Volunteering to share skills

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Bronwyn Gilchrist
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Changing into the last set of dry clothes as a volunteer Guide leader at a jamboree in Sydney, Australia, is a lasting and pleasant memory for Bronwyn Gilchrist.

She says the event was a wonderful experience.

Bronwyn is the Volunteering Mid & South Canterbury and the Hotel Ashburton Volunteer of the Month.

She has been a Girl Guiding New Zealand leader for 18 years and every week turns up to lead her unit.

She is so committed she works her holidays around her volunteering, and her enthusiasm and passion as a leader is evident.

During her time with Guides she has encouraged many girls to complete various awards including the top award – the Aoraki Award.

Bronwyn makes guiding fun for the girls doing the activities as part of the programme.

Training is provided to leaders along with a programme but being able to quickly think of creative ideas if the weather changes and programmes need to be adapted is something Bronwyn is good at, she says.

As well as running her own unit, Bronwyn helps when the other Ashburton Guide units join together for camps and she will happily share her knowledge with other leaders.

She has been involved in various regional, national, and international camps and jamborees.

Bronwyn has also mentored new leaders and is happy to share programme ideas.

With her talents and skills, it is not surprising Bronwyn has held a variety of positions locally, regionally and nationally with Girl Guiding New Zealand.

She doesn’t have any children involved with Guiding but enjoyed it when she was young and wanted to give back to the organisation.

She enjoys the chance to interact with young people and can see the real benefit to girls in Guides.

She says she has been delighted to see the girls to go on to achieve so many things in their lives; some have doctorates and masters.

Bronwyn is saddened seeing units in the district close; there soon to be only two units left in Ashburton.

She says the reason for the closure is a lack of volunteers to lead the units and help the girls learn skills.

But it’s been a volunteering role which has been rewarding for Bronwyn and she encourages others to take up the opportunity to make a difference in young people’s lives .

If you are a Not for Profit organisation and have a volunteer/s who you would like to nominate for the Volunteering Mid & South Canterbury/ Te Ro pu Tu ao i te waenga oWaitaha and the Hotel Ashburton Volunteer of the Month email [email protected]