Who are the advocates?

Find out what our spokespeople do

11 July 2022

Our advocates are a group of Girlguiding members aged 14 to 25 that lead our advocacy and research.

They act as our spokespeople and represent the voices of girls and young women, talking to MPs and other decision makers, speaking to the media, going to events and more.

They do the important work of making sure the voices of young people are heard at the highest level and help us make sure we are girl led in everything we do.

We have more than 20 advocates, from every country and region of Girlguiding, and they all have different interests and areas they’re passionate about, from LGBTQ+ equality and women in STEM to the climate crisis and period poverty. But they’re all united in their aim to make the world better for girls and young women.

‘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,’ says advocate Kate, from LaSER. ‘Being able to speak out on issues girls and young women care about to those in positions to make change is a fantastic opportunity.’

When our advocates join the panel, we don’t expect them to have any experience in advocacy or public speaking. They just need an interest in speaking out and an enthusiasm to learn and we give them all the training and support they need to go and change the world.

Recently, the advocates have spoken out about sexual harassment at the Conservative and Labour party conferences and wrote about their experiences in national newspapers, like the Metro. They also marked Safer Internet Day 2022 by speaking at an event in Parliament on the importance of a safe and positive experience for children and young people online and the need for better protection online.

They also help us create our Girls’ Attitude Survey every year. Started in 2009, we ask over 2,000 girls and young women to tell us how they feel about their everyday lives each year. The advocates help draft questions and then promote our findings at the party conferences. It’s a vital snapshot into the lives of girls and young women year on year.

'To be able to represent and speak on behalf of myself and others with similar problems is an honour and the want and need for change in the lives of young girls and women is very much present,’ says Mary, from Midlands region. ‘I'm very glad to be able to help change it for the better as an advocate!'

We believe it is important that young people can speak out on issues that affect them, and we want to give our young members a platform to do this. Young people need to be involved in the conversations that are affecting them.

Advocates are just one way Girlguiding campaigns for a better world for girls and young women.

Social action and campaigning are part of our Promise and Law. Girlguiding is all about helping other people, doing community action and helping girls and young women to be a powerful force for good.

National change and influencing decision makers is really important but regional and local action is just as vital.

You and your unit could take part in a local environmental project, help with a local event or appeal, or set up a coffee morning for their community. Members aged 18-30 could apply to go on a GOLD (Guiding Overseas Linked with Development) trip and support community projects abroad. Members aged 14 to 25 can train as peer educators and support others to learn about issues, or your unit could decide which charity they want to support and organise a fundraising activity.

Or take it back to basics with our programme. The Take action theme has lots of great badges, from the Influence and Make change Skills builders to Interest badges like Helper, Charities, Campaigning and Protesting.

And any young members aged 14 to 25, keep an eye out for the chance to join the advocate panel. Opportunities are usually published in August each year.