21 April 2010 - Guides Reunited!

Famous alumni come together to celebrate 100 years of Girlguiding.

Over 400 celebrities, MPs, business leaders and charity heads will gather today at London’s Guildhall to celebrate 100 years of Girlguiding and thank senior volunteers for their commitment to girls and young women across the country.

Former Guides, Kate Silverton and Rhona Cameron will join hundreds of alumni and current members who will come together at tonight’s event as part of Guides Reconnected – an online social network that enables thousands of past members to reunite and share memories during the Centenary year.

Girlguiding, the UK’s largest organisation for girls and young women, is celebrating its Centenary in 2010.

Former celebrity Guide Kate Silverton said: 'It is wonderful to have the opportunity to come back to meet the girls and young women who are members of the organisation today. I have fond memories of my guiding days. I became a Queen's Guide which involved completing all sorts of badges and tasks, but it was fun. It taught me focus and how to research and probably and most importantly engendered a spirit of 'can do' and a love of the outdoors that remains today. It was also a great time to make friends and I’m delighted the Guides continues to be there for so many girls today.'

Hosting the Centenary event was the Lady Mayoress of the City of London Mrs Claire Anstee, who was both a Brownie and a Guide. She said: 'It is an honour that I am here to host the Centenary event of Girlguiding with my husband, the Lord Mayor of the City of London. Guiding was a most memorable and significant part of my life between the ages of seven and thirteen. Having been both a Sixer and a Patrol Leader for the 8th Wimbledon Unit, guiding provided a strong sense of belonging and achievement, a real pride in being an important part of a team and, above all, enormous fun. I am particularly glad to see so many young girls and alumni who have benefitted from guiding gathered here to celebrate many more 100 years of Girlguiding.'

Ahead of the event, 8th Haggerston Guides member Niamh O’Connell said: ‘It is amazing to think that all of these famous women were members of guiding when they were younger. Although they come from very different backgrounds they have all reached the top of their profession and it’s inspiring to think of the role that guiding might have played in helping them get there.’

The event will also raise awareness for Girlguiding’s Centenary Fund. Based on the vision of original Chief Guide Olave Baden-Powell, the Fund aims to ‘give girls a dream’.

Chair of Guiding Development, Alison Robson ,said: ‘This fund will enable future generations of girls and young women to have life-changing experiences and access the amazing opportunities and experiences available to them.’

To make an online secure donation visit www.girlguiding.org.uk. Every penny received will go directly towards giving girls memories that will last them a lifetime.

For photographs or further information please contact Frida Williams on 020 7149 3706 or the Girlguiding Press Office on 020 7592 1733.

Notes to editors

Girlguiding is the UK’s largest voluntary organisation for girls and young women, with around half a million members and recognised volunteers. One in four eight-year-old girls is a Brownie and almost half of all the women in the UK have been involved in guiding at some stage in their lives.  We run Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and the Senior Section, enabling girls and young women to develop their potential whatever their ability or background. We are striving to offer new opportunities to a broad diversity of communities through our expanding network of 60,000 trained volunteer Leaders.

At Girlguiding we seek to give girls a voice and provide a unique, girl-only space where members feel comfortable just being themselves. Our members, challenged by a girl-led programme that extends beyond badges, enjoy a spectrum of activities from outdoor adventure to pop concerts to community action.

Girlguiding, part of a worldwide Movement of approximately ten million girls and young women in 145 countries, launched its Centenary celebrations in September 2009. 

Registered Charity No: 306016

Guiding has had a positive impact on girls' lives for the past 100 years.