Inspiring and positive are just two of the words used by girls to describe their experiences during the Midlands Action for Change weekend, held recently in Leicester.

At the Action for Change Inspiration Weekend, 34 Senior Section members from all Counties came together to share their vision to make changes in an area they are passionate about.

The event marked the beginning of a year’s commitment for the participants who will work on a project where they will use their voice to make change through social action.

Over the weekend inspirational speakers shared their own experiences of taking social action and we all developed skills and knowledge and confidence to enable us to take action in our local communities. Senior Section members created our Change Wall attaching news articles, poems, posters and information about the issue that concerns them to the ‘purple wall’.

Groups practiced using their voices in social action by campaigning for more cake in school and Senior Section members met their Network Co-ordinators to start planning their projects.Workshops on public speaking, media and using video were also held and we finished the weekend by presenting certificates to participants and taking loads of photos.

Girls told me that they felt privileged to be involved in Action for Change and that they felt that they had been listened to and taken seriously by speakers who had experience of social action.

Girls said:

‘Coming up to the week end it was very daunting and official but coming on the weekend has made it more realistic and achievable.’

‘It was really good to bounce off ideas and opinions, to speak about different and similar views and opinions.’

‘All the workshops will help with projects. They were very specific and fun at the same time.’

‘Action for Change showed me how positive Girlguiding is in helping people who want to challenge something in the world, and how many people there are to support you.’

Thanks to the Region team for promoting Action for Change, to Lizzie Green and Kelley Temple who are leading the initiative, to our Network Co-ordinators who ran activities and will be working with all the participants throughout the year and to the Working Group.

For me, the level of commitment and enthusiasm of the young participants really did make this an inspirational weekend and I know that they will make change and use their voices to make change in their local communities because they are passionate about a change that they care deeply about.