Celebrating our dad volunteers
‘I love the fact that I am helping girls realise their own potential whilst encouraging them to be themselves'
This Father’s Day, we’re celebrating all of our dad volunteers who help out at units up and down the country. But why do they do it? We spoke to some of them to see why they help out and what they love most…
Watch: Eagle's story (not his real name)
Eagle (real name Ashley) started volunteering at a Brownie unit four years ago. It all started when he said to his wife 'well if they ever need any help, get them to give me a shout...' In our video Ash fills us in on why he started volunteering and why other dads should get involved.
Helping girls realise their potential
Lots of dads told us that it was helping girls realise their potential that keeps them volunteering. Here's what they said.
Ian Ian started helping out at his daughter’s Brownie unit once a month and now is a full unit helper
'The DBS check was processed and before I knew it I was stood in front of 24 girls which was a little daunting! I thoroughly enjoyed the 90 minutes, so much so, that I offered to help every week and became a full unit helper.
I love the fact that I am giving something back to the community and helping the girls to start to realise their own potential whilst encouraging them to be themselves. I can’t wait, now that spring is here, to be getting out and about exploring and helping on their adventure days!'
Kenny Kenny answered the call for volunteers at his daughter’s Guide unit and carried on volunteering even after his daughter left for university
'First and foremost, I really enjoy it, wouldn't do it otherwise. I enjoy working with the girls, helping them work their way through different badge work, giving them new experiences, being a consistent male role model and helping them to realise their full potential.
I enjoy sharing and developing my own skills, and hope that I make a difference to the lives of girls in our part of the guiding community, and am often inspired and amazed by some of the things our Guides say or do.'
Martin Martin loves helping the girls in his unit to develop their imaginations
'Volunteering at Rainbows has given me the chance to share my creativity to help the girls explore subjects in exciting ways and develop their imagination. Our journey into space earlier this year being a good example. It’s great to break down stereotypical barriers and allow these girls to discover new skills, interests and dreams without limits.
I’m learning how I can use my skills and interests to entertain and inspire each and every one of our Rainbows'
'I’m delighted to be given the opportunity of supporting Girlguiding, through helping at the group that my youngest daughter helps to run in North London. The Guide movement is an integral part of helping young women to develop a range of skills and build their confidence, which is invaluable in their lives.'
Lee Lee loves seeing how much fun his daughter’s have at Guides and wants them to support them to do whatever they want to do in life
'The reason I help is that I can see (and enjoy) the pleasure my girls get out of Guides, I've helped at weekend camps and I can see at first hand how the Guides help each other and the friendships that are made. I'm also a firm believer that girls can do whatever they want in life and want to encourage them (and their friends) that this is possible.'
Louis Louis became involved with Girlguiding when his granddaughter joined the Rainbows. He then responded to a request for help from the leader of the Brownies group that his granddaughter now attends.
'I love volunteering because I enjoy helping others. This particular group comprises an enthusiastic leader and a lovely group of girls. I look forward to the weekly meetings and I enjoy them a lot.'
Making new friends
For some dads it's all about the community that comes with guiding. When he’s not helping out at his unit, Kenny is also his division’s disclosure team. He told us:
It’s great being part of a huge guiding community, where in my role as one of the division disclosure team, I’ve made lots of new friends and been at dozens of different unit meetings over the years whilst waiting to do a disclosure.
I couldn’t volunteer without the help of my unit leader, Eleanor. I didn’t know Eleanor before I started guiding but she’s now one of my longest friends. She’s been an inspiration to me over the last seventeen years with her endless enthusiasm and commitment to guiding.
Having fun, being silly and making memories
What would guiding be without a bit of silliness? Dads and daughters share their favourite fun memories below.
I enjoy helping at Brownies because I can bring some silliness which the girls enjoy, especially if they are feeling nervous about staying away from home. I don’t attend many unit meetings unless we need an extra adult, but if I did, I’d want to be called Teat Owl! - Graham (pictured left at Teat Owl)
We have a parent rota for Rainbows and dads sometimes help. Funniest was the Dad who helped on pizza making night. In his suit! He finished the evening judging all the efforts like Paul Hollywood on GBBO. – Rhiannon, via Twitter
My dad started helping weekly when I was Brown Owl. He is still there eight years later despite me moving on. I’m biased but best Brownie helper! He sends me the craft activities they complete as gifts in the post! He is fully involved! – Susan, via Twitter
Originally I started helping when my daughter joined Brownies, so I could spend more time with her and share new experiences. Now I do it because I love the energy, enthusiasm and noise that the Brownies create! – Julian