• Girlguiding North Yorkshire West are still operating in the local community despite lockdown restrictions.
  • The group took part in Remembrance Services in Harrogate and Knaresborough last week.
  • Girlguides in North Yorkshire also completed the ‘Act your Age’ fundraising challenge for Children in Need.

A Girlguiding group in North Yorkshire is still going strong despite lockdown restrictions, taking part in activities including a fundraising challenge for Children in Need and Remembrance services in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

The group, who are a charity and volunteer led organisation, offer fun, friendship and learning opportunities for their girl-only members.

And the current restrictions have seen them move their meetings online and outdoors when permitted to allow their 2,000 members to stay in contact!

Guide Katharine

Guide Katharine challenged herself to walk 11,000 steps for Children in Need – she smashed it at 17,000!

‘Act your Age Challenge’

Girlguiding North Yorkshire West followed up a trip to Knaresborough and Harrogate Cenotaphs for Remembrance Day with a unique challenge for Children in Need.

Their ‘Act your Age’ Challenge saw the group, as well as nearly half a million girlguiding members across the country, take their age and do something with it to raise money.

28th Harrogate Guides all took part in the Act your Age Challenge and raised an incredible £1,468. Between them they did some amazing feats – running, walking and unicycling a combined 100km+! They skipped, tidied, baked, cooked, squatted, sewed face masks, stayed quiet and learnt new words!

Guide Leader Liz Jordison said of her 50km challenge:

“I wasn’t sure it was possible – but I challenged myself and I feel great. I’m so proud of everyone who’s Acted their Age for Children in Need.”

1st Burton Leonard Brownies opted for a Zoom Dance-a-thon – dancing their socks off to raise over £400 for Children in Need!

Jean Tennant, County Commissioner said:

“Raising money for Children in Need has always played an important part, but this year was even more special as Girlguiding had partnered with the BBC so that 50% of the money raised would remain within Girlguiding to help units all around the country who are struggling.

“The challenge to ‘Act you Age’ really worked too; a 5 year old Rainbow could challenge herself to cycle 5 times around the park, a leader could run 5k for 10 days to match her age.

“I personally made 60 facemasks and there were some points that I wish I was still 21! Well done to everyone who took part!”

County Commissioner Jean Tennant

County Commissioner Jean Tennant made 60 Facemasks to match her age as part of the challenge!

Girlguiding during the pandemic

To support the campaign, Girlguiding has also launched a special Pudsey badge which will join one of hundreds of infamous badges coveted by its members.

For Girlguiding, in a time of ongoing financial impact caused by the pandemic, money raised will support the charity to continue working alongside its dedicated volunteers to support girls’ and young women’s wellbeing, build their resilience and offer fun, entertaining activities during this unprecedented time.

Research shows the impact of Covid-19 is exacerbating the existing trend of declining happiness of girls across the UK – enabling youth groups to carry on meeting virtually or face to face right now offers crucial support for many young people who are struggling.

Funds raised could contribute towards giving girls a platform to speak out on the issues important to them, train Peer Educators to talk about important topics like body confidence and mental wellbeing, support the opening of new Girlguiding units or support girls to experience their first overnight camp.

Emma Guthrie, Girlguiding’s Assistant Chief Guide added:

“We are incredibly excited and proud to be partnering with BBC Children in Need in its milestone 40th year. This year has been challenging for everyone, especially our children and young people and it’s imperative now, more than ever that we do everything we can to ensure that they are not forgotten and have access to the support they need to thrive.”

Girlguiding, powered by 100,000 volunteers, supports nearly 400,000 girls and young women all over the UK. The charity provides a safe, welcoming girl-only space for girls and young women aged 5-18 years old (4-18 in Ulster) to try new things, build confidence, learn new skills, help other people and discover their passions and talents.

All while making new friends and having lots of fun and adventure – whether virtually, or where COVID restrictions allow, in person.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.