I can't believe I'm a Queen's Guide!

Hannah, 22, from Stockport tells us about the amazing things she did to complete her Queen's Guide Award

Having arthritis from a young age presented me with many difficulties so I've always been prepared to take on new challenges, and the Queen's Guide Award definitely proved to be a big one!

To be honest, I was surprised I actually completed the award. You have to do five sections - service in guiding, outdoor challenge, personal skill development, community action and a residential. But pushing myself and achieving the goals I set at the beginning meant I accomplished more than I ever thought I could. Here are just some of the things I did.

I canoed through a storm

I felt a little panic inside when my friends at Rangers and I decided we would canoe for our expedition. We trained weekly in preparation, then canoed through a storm with five-foot waves on Loch Lomond and wild-camped on islands.

I visited an orphanage in India

I can't even begin to express how much this trip changed my life. Through the Sangam World Guiding Centre, I worked in an orphanage in the red light district in Pune, India. There was only one room, of about 15 foot by 10 foot, which acted as the children's bedroom, school room, living room and play room. The 35 children slept on the floor with only a blanket shared between three or four of them. We taught them a little English and redecorated the room so it was a nice, bright, happy colour, which they loved.

I officially became an Advance Motorist

As I have arthritis, driving was something I had thought might not even be possible, but I learnt to drive and passed my practical and theory tests first time. Then I did my Pass Plus and enrolled on the Advanced Driving course. I loved doing this! It gave me the chance to improve my driving on all types of roads and conditions.

I became a Unit Leader

I achieved my Leadership Qualification and now I'm a Leader for 1st Norris Bank Rainbows, Brownies and Guides in Stockport. I also got my Camp and holiday licence. This means I can give girls opportunities, experiences and challenges to help them grow and develop their potential.

I trained as a Peer Educator and 4 Coordinator

I became a Peer Educator as part of the service section of my Queen's Guide Award. That means I lead sessions about things like body confidence with different units in my region .

I also took on a role as a 4 (peer education) Coordinator organising peer education sessions and training new Peer Educators in my region. I enjoy mentoring young and adult members.

It's a life changing experience

I've recommended the Queen's Guide Award to loads of other members of The Senior Section! It is not just a personal achievement – it's life changing. You don't realise just how much you develop and grow until you've finished and look back at the person you were when you started, compared to the confident and self-reliant person you have become.

Do your Queen's Guide Award

Take the opportunity to develop skills, help your community and contribute to guiding. The award also looks great on your CV.