Guide Leaders are all remarkable, but some have overcome more than their share of obstacles to get the most out of their Guiding lives.
Emily is a Guide Leader with Girlguiding Nottinghamshire: earlier this year, she volunteered to be a Caterer at a four-day camp, responsible for feeding 48 members of two Notts units, including Brownies and Guides as well as their Leaders.
Anyone who has taken their unit to camp will understand the challenges of this role and will appreciate the pride and satisfaction of getting to the closing ceremony having catered successfully for a diverse group of adults and young people. But in this case, the achievement is all the more remarkable given that Emily can suffer with anxiety and depression, stemming from an eating disorder when she was a teenager.
‘I’m sharing this story to show my appreciation for the support and opportunities which Girlguiding has given me over the years – and which it continues to give me,’ says Emily. ‘Ultimately it was the women in this amazing organisation who shaped me into who I am today and who helped give me the confidence and self-belief to take on this latest challenging role. There are too many of them to name individually, but you all know who you are and how much I appreciate your guidance, wisdom and friendship.’
Emily admits that her camp responsibilities were really hard work, but insists that the positives she’s taken from the experience far outweigh the negatives. ‘And, whilst I said at the end of the four days that I would never volunteer to be a Caterer again, everyone knows I’ll be back for more – once I’ve had time for a bit of a rest!’ she reflects. ‘Through the Girlguiding movement I’ve found a real vocation for working with youngsters and take great joy in supporting girls like me to be their best.’
Jackie Brocklehurst, Girlguiding Nottinghamshire’s County Commissioner, is full of admiration for Emily’s achievement. ‘I must applaud her frankness, her resilience and her determination, not just in overcoming some challenging personal issues but also in sharing her story,’ she adds. ‘Emily is a remarkable young lady and we’re very proud – and fortunate – to have her on our team.’
Girlguiding Nottinghamshire relies on the support of adult volunteers like Emily – including parents, older siblings and family friends – in order to continue offering opportunities to so many girls and young women across the county. To find out more, contact the county office via 0115 987 7220, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.girlguidingnottinghamshire.org.uk