Empowered to share a stage with HRH The Countess of Wessex

It's not every day you give a speech in front of royalty! Abiee, 20, tells us about her experience fundraising with HRH Countess of Wessex

Abiee Harris
10 Jul 2017

On the 8 June, I set off for Girlguiding HQ in London.

I was going to an event run by Girlguiding, but this was no ordinary event: HRH The Countess of Wessex was to attend.

It's safe to say that I was pretty nervous!

An event like no other

The event was held to gain support for Girlguiding’s fundraising. As a charity Girlguiding relies on fundraising so it can offer it’s fantastic programme to girls and young women.

Women from all sorts of companies and charities, such as Rosa and Google, were invited. This was all for them to find out the awesome stuff we do in guiding and what they can do to help.

So why was I there? As an Advocate, I was asked to attend to do a speech about what Girlguiding has done for me (but also how other people could help). Any other speech would have been (somewhat) no biggie but this one was to royalty – eek!

But more importantly, why was The Countess of Wessex there? She is the President of Girlguiding and was there to explain why the other people in the room should invest their time, money, and resources in Girlguiding too.

The event started by getting into small groups for us to find out more about each other. This gave me the chance to talk to business women about what they do day to day. Each day they empower other people. That could be their colleagues directly, or through the time and resources their organisation offers. It was great to listen to how they do this and empower people.

My challenge

My job for the event was to explain how they can empower us, the young members of Girlguiding, and explain what has empowered me: Girlguiding. Instead of me doing this in small groups, talking to a couple of people at a time, I did it to everyone in one go (*nervously laughs*). Despite this minor hurdle it was great to be able to share my story and explain how they can help make this happen for other girls.

The Countess of Wessex followed my speech. This included the main saying I took away from the evening: There’s a raging girl guide in all of us (I think she speaks the truth, for sure)! Everyone in the room could relate to the things we do and why we do it.

Hopefully, it will have made a lasting impact on the powerful women in the room. That way they, too, can help continue to make this programme fantastic.

My challenge to you!

Promoting guiding doesn’t have to happen on a national level though. We must shout about how wonderful Girlguiding is on a local level too. This will be what gets us support for individual unit meetings and what will directly impact the girls. Who knows, it could lead to something much bigger!

I challenge you to tell three friends (who don’t already know, that’s cheating!) how Girlguiding has changed your life. But also tell them what they can do to help themselves and girls in the area.

If you find that easy then go and talk to businesses about what they can do to help - think time, expertise and money. Good luck!