Our new project will get young members involved in social action to create the UK's largest girl-led advocacy network
We're launching an exciting new project - Action for Change
We want to empower girls and young women to take more social action and work together to be a powerful force for good in their communities.
Through Action for Change, girls will learn key skills such as persuasive storytelling, digital communications, how to influence decision-makers, and the role of the media in creating change. They'll also hear from other young women who've made change happen about what inspired them to turn their ideas into action.
Girls who take part in Action for Change will form regional networks to work together and support each other. They'll be encouraged to take action in their own unique ways - whether by organising a community event, starting a petition, tackling bullying or discrimination, fundraising to make changes they care about – or something completely different!
We've got support from a host of successful change makers, who are excited about supporting girls' voices to be heard - including Laura Bates, Bridget Christie, Natasha Devon MBE, Fahma Mohamed, Chella Quint, Yeonmi Park, June Eric-Udori, Yas Necati and Stevie Wise.
They've recorded video messages for us on what they want to see #ActionforChange on – and will be taking to Twitter and Instagram this week to help us start the conversation.
Laura Bates said, 'It's so important that girls and young women are supported to speak out when they experience or witness inequality – because that's how change happens.
'I think it's great that Girlguiding is launching Action for Change, as this will give even more girls and young women the opportunity to create the change they want to see.
Charlotte Forrester, 17, part of Girlguiding's national youth panel Advocate said, 'I've been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to speak out on issues that I care about.
'Now, by looking to mobilise our Girlguiding community of 400,000 girls and young women across the UK, we want to give even more girls the microphone – enabling them to tell their stories, their experiences, their truths, and to give their answers to some of the key, tough social issues they face today.'
Valerie Le Vaillant, our Chief Guide, said, 'Helping others and taking social action for positive change has always been at the heart of Girlguiding's values and programme.
'In today's digital world, how girls do this is changing fast. Local issues can soon become national - and even global - calls to action on social media. In recent times we've seen some incredibly brave young women raise their voices and make a huge difference to people's lives where they live - wherever they live!
'I see the amazing things girls can achieve close up in guiding all the time - so I'm incredibly excited to see what a positive difference girls will go on to make through this project.'
Why it matters
Too often girls' voices and views are not heard on the decisions that affect their lives. At Girlguiding we want to change this.
Eight years of Girlguiding research has shown the daily pressures and discrimination that girls and young women continue to face. These include body-image anxiety, sexual harassment in schools, mental health concerns and cyber-bullying.
Action for Change will empower hundreds of girls to take action on issues that really matter to them - in their own communities and beyond.
Mental health and body confidence campaigner Natasha Devon said, 'Girlguiding has led the charge in listening and responding to the concerns of young women in the modern world. I'm delighted to support this initiative, which will empower so many young people and give them a voice.'
A spokesperson for the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation added, 'We are excited to support Girlguiding's Action for Change project, which will empower hundreds of girls and young women to take action on the social issues that matter to them. It will ensure that young women's voices are heard, and are able to contribute to a more just and inclusive society in the UK.'
Be part of it
Can't wait to get started? Let us know what you want to see #ActionforChange on by tweeting or Instagramming us at @Girlguiding. And if you're aged 13 to 25, apply to be part of creating something amazing through Action for Change.
Visit our opportunity pages to find out how to apply to be part of Action for Change.