Our advocates influence the direction of Girlguiding's advocacy and shape our research
The advocates seek change to improve all girls' lives
Being an advocate is the opportunity of a lifetime because it offers you the chance to get your own views heard and speak up for girls and young women across the UK. The other advocates inspire me to do my best every day! - Larissa, 18
Being an advocate has given me the change to help make the world a better place - Emma, 20
The Advocate panel gives girls a platform to use their voices and seek change at the highest levels. Our advocates are a group of 18 Girlguiding members aged 14 to 25 lead the direction of Girlguiding's advocacy and research.
What do advocates do?
Advocates talk to MPs and other politicians, act as media spokespeople for Girlguiding and speak at many types of events.
They learn new skills and discuss issues that matter to them and their peers. They have focused on body confidence, the representation of girls and women in media and politics, education, violence against women and girls, young people’s mental health, and loads more! All of the advocates come to the group with different perspectives and ideas but they are all passionate about issues that affect girls and young people.
Our advocates call for greater representation in politics – to celebrate 100 years since some women got the vote, our advocates are joining calls for women to be equal represented in Parliament.
Our advocates take action against sexual harassment in schools - the girls put pressure on the government to take action got heard. As a result, the government launched an inquiry. We continue to call for more action.
Our advocates lead the Girls' Attitudes Survey - they shape the questions and they make sure people in power hear what girls told us by speaking to the media, contacting politicians and writing blogs.
Our advocates influence government policies - they attend important parliamentary meetings and provide evidence of what life is like for girls in the UK.
It was so exciting when the government announced that relationships and sex education was going to become compulsory in England. It was great for us to see that all our dedication and effort is worthwhile - and it's incredibly rewarding when your work is recognised - Alice, 18
Our advocates speak out - they've spoken at amazing events including the Women of the Wold Festival, attended party conferences and recently walked the red carpet at the premier of Wrinkle in Time (including getting to meet Oprah!).
I've spoken about media sexism towards female politicians on BBC Radio 5 Live. It felt like a big responsibility and I was afraid I'd get it wrong. But even though the questions were really tough, I found good responses because I was so passionate about the topic and what I was saying. That really built up my confidence - Emma, 20
Our advocates create and grow our campaigns - watch this space for new campaigns and how to get involved with them.
How to get involved
We recruit new advocates each year in April so check back here for updates. In the meantime, find out about other ways you can get involved with our campaigns.
Meet the advocates
Caitlyn, 21, Belfast Caitlyn cares about: Climate change and a more sustainable future.
‘Being a part of the Girlguiding Advocate panel allows me to have a voice and represent women across the UK to different media outlets, alongside different organisations. I can’t wait to get started on the different opportunities and back the Girlguiding campaigns and see the change it will bring to society.’
Henrietta, 16, Midlands Henrietta cares about: Getting girls involved and interested in social action and politics, combatting fast fashion, and representation of girls from diverse and rural communities.
‘Being an advocate will give me the platform to inspire girls to confidently make a change, whether that is about improving opportunities for under-represented groups such as women, LGBTQ+ members or people of colour or simply encouraging people to care about issues such as the environment. Girlguiding is the perfect opportunity for me and other young women to speak out for those who feel silenced.’
Amanda, 17, Scotland Amanda cares about: Women in STEM, period poverty, and food waste.
‘I’m a young leader at a local Brownies unit, and it’s been so inspiring encouraging young Brownies, who aren’t very confident, to join in with the activities. It feels great to give back to the Girlguiding community, an organisation which once helped me. To have the opportunity to do this on larger scale, on a national scale, is so amazing. I want to inspire and empower other young people to speak out about issues affecting their lives, regardless of who they are or where they come from.’
Madeline, 20, South West Madeline cares about: Gender equality and making sure girls and young women are treated fairly in all aspects of life.
‘I love being on the Advocate panel because I have the opportunity to represent Girlguiding and its members on a national level and make sure their voices are heard. I am looking forward to working on the changes that girls and young women want to see and to making a real difference!’
Lauren, 18, North West Lauren cares about: The environment, equality of physical and mental health conditions, promoting youth social action.
