A WOMAN has been appointed as the lead volunteer for Girlguiding in North Ayrshire – the youngest person across Scotland to take on the role.

Louise Crichton, age 28, took on the role of County Commissioner of Girlguiding Ayrshire North last month after joining six years ago.

Around 140 guiding groups meet regularly in North Ayrshire with 440 volunteers delivering exciting experiences to over 1,650 local girls.

Louise will lead a team of dedicated and skilled volunteers to ensure girls aged five and up have access to the benefits guiding brings – from improved mental health to developing skills and confidence.

Louise discovered her passion for working with young people while working at YMCA Camp Willson in Ohio. Upon returning to Scotland, she decided to continue this work through Girlguiding and is currently a Leader with the 1st Hurlford Guides.

Louise said: “After coming back from Camp Willson I knew I wanted to keep working with young people and make a positive difference in their lives.

“Girlguiding Scotland seemed like the perfect fit and the organisations values on community and empowerment of girls and young women really spoke to me. Being part of guiding had helped me to develop my own skills in leadership and management, without which I wouldn’t have gained my promotion at work. I’m absolutely delighted to take on this new role as County Commissioner in Ayrshire North. I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity Girlguiding Scotland has offered.”

Over the past six years, Louise has worked locally to provide girls with opportunities through guiding including supporting girls on a trip in 2018 to visit Girl Guides in Lesotho, and leading an excursion to Our Chalet, a Girl Guide centre in Switzerland, with 22 young members.

Despite the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic, Girlguiding members in Ayrshire North have been keeping busy over the past months. Within days of the lockdown announcement, many volunteers moved their meetings online and posted activity packs to younger members. In June, the county ran a virtual camp to replace the face-to-face camp they had planned, which had over 1200 attendees. Activities included den building, leaning Tik Tok dances, a silent disco and singing campfire songs.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer or know a girl who would like to join guiding, please visit www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk/get-involved/ to find out how to get involved.