Burgess Hill Girlguides

The Girlguides are known for teaching young girls useful life skills, but the adults who volunteer also have a great time of it. CommunityAd chatted with the Burgess Hill Division to learn more.


Janet Samuel is currently an assistant Rainbows leader but she has volunteered with the Girlguides for over 50 years and has received the Girlguiding Laurel Award for Outstanding Services to Guiding. “I’ve held a range of roles—County Commissioner, International Adviser, and PR coordinator for our county.

“I was also a secondary school teacher with responsibility for careers. Being a volunteer is definitely a plus for any CV whether in the workplace or further education. It gives you ‘the edge’ when in competition with others with similar qualifications because there are a lot of clever people out there to choose from.

“Being a team player and showing initiative have always been an asset, skills which Guiding provides in abundance. If you have recently been out of employment, Guiding also provides an opportunity for you to continue use many of your skills. Girlguiding also offers many international opportunities for adults to both lead groups or participate in service projects abroad.”


Charlie Irwin, district commissioner and assistant Guide leader, says, “The benefits of volunteering with Girlguiding are that it is fun and you get to do activities that you would not normally do. We’ve all made great friends in Girlguiding with the other volunteers, and if you stick around long enough you get to see the girls develop and grow from little Rainbows to Rangers and into adults.

“There’s lots of training from first aid, safeguarding, diversity/inclusion, to our adult leadership qualification, to more specialist skills such as leading a camp, outdoor activities, and a newly launched training for nature education.

“I moved to Burgess Hill last year and I’ve found that the volunteers in Burgess Hill are really welcoming and friendly. Volunteering is a flexible thing, so you can be an occasional volunteer who doesn’t turn up every week, a unit helper who doesn’t have to get involved in planning or become a member, or an adult leader with the qualification – or even someone behind the scenes as we always need help with accounts, hall maintenance, etc!

“The girls get a fun session every week with their friends, the chance to go on residentials and earn badges, working on a programme that focuses on healthy living, adventure, life skills, creativity, taking action and self-knowledge, where they get a chance to shape and choose what they do in a supportive environment.”


For more information on volunteering with Burgess Hill Girlguides go to the Girlguiding website.

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