Meet Nadja Pollard, a Leader from Warwickshire who volunteered to be one of the Region’s Network Coordinators for the Action for Change project. Read on to find out more about Nadja and her role…
What else do you do in Girlguiding?
I am a Leader-in-Training with my local Rainbow unit. Our Leader runs Brownies and Guides as well, so we all meet regularly to help with planning, and we all help out with events, camps and activities for all the groups.I am the go-to craft person, and love thinking outside the box, like the flash-mob we put together for our district carol service last year.
What does your Action for Change role involve?
Action for Change is an exciting Girlguiding project which empowers Senior Section members to speak out about issues they care about with the aim of raising awareness and bringing about change. As a Network Coordinator I will be supporting a small group of girls over the next year, helping them to decide on their next step and then to make it happen.
What relevant previous experiences have you had which led you to this Region role?
Before I started volunteering with my local Rainbow Unit, I held the position of Young Women’s Leader in my local church where I worked with girls aged between 12 and 18 for two years.Each Sunday we met and had discussions, then met again each week for activities and social events.I was a mentor to all 11 of them and available at any time should the girls need advice, someone to vent their frustrations to, or just a friendly hot chocolate and some company. I have also attended several protest marches, both at my university (for free education, academic freedom, against the casualization of university staff) and at a local/national level (The People’s Assembly March in Birmingham – marching with other students against student fee rises, cuts to both education and welfare funding) and I have taken part in many lobbying and craftivism campaigns.
What do you hope to achieve as part of your role?
I want to share my experiences of attending political rallies and marches alongside more subtle gentle forms of protest such as craftivism and lobbying.I want to know that the next generation of young women will be a force for good, that they will be sensitive to the struggles of others and confident in their own abilities to create change.
Why is the Action for Change project important?
I feel our society does young people, particularly girls and young women, a disservice by underestimating their understanding of current affairs and societal issues.Many people continue to doubt a young person’s capacity to be part of changing their communities, and in turn society, by lifting their voices and becoming a positive power for change through activism. This project absolutely changes all that by giving the girls the tools they need to be changemakers and to use their voices to create social good in their communities.
What should people do if they want to find out more about getting involved in a Region initiative?
I found out about the opportunity to work on Action for Change firstly via the Region enewsletter but then also by regularly checking the website where current opportunities are there for all to see and apply for.
What is your favourite thing you have done, or your greatest achievement, as a member of Girlguiding?
This is really tough as I love everything about Girlguiding! Renewing my promise around the fire at our last camp was a beautiful experience but the Action for Change inspiration weekend was really incredible - meeting such an amazing group of girls, hearing their ideas, and gaining some amazing insight from other activists such as Chella Quint. I will never forget the Menstrual Mambo!
What do you enjoy doing outside of Girlguiding?
I’m a season ticket holder for the Worcester Wolves Basketball team and most Friday nights I can be found at the University of Worcester Arena, cheering them on.I’m also a huge bookworm, and I love foraging and growing food at home and as part of the University of Warwick Allotment Society.
What is your favourite biscuit and why?
My dad’s Vanilla Kipferl, I make them every Christmas with my children.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Passionate, determined, and funny.