Young people share what guiding means to them

Our young members aged 14-18 share what impact guiding has on them

08 November 2023

On International Day of the Girl (11 October 2023) we launched our very first impact report to Girlguiding volunteers and the rest of the world.

It showed the positive impact that guiding has on our young members and volunteers - Girlguiding girls are up to 23% more confident than the UK girls’ average.  

Over 13,000 girls aged 4-18 and their parents or carers took part in surveys and focus groups between 2021 and 2023. Of those who responded to our surveys, 5% were Rangers. Over 7,000 volunteers took part of which 3% were young leaders. Read more about what young members aged 14-18 have to say.  

You could say I’m part of Girlguiding and you’ve got an instant friend.' - Ranger

A space to be yourself

91% of young members surveyed said they have fun at Girlguiding and almost 9 in 10 girls agreed that ‘Girlguiding is a place I can be myself’.  In focus groups young members told us the time they spend with their unit was a time they could truly be themselves without worrying about what other people thought.  

It’s fun to be able to just be yourself without any worry about what other people are going to say.' - Ranger

When I go to Rangers it’s a chance to be totally myself, it’s the hour and a half in the week I can let my hair down and not really care about what other people think.' - Ranger

Girlguiding helps girls unleash their potential

Whether they’re going on adventures, gaining skills, awards and badges, or giving back to the community, Girlguiding helps young members do and feel their best. 

It gives you opportunities that you wouldn’t necessarily get elsewhere which are fun and also useful for your later life.' - Ranger 

I like how you get to explore different areas, be adventurous, take risks and do things you wouldn’t normally do with your family at home.' - Ranger

Girls said guiding gave them lots of opportunities to take part in activities they couldn’t do anywhere else and to try things they’d never have thought of doing. Young members have opportunities to go on international adventures, join social action projects, or represent girls as part of Girlguiding and the global guiding federation WAGGGS.  

45% of young members have taken part in an adventurous activity in the last 12 months and nearly 20% have stayed away from home with Girlguiding.  

I’m going to volunteer in Mexico this year and I’d never have been able to do that if I wasn’t in guiding.' - Young leader

Last year I went away with my area and it was with people I’ve never known and we went to Our Chalet and I jumped off a seven metre waterfall which was crazy.' - Young leader 

Young members are encouraged and supported to take action and help shape a more equal world. Our advocates, aged 14-25, speak out on issues like girls’ rights, sexual harassment, online safety, period poverty and mental health. 

I think the thing that I’ve learnt is learning to use my voice confidently.' - Young leader

Girlguiding boosts girls' confidence

We know that young members are a powerful force for change in their own lives. But we also know UK girls report consistently lower confidence and self-worth than UK boys.  

In fact, in the UK, girls are between 3% and 12% less likely to report high confidence than boys – and the gap widens to as much as 24% by age 15.  

Our analysis shows that Girlguiding supports girls through this confidence challenge, with our young members up to 23% more likely to feel confident than the UK average.  

 It definitely makes you feel good and makes you feel empowered to do things. I can definitely feel my confidence growing as I’ve got older, undoubtedly because of Girlguiding.' - Young leader  

Before that [Rangers] I didn’t really have any confidence, I wouldn’t speak out in class, I would never put my hand up, I never wanted to talk I never wanted to share what I liked or what I was interested in and I didn’t have many social connections.' - Young leader

Girlguiding girls trust and value volunteers 

95% of Girlguiding girls agreed ‘I respect my leaders and my helpers’ and 93% agreed that ‘my unit leaders treat me with respect’. 

In focus groups Rangers told us how much they value and look up to the volunteers in their unit.  

They’re very self-confident, self-driven, independent so that’s how they let us be, they want us to grow up like them, they’re good role models.' - Ranger

She’s really flexible and really fun to be around.' - Ranger

They help us do the activities, if we’re struggling to do it they’ll help us so we understand it more.' - Ranger

If I ever had any problems or anything I'd definitely feel comfortable talking to my leaders about it.' - Ranger

Lots of girls are keen to stay a part of the movement and support future generations

All of the young leaders that took part in our focus groups had joined guiding as a Rainbow or Brownie. They told us guiding felt like a familiar space that they didn’t want to leave so becoming a volunteer felt like the obvious next step for them.  

I just liked being there, I just like it and I knew everybody, it felt comfortable, just the natural progression.' - Young leader

When I went back to my Brownies it just felt really familiar, and really nice.' - Young leader

I wanted to stay in the guiding community and the best way to do that was to become a leader and to make that transition more seamless.' - Young leader

To all the young members aged 14-18 who took part in the focus groups and surveys – thank you! We’re so pleased that our young members are having a fab time in guiding. 

Find out more

Want to know more? Have a look at the impact report to find out more about the difference that guiding makes to girls, parents and carers and volunteers.  

Read the report

If you’re interested in taking part in research like this you can join our insight and innovation pool