Girlguiding advocate takes to the international stage

Girlguiding advocate Eloise returned to her home in Cheshire this week from the WAGGGS conference in Cyprus.

Girlguiding advocate Eloise returned to her home in Cheshire this week from the prestigious World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) conference in Nicosia, Cyprus where she represented Girlguiding UK, the UK’s largest youth organisation dedicated completely to girls.

The historic event, hosted by the Girl Guides Association of Cyprus (GGAC) took place from 26th to 31st July 2023 at the European University Cyprus. Held every three years, the World Conferences see member organisations from around the world come together to celebrate achievements, reflect on past successes, and envision the future of WAGGGS. Delegates at the conference represent ten million members across 150 countries in five regions worldwide.

As a Girlguiding advocate, Eloise's participation in the conference marked her first international engagement. She helped to run a workshop on ‘meaningful youth participation’, as part of her commitment to empowering young girls to voice their opinions and ideas.

Eloise has been a member of Girlguiding since the age of five, when she joined Rainbows. Now 18 years old, she volunteers for the organisation running Ranger and Brownie units in Cheshire. In 2023 she joined Girlguiding’s advocate panel. Passionate about breaking down gender stereotypes, her role sees her share experiences of guiding and together with the other advocates, helps shape the future of the organisation.

Girlguiding’s advocate panel is a group of young members aged 14 to 25 that lead the direction of Girlguiding's advocacy and research and seek change to improve all girls' lives. The advocate panel gives girls a platform to use their voices and strive for transformation at the highest levels - talking to MPs and government ministers, acting as media spokespeople for Girlguiding, and speaking at many types of events.

In the grand opening ceremony, Eloise acted as flagbearer for Girlguiding UK. Themed "Dream, Act, Lead: The future is ours," the conference inspired participants to envision an equal world where every girl can thrive and to take decisive action and lead the way towards realising this vision by 2032.

Speaking about her experience at the conference, Eloise said: “Attending the 38th WAGGGS World Conference was not only a huge honour and milestone in my personal Girlguiding journey, but also an empowering experience for me to work alongside so many dedicated and intelligent women, all striving to make changes to international policy.

“This opportunity allowed me to explore first hand my passion for global governance, make lifelong friends and feel empowered to speak up to instigate change.”

The conference provided a valuable opportunity for Eloise to network, including at an exclusive evening reception hosted by the esteemed Olave Baden-Powell Society, and at the WAGGGS Event for Young Women: Get Ready for Governance, where she engaged with other young people globally involved in guiding, advocacy, and governance.

In the lead-up to the conference, Eloise also joined the Girlguiding UK delegation in making important decisions concerning world board nominations and representing Girlguiding UK's vote on WAGGGS global motions.