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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Girlguiding volunteers find high levels of happiness


New research shows high happiness levels

Girlguiding has revealed its volunteers have higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction than the average UK adult who does no volunteering.   

According to research released by the charity, Girlguiding volunteers also report levels of happiness up to four times higher than those who volunteer at least once per month at other organisations in the UK2. 

It comes as the UK celebrates the 40th national Volunteers’ Week (3 June – 9 June).

With almost 80,000 volunteers, Girlguiding has one of the largest volunteer networks in the UK. Volunteers typically run weekly unit meetings with girls from Rainbows as young as 4, up to Rangers at 18.

The units spend time doing various activities which are designed to show girls that they can do anything – from outdoor adventures to public speaking. To help tackle growing waiting lists and welcome more girls, the charity is urgently appealing for more volunteers to meet the demand from girls.    

This weekend, the public can try their hand at volunteering with Girlguiding through the Big Help Out. Taking place across the UK from the 7-9 June there will be opportunities to visit a Girlguiding event and find out what volunteering is like.  

Many of the volunteers surveyed by Girlguiding emphasised the personal benefits of joining, such as improvements to their health and wellbeing (91%). In fact, 94% of volunteers said that Girlguiding helps them make new friends and 89% agreed volunteering helps them feel good about themselves3.  

Girlguiding sets volunteers up with transferrable skills. 87% feel that volunteering has helped them learn new skills that can be used outside of Girlguiding and 64% have found that it has notably improved their employment prospects4.  

Chief guide Tracy Foster, Girlguiding’s most senior volunteer said: “It’s no surprise to me that our volunteers report such high levels of happiness. Every week I have the pleasure of meeting different Girlguiding volunteers around the UK and they are experts at bringing fun and friendship to everything they do.  

“Like many of our volunteers, I’ve made lifelong friends at Girlguiding and I’m so grateful to be able to support and be supported by such incredible girls and women.“ 

Not only do Girlguiding volunteers report higher levels of happiness, they also stay with the charity for more than double the UK charity average of 6 years.  

There are lots of fun and flexible ways to get involved in guiding, whether it’s volunteering with girls directly or supporting behind the scenes around other commitments. There are also young volunteer opportunities from age ten and up including peer educator roles, (a group of 14-to-25-year-olds who help girls explore important topics, like self-esteem, safety and gender stereotypes). 

Girlguiding CEO, Angela Salt said: “Without our nearly 80,000 volunteers Girlguiding simply wouldn’t happen. Our volunteers give of themselves and their time, week in and week out, leading 23,000 local groups. If you are looking for something fulfilling and rewarding to do, and if you would like to help give girls opportunities and together fight for an equal world, I would ask you to consider joining Girlguiding as a volunteer. 

“Girlguiding volunteers make a real difference to girls’ lives, from helping them build campfires to developing their confidence. Volunteers empower girls to know they can do anything.“ 



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