Meet our new Lead Volunteer and Assistant Lead Volunteer for Safeguarding Gill Gates and Joanne Redding.
What does the role of Lead/Assistant volunteer for safeguarding involve?
Gill: The role is about working with the midland region chief and the county commissioners to support and advise leaders with all aspects of safeguarding. We also work closely with the national team in London.
What do you hope to achieve as part of this role?
Gill: That we can remove some of the stigma attached to safeguarding and continue to ensure we are running safe units
What other roles do you have in guiding?
Gill: I am a Rainbow, Brownie and Guide Leader as well as a Division Commissioner. I also sit on the national safeguarding panel.
Jo: I’m a Leader for a Guide and Senior Section unit in Erdington, Birmingham. I am also the county lead volunteer for Safeguarding in Birmingham.
What relevant previous experiences have you had which led you to this Region role?
Gill: Professionally I am a retired nurse, having worked in the area of mental health and learning disability for most of my career. At the point of retirement amongst the many varied things I was responsible for, I managed the Trust Safeguarding Team and sat on the multi agency safeguarding children and adult boards for Leicester city and Leicestershire.
Jo: I’m a qualified paediatric nurse with over 13 years experience. I currently work as a Clinical Educator in Birmingham seeing patients and working with other healthcare professionals identifying potential safeguarding issues and looking at how best to refer them and continue to maintain their safety and address their healthcare needs.
What is your favourite thing you have done, or your greatest achievement, as a member of Girlguiding?
Gill: Over the years there have been many great things I have been involved in but I think organising the Leicestershire launch of the national centenary, and watching over 5000 members having fun at Belvoir Castle. Has to be one of my favourite.
However I do think being with the units on a week by week basis and watching the young members grow and develop in to amazing young women.
Jo: Re-joining Guides after being away for over 15 years. I have found a really amazing group of girls and leaders that I enjoy spending time with. We also recently took our senior section to Disneyland Paris which was a great experience!
What do you enjoy outside guiding?
Gill: Spending time with family especially my three grandchildren, going to the theatre, cooking and other craft things. Drinking coffee and eating cake with friends.
Jo: I love holidays to Disney and spending time with my family and friends. I have also recently started getting more into crafting and am working on a Buzz Lightyear outfit for my next holiday.
What is your favourite biscuit and why?
Gill: Rich Tea fingers, they are plan, simple, and in complicated.
Jo: Pink wafer - I love pink and marshmallow so this is the perfect mixture for me!
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Gill: Calm, Quiet, Dedicated
Jo: Happy, Smiley, Princess