If you’ve recently moved to a new quarter and are looking to make friends, volunteering for your local Rainbow, Brownie or Guide unit could be a good place to start.

For girls and volunteers from military families who regularly move around the country and the world on postings, Girlguiding can provide a sense of continuity and familiarity.

You’ll be joining more than 80,000 volunteers and 240,000 girls and young women who meet weekly for fun, friendship and adventure. Girls start at Rainbows from the age of five (four in Ulster), and then move up to Brownies at age seven, Guides at 10 and Rangers at 14.

Unit to unit

Karren is Division Commissioner for Salisbury Plain. She joined the Brownies aged seven in Duisburg, West Germany and continued in Tidworth, Colchester, York and Bergen-Hohne. She remembered her mother checking the ‘welcome book’ when she arrived in a new quarter, and on moving to Detmold in Germany with her husband, Karren did the same.

Seeing an advert for Rainbows, she immediately made the phone call which would continue her Girlguiding journey. Karren says: “I’ve had the opportunity to become a Leader and Commissioner, whilst holding county appointments to support others in Detmold, Paderborn, Cumbria and Salisbury Plain.”

A little bit of your time

Joining as a volunteer is very flexible and doesn’t have to be a weekly commitment. Tracey has been an army wife for 14 years and runs 1st Netheravon Rainbows and Brownies, and 2nd Larkhill Rainbows. She is also the District Commissioner for Tidworth.

Tracey says: “I started volunteering in 2012 after my daughters joined 1st Netheravon Brownies. The leader asked me if I would like to help out a few evenings a month and the rest is history! As an army wife it’s harder to make friends because of moving around but with Girlguiding you know that you’ll always be welcome at a unit wherever in the world you are. As a District Commissioner I go out to all the units in the Tidworth District and welcome new leaders, a lot of them being military wives.”

There are many different volunteering roles available, from administrative support to leaders, and with 25,000 units there should be one nearby.

To find out more, go to girlguiding.org.uk

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