Jess Bond is lead volunteer for Girlguiding’s Programme Renewal, working with a team of volunteers and staff to refresh and renew the programme to deliver fun, challenging and inspiring activities to thousands of girls and young women. Jess has been involved in guiding for nearly 20 years, since joining as a ten-year-old Guide and as a Brownie leader, Jess runs weekly unit meetings where she enjoys helping girls learn new skills, build confidence and have lots of fun and adventures in the process. Jess is also a school governor alongside her employment in widening participation in higher education.
On 1st March, easyJet and Girlguiding announced that they were joining forces to engage more girls in aviation. 200,000 girls will have the opportunity to complete the new aviation badge, as part of Girlguiding’s new programme to be launched this summer, building a foundation for future study and raising awareness of the opportunities to be a pilot as a future career. The partnership is the first to be announced as part of Girlguiding’s biggest ever overhaul of badges and activities, which will be revealed in full this summer.
My guiding journey
My guiding journey started as a ten-year-old when a school friend invited me along to a ‘Bring a Friend’ meeting at Guides; I’ve never looked back! Now I’m delighted to be able to make a difference to the lives of today’s girls by leading the transformation of Girlguiding’s programme – the national framework of badges and activities for girls aged five to 18.
Being a member of Girlguiding has given me the chance to learn new skills – we’re not all born campers! And to take on challenges such as being first aider at an event for hundreds of people. I get to work as part of a team to create some amazing mountain-top moments (quite literally, in some cases) and every week get to see my Brownie Unit experience all the opportunities the organisation has to offer. Seeing the smiles on their faces has got to be one of, if not the best thing about being a volunteer leader.
After all, what’s not to love about being part of a charity that inspires nearly half a million girls to find their voice and be their best, giving them a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and communities?
Empowering the next generation of girls to start a career in aviation
We’ve always changed as the lives of girls have changed, and we want to make sure that every girl in Girlguiding follows a programme that is fun, interesting and relevant to them. This is our biggest overhaul of the programme in decades and will benefit all members of Girlguiding age 5-18.
We are incredibly excited to be working with easyJet to empower the next generation of girls and young women to start a career in aviation. We know from our research that younger girls aspire to all types of careers, including becoming a pilot. However, in reality only about 4% of pilots are women. Our partnership will help to tackle the gender stereotypes girls often face as they get older, providing them with relevant skills and building confidence ready for the future to make dream careers become a reality.
Our 2016 Girls’ Attitudes Survey found:
- Becoming a pilot was named as being a dream job amongst 7-10 year old girls
- 15% of 7-10 year old girls believe STEM subjects have the image of being more for boys, compared to over half (52%) of 11-21 year old girls
- 76% of 7-10 year old girls feel encouraged when they see a woman doing a job they want to do
- 42% (7-10) and 63% (11-21) girls would like to be a leader in their chosen job
Each year the Girls’ Attitudes Survey gives girls’ and young women’s voices a platform to be heard. The biggest survey of its kind, it asks the opinions of over 1,900 girls and young women aged 7 to 21, inside and outside guiding and across the UK. The findings give an insight into how girls feel about a range of issues, emerging pressures and what they need to support their happiness, wellbeing and opportunities in life.
Revealing more new badges and activities – watch this space!
We will be revealing our new badges and activities this summer. We’ve asked members of the public in an open consultation what badges they’d like to see. The suggestions were as diverse as vlogging, animation, meditation, storytelling, and archaeology – so watch this space!
We’ve consulted with over 40,000 girls to ensure the new programme reflects exactly what they want to do, and worked with dozens of expert partners across technology, campaigning, engineering, mental health, design – you name it, to ensure the new badges are as brilliant as possible. The new programme comprises of both interest badges and skills builder badges along with new awards and group activities too.
For more information about how to get involved with Girlguiding, visit http://www.girlguiding.org.uk/.