical image of 'old-fashioned guiding' and explains GirlguidingUK is a modern, forward thinking organisation:

"The unique girl-only environment allows girls to express themselves with confidence and explore their views and ideas in a safe, unpressured way, touching on issues particularly relevant to them.

"In all other ways we hold to principles of inclusivity- people of different religions, races and abilities are welcome."

To volunteer for the Guides and Brownies no formal qualifications are needed and training and support is offered. A CRB check is needed for child protection purposes.

Chris added: "We would like to encourage younger women to come forward, although anyone up to the age of 65 can volunteer and is welcome.

"Many of us work full or part-time and have had children of our own or involvement with them in some way."

For more information ring Chris on (01395) 513278 or 07816 376059.


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