Centenary Fund Case Studies

With so many adventures to enjoy during this Centenary year, ‘I was there’ and ‘I did it!’ will be on the lips of many proud members. But for some girls and young women, a lack of money will prevent them from achieving their dreams. In acknowledgement of the hardship affecting members in the current economic climate, Girlguiding launched the Centenary Fund in 2009 to build on the late World Chief Guide Olave Baden-Powell’s wish to ‘give a girl a dream’, and ensure girls and young women – like kayaking enthusiast Callie-Ann Halliday (see below) – get the chance to fulfil their ambitions.

The fund provides grants of up to £300 to individual girls and young women aged 5-25 for equipment needed to undertake a special trip, transport for a particular girl or young woman which cannot be raised locally, sports or music equipment to take part in an event, or special training that is needed to undertake something new.

Callie-Ann Halliday

Ranger Callie-Ann, who is registered deaf, fell in love with kayaking as a Brownie, focusing specifically on canoe slalom, which she has competed in for four years.

Determined to reach the top of her chosen sport and prove that having a disability doesn’t have to get in the way of ambition, Callie-Ann worked hard to buy her own second-hand kayak and safety equipment. But at £390, the slalom paddles Callie-Ann needed to progress in her sport, were simply unaffordable. So she sent her application to the Centenary Fund – and was thrilled to receive £300 towards the cost of her paddles.

 ‘I was so shocked when I received the letter to say that I had the grant because I thought it was unlikely to happen as the money was not for a guiding event. Slalom paddles are so expensive that I thought that I would have to carry on using the white water paddles I have. The paddles have made such a difference to my performance, shaving seconds off my run times,’ she says enthusiastically.

Callie-Ann who is ranked 30th in the UK for under 18s in the national league, now hopes to achieve her goal of competing in the Pan Celtic slaloms and to take her coaching award so that she can give back what she has learned to other children.


In Cheshire, Valerie*, a Brownie Leader applied for a grant on behalf of Jenny*, a Brownie in her unit. The £66 grant, which has been awarded to Jenny will enable her to join her unit on its Centenary Celebration holiday to PGL, Shropshire, next month. It covers her accommodation, bedding, travel and food as well as all outdoor activities such abseiling, orienteering and more.

Valerie says the trip will give all the girls the chance to share in adventurous activities that they would not normally do, in a stunning setting that many will not see the likes of again – particularly Jenny, who Valerie explains is from a disadvantaged area and whose family cannot afford many luxuries.

‘Jenny has always had second-hand donated Brownie wear and we try to subsidise her trips where possible,’ says Valerie. ‘This trip will help to build her self-confidence through achieving things that she would not normally try and it will give her life experiences that she might not otherwise get.’

*Some names have been changed.

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