A Morecambe teenager has secured a place on a national Girlguiding panel to speak out about issues affecting girls and young women across the country.
Laura McClinton, 16, travelled to Girlguiding’s national HQ in London for her first meeting of the 18-strong group last month.
As a Girlguiding Advocate Laura will represent Girlguiding, which has more than half a million members and is the UK’s leading charity for girls and young women.
“I applied to become a Girlguiding Advocate as I want girls and women, of all ages and backgrounds, to have their voices heard in society,” said Laura, who is a Young Leader at 6th Morecambe Guides. Having a platform to speak up about issues that are affecting their lives at national level is an opportunity that I am excited to have.
“My favourite thing about Girlguiding has to be the opportunities it offers.
“From its young members having the chance to make friends with others from a wide range of backgrounds, or the ability for older members to speak to politicians about matters that impact the world, Girlguiding never fails to give us new experiences!”
The Advocates shape the direction of Girlguiding’s research and advocacy work to give girls a voice and make positive change to improve girls’ lives.
They also represent Girlguiding on a national platform, speaking to decision makers such as MPs at events in the House of Commons and party conferences.
Recently Advocates have celebrated success with the introduction of compulsory relationships and sex education in schools, something the panel campaigned for over a number of years.
They also attended both the Conservative and Labour party conferences, where they sat on panels in dedicated Youth Zones, meeting members of the cabinet and shadow cabinet to ensure the voices of young women are heard when shaping policy.
The Advocates also do vital work on helping to create the Girls’ Attitude Survey, the UK’s largest piece of research around the lives of girls and young women.
Girlguiding’s Advocate panel is a group of 18 young Girlguiding members aged 14-25 from across the UK.
They meet throughout the year to talk about issues that are important to them and other women.