Laura West for the WAGGGS Europe Region Committee
We're supporting Laura West in her campaign to be elected to the WAGGGS Europe Region Committee. Find out what she hopes to achieve as a Committee member and how our members can support her campaign.
What is WAGGGS Europe and what does the Committee do?
In a nutshell, WAGGGS Europe supports 39 Member Organisations (including the UK). That's one million young people!
The Europe Committee has six members who are elected every three years at the Regional Conference. They help Member Organisations deliver fab programmes, support volunteers and develop resources. They also support Member Organisations who may be experiencing internal conflict and other challenges.
Why did you decide to apply?
I want to make a difference. WAGGGS offers so many amazing opportunities but many Member Organisations are not as involved as they could be – I want to change that.
I also want to help Member Organisations include more girls and young women from diverse backgrounds. WAGGGS has a very powerful voice in the world, by being part of the Committee I can help raise its profile and encourage girls and young women to join.
Why do you think it's important for Girlguiding to be represented on the Europe Committee?
Girlguiding is, of course, part of WAGGGS Europe, so any decisions made at this level will have an impact on our members in the UK. This could include anything from what programmes are developed to what priorities Member Organisations need to focus on.
Being amongst 38 other Member Organisations also means we can help facilitate learning from them to benefit our members, and also share our learning to help develop other Member Organisations further to give more girls and young women amazing opportunities.
What have you done in guiding and how would that help you if you are voted on to the Europe Committee?
Until recently, I was the Lead Volunteer for Girlguiding's peer education programme. I developed the programme strategically to benefit more members and their communities. I worked in partnership with Dove to develop a brilliant resource to raise girls' self-esteem and body confidence, Free Being Me.
I've also had experience of international guiding and was a member of the UK delegation to the World Conference in 2014. I understand international guiding and how it impacts on countries.
I can bring these skills and experience to the Committee and support the work of WAGGGS Europe.
What excites you most about the Committee?
Being able to make a difference to many, many young people across Europe. Young people have so much going on in their lives. This includes many opportunities but also various challenges.
I believe, and know, that guiding can support young people growing up today in our ever-changing world. I want to help make that happen. I want WAGGGS to be seen as an organisation which makes a difference to young people's lives and has a really positive impact on the world.
How can Girlguiding members support your application?
The elections take place at the next European Guide Conference in Norway from 17 to 21 June. Girlguiding will be supporting me through social media and it would be really great for our members to retweet and show support whenever they can. The more support I get from Girlguiding members, the more it shows the Member Organisations who will be voting, that my organisation is backing me. You can follow what's going on with the election on Twitter using #15egsc.
Find out more about WAGGGS
Learn more about WAGGGS and how it represents ten million girls and young women from 146 countries.