‘As an advocate I hope to be able to make a tangible difference to the lives of girls across the country and represent their views effectively. Being a member of the panel will allow me to campaign for the issues which I, and other girls my age, are passionate about, such as providing more education about climate change/sustainability in schools.’
Phoebe, 19, South West Phoebe cares about: Online safety for girls and young women and creating a safe space for girls to grow and feel secure in their local area.
‘As an advocate, I am passionate about making the world a safe place for girls and young women to grow up in - whether this means giving them local places to play or lobbying for a greater representation of women in the media. I am looking forward to working with the other advocates, as well as those in power, to change the things girls are worried about.’
Alice, 14, Anglia Alice cares about: Equality for disabled people and woman in sport & STEM.
‘I wanted to join the Advocate panel to try and create positive change for disabled people that are often overlooked. I often see on social media people being left on trains, and other horrific events, and I want them to never have to be tweeted again.’
Francoise, 21, Anglia Francoise cares about: Equality in the workplace, inclusivity and diversity and promoting self-confidence in young women.
‘I want to inspire and empower young women to feel confident in every aspect of their lives and promote the ideology that a positive and confident mindset will foster success. Being a part of the Advocate panel is an honour - we are rarely given such a platform which allows us to take part in campaigns and help actualise real change that will benefit current and future generations for the better. Being an advocate will allow me to voice my opinion on important issues that are affecting young women and girls, help create a sustainable society and, with the other advocates, be part of the Girlguiding legacy.’
Kate, 23, LaSER Kate cares about: The environment, encouraging women into leadership roles and intersectional feminism.
‘I applied to be an advocate because I wanted to encourage young girls and instil the confidence in them to aspire to become leaders of the future and empower them to change the world around them. Being able to speak out on issues girls and young women care about to those in positions to make change is a fantastic opportunity.’
Ruyuan, 14, Edinburgh Ruyuan cares about: getting more women into science and technology, body confidence and increasing diversity in the images we see in the media.
'I hope that through being an advocate I can encourage other girls to start speaking out about the issues they care about too. I’m a firm believer in the power of role models and I think the Advocate panel also serves to empower others to use their voices too.'
Emily, 17, Derby Emily cares about: media representation and getting more women involved in science and technology
'Being able to support Girlguiding’s campaigns is such an exciting experience. Knowing that I can help Girlguiding members of all ages and backgrounds to have their voices heard is a privilege, and being able to meet so many other incredible young women who are part of the Advocate panel has helped me to realise how passionate and powerful our generation really is! As someone passionate about science, I am particularly excited to speak out and encourage more young women who are interested STEM careers.'
Abigail, 20, Kent Abigail cares about: LGBTQ+ rights, sex and relationship education.
'I have always been passionate about making a change but have often felt that it was impossible to do on my own! No matter how much I spoke out about issues I care about, I didn’t feel I was loud enough or making a real change, I want to use the Advocate panel as a platform to speak out, and to be heard.'
Emma, 18, Chorley Emma cares about: women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)
'After being involved in Action for Change, I really wanted to stay involved and to keep on campaigning and speaking out with Girlguiding! I am particularly interested in women in STEM and excited about continuing to speak out about this issue and to achieve more than I could ever have hoped to on my own!'
Kate, 18, Barry Kate cares about: young people having the opportunity to speak out and be heard.
'Being an advocate gives me the opportunity to speak out on issues that effect our daily lives. Young girls and women should have the chance to give their opinion on issues that affect them. Being an advocate is a great opportunity to be involved in making positive changes for girls of all ages.'
Isla, 19, Leeds Isla cares about: mental health, education and the environment.
'Being an advocate will give me the chance to get my voice, and the voice of other girls and young women heard. I’m passionate about improving the lives of others and helping give girls and young women more opportunities. I’m most looking forward to working with an amazing team of young women, meeting interesting new people and speaking up for important issues.'
Pippa, 19, Gloucestershire Pippa cares about: Disability rights, and equity for all.
‘As an advocate, I am particularly passionate about challenging the double discrimination experienced by disabled people due to their gender, and their disability. I want to take the voices of girls and young women all around me to where they need to be heard. I hope to, along with the other advocates, create the much needed changes for the next generation of girls and young women.'