MEN AND women across South Cumbria are being encouraged to get involved in Girlguiding by volunteering their time.

In a drive to recruit more helpers, passionate volunteers have spoken out about their own experiences with the organisation.

Rebecca Gabriel, 24, was made District Commissioner for Ulverston District aged 23 and said that the role has brought 'so many opportunities.

“There are so many opportunities – from going to every part of the county and helping in so many capacities to travelling to India in 2015 and working with people from all over the globe," she said.

Inspired by her own leaders and their passion, Rebecca would like to encourage all young people to consider volunteering in Girlguiding.

“This is about empowering young women and helping them to believe in themselves, to realise their potential,” she said. “We are a modern, hip and exciting organisation. Modern guiding is about gaining skills which enable you to get on in independent life and which you might not pick up at home or in school, but above all it allows each girl and young woman to be herself and to have fun.”

And Cark in Cartmel volunteer Alan Thompson is keen to make people aware that men are able to volunteer in the organisation.

It was his wife Janice, a unit leader herself, who encouraged him to help out at all sorts of guiding events, starting more than 20 years ago.

This led to first aid training, and to acting, alongside Janice, as a trainer for First Aiders in Girlguiding Cumbria South.

He is only the second male trainer within Girlguiding in the entire country.

“This is such a switched on organisation with so many fascinating people,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, whether maybe a mum or dad of a Brownie or Guide, or somebody with no connection to the organisation, you will definitely have some skills which will be of use.”

If you are interested in volunteering, fill in the volunteer contact form on the Girlguiding website. Girlguiding Cumbria South will also have a tent at the County Show.