Anyone who has been involved in Girlguiding may know the chant: “Thunder, thunder, thunderation We are the Girl Guide Association When we work with determination, we create a sensation!”

This has never been more appropriate than over the last few weeks. In over 50 years of membership, I have never known members of the organisation to protest publicly about the decisions made on their behalf by the Association’s trustees. There have been many changes in programme, uniform, the promise etc over the years and, although people may not have agreed with everything, we just got on with delivering our weekly meetings and other activities for the girls. As Ann mentioned in her letter, the Girlguiding trustees recently made two announcements which have upset members so much that they have decided enough is enough.

The first announcement was that British Guides Overseas would cease to operate from 1st September. This section of the Association meant that British Guides who moved abroad with their families (for work or with the forces) could continue to access the UK programme and provided some continuity and familiarity to girls faced with many changes in their lives.

The second decision was that our 5 Training & Activity centres should be closed at the end of the year and the sites put up for sale. Our nearest Centre, Waddow Hall in Lancashire, is a favourite of ours and we have been taking girls there regularly for over 20 years. These centres provide a safe space for our girls where they have the opportunity to take part in adventurous activities whilst making friends, developing life skills and enjoying Girlguiding traditions. The reasons given for this decision is to “help financially secure the organisation“ but the evidence and statistics seem to be questionable and contradictory. The most upsetting fact for members is that there was no consultation or prior warning. We are urging the trustees to listen to their members and to reconsider these decisions.

We are determined to take action and make our voices heard. In our units, the Guides were devastated, having had so much fun on our holiday at Easter. The Rainbows and Brownies are upset that they will not have the opportunity to visit Waddow in the future. They have written letters to the trustees as well as the Duchess of Edinburgh and our local MP. Without these centres we will struggle to provide affordable opportunities for the girls in our area.

If you would like to help us to try to save these centres for our girls and for future generations, please consider signing our petition at


One Comment

  1. […] Their actions fill me with pride and hope – these girls decided they would not allow the powerful to take away their voice, or their activity centres. They are raising their voices in protest, like good dissenters, against injustice – and more power to their elbow I say!! It remains to be seen whether they can win and have the decision reversed – but their efforts are commendable. There’s more information and a chance for you to support the campaign on our post about the closures … THUNDERATION. […]

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