"The highlight is when girls have a breakthrough moment"

Volunteer Katrina tells us what’s made her experience as an Action for Change Network Coordinator special

Katrina, Action for Change volunteer Network Coordinator
11 April 2018

Behind every Action for Change member is an amazing volunteer.

Our Action for Change volunteer Network Coordinators help girls take the lead on social action projects. They support them to plan campaigns and solve problems. North East England leader, Katrina, tells us about the role and what’s made her Action for Change journey special.

"My name is Katrina and I have had the pleasure of being one of the Network Coordinators for North East England over the last year. I've been a Guide Leader for over 10 years but was looking for something else to do (because all leaders want more work to do!).

Action for Change is all about giving young members the skills and support to run their own social action projects and take action on the issues they really care about. I’m part of a group of four Network Coordinators in my region and our role has been to offer support and coaching, and help girls to break down goals and overcome challenges.

From my experience of working with Guides on Community Action projects I was very aware of how challenging they can be for girls to engage with, but I’ve also seen girls have some really outstanding ideas and a drive to make them happen - that’s what I wanted to support through Action for Change.

The Action for Change residential weekend that kicks off the programme in each region, was really inspiring and impressive.

There were so many young women in one place with one major thing in common, a desire to change the world.

Some of the members came with ideas and plans, others just wanted to get involved and were waiting for their ideas to develop but whatever the starting point, it was clear that I was going to be involved in something that had the potential to change lives.

Helping girls see what they can achieve

When it comes to supporting and motivating girls throughout the year, it hasn’t all been plain sailing, but then again where would be the fun and challenge in that! Girls have approached their projects in very different ways; some have required lots of support, others have just got on with it and there have been a couple who realised that it wasn't for them.

My role has been to support the girls and point them in the right direction.

I am far from being an expert in the areas covered by the project, but I have given my skills to support and ask questions and this really helps girls to focus on what they want to achieve.

I have been unbelievably impressed with work achieved by the group of members I’ve supported, no matter how big the project was. Girls have developed campaigns to raise awareness of bullying, including writing blogs and delivering assemblies. Others have approached MPs to gain support for their cause and are challenging public views and opinions on some hard hitting topics.

Although it's obvious to say the highlight of this role has been seeing the projects come to fruition, I think the real highlights have been the little steps where girls have had a break through moment and started to see what they could actually achieve.

It's a little bit sad that the Action for Change year for North East England has now come to an end but it is so inspiring to see what the girls have achieved. I have supported the girls who I hope will go on to make an impact on the world and that makes me really proud."

Inspired? Become a Network Coordinator and develop your own skills too

We're currently recruiting volunteers to support girls in Ulster and Wales. And recruitment for Anglia and South West will open in May.

As a Network Coordinator you’ll develop coaching skills and support a group of five girls to run social action projects. You’ll receive coaching training and attend a briefing day, introducing you to the role, supporting you to facilitate workshops at the Inspiration weekend and work with young people. Throughout the programme, you’ll be supported and have monthly check ins with the Action for Change Lead Volunteer in your area.

Join Action for Change

Have you got the skills to support girls to take the lead?

We’re looking for volunteers aged 18+ who have great problem solving, project planning and coaching skills to join the programme in Wales and Ulster now. Recruitment for Anglia and South West will open in May.

Find out more