Paralympic rower Ellen Buttrick MBE announced as Girlguiding ambassador

5 June 2024

Gold paralympic champion rower Ellen Buttrick MBE has been announced as an official ambassador for Girlguiding, the UK’s largest youth organisation dedicated completely to girls.

As part of Volunteers' Week and in the lead up to the Big Help Out, Ellen and the 3rd Henley on Thames Brownies will be supporting the local community by attending the River and Rowing Museum on Tuesday 4th June supporting the local community with litter picking, and gardening.

Ellen, who was a Brownie and Guide and now volunteers as a Brownie leader, attributes her rowing success to her time in Girlguiding and now wants to inspire girls to know they can do anything too.

Ellen began rowing at Leeds Rowing Club aged 17 during the London 2012 Olympics and shortly after was diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration, an inherited eye disorder which results in a gradual loss of vision. Though she gave up rowing for a short while after the diagnosis, Ellen joined the GB Para-rowing squad in 2018, where she went on to win four gold medals at the World Rowing Championships, European championships and the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020. Ellen credits her childhood Brownie leader at Girlguiding for giving her the self-belief, determination and driving force in her success as an athlete.

Ellen has supported Girlguiding for many years, and in her new role will continue to help the charity to empower even more girls to find their voice and inspire them to discover the best in themselves through speaking out on issues impacting girls’ lives, supporting campaigns and speaking at events. As a volunteer herself, Ellen is also passionate about inspiring others to volunteer for Girlguiding.

Commenting on becoming a national ambassador, Ellen Buttrick said: “My Brown Owl at 5th Roundhay Brownies in Leeds was a fantastic individual and pushed me to believe that I really could achieve anything that I set my mind to. The self-belief and determination that was fostered during my time in Girlguiding has been a driving force in my success as an athlete to date, and I’m thrilled to be recognised as an ambassador as I want to inspire and empower girls in the same way.”

Angela Salt, Girlguiding CEO said: “We’re excited to officially announce Ellen as a Girlguiding ambassador. Ellen already dedicates so much of her time to Girlguiding and as an inspiring role model she will play an important role in helping us to reach even more girls and empower them to know they can do anything.”

Girlguiding aims to build an equal world where all girls can make a positive difference, be happy and safe, and reach their potential. Girlguiding girls are up to 23% more confident than the UK average, and 36% more likely to have done something good for their local community or the environment1. Through Girlguiding’s innovative peer education initiative, core programme and wellbeing and resilience tools, Girlguiding continues to help and support girls and young women - allowing them to learn, have fun and enjoy adventures, as they have for over 100 years. 

The public can also try their hand at volunteering with Girlguiding through the Big Help Out. Taking place across the UK from the 7-9 June there will be opportunities to visit a Girlguiding event and find out what volunteering is like.