Eve is a Girlguiding LaSER (London and South East Region) Champion. We caught up with her to find out what that involves.
I’m Eve Woodman and I’ve been guiding in Middlesex North West since February 2013, after moving to Uxbridge 6 months before. Even though I love Brownies I just didn’t feel quite satisfied with my Girlguiding life, I wanted to do more and get more from it. (I’ve been a part of Girlguiding for a while now and before moving here I had been used to being actively involved in small things such as planning meetings, District/ Division meetings and going on big adventures such as going to Disney Land Paris or Lapland for a day).
Through Girlguiding communications I found out about the Digital Workshops in London (for the new website), I signed up and went, and while I was there I got talking to Jo Ker and other young women who do a lot within Headquarters as well as LaSER. I explained I wanted to be more actively involved, and they suggested about becoming a Champion for Girlguiding LaSER. This started my journey and gave me the push to find out more about LaSER Champions and to apply.
I applied in July 2014, but applications had been open since June 2014. All the information about becoming a Champion was on the region’s website, with links to the application form and where to send it.
That was the easy part; I now had to seriously think about what to put down. The part that had me stumped for a while was this particular question:
What do you think is the biggest challenge or issue for you?
I didn’t know. I spoke to Mom about it and she inspired me, as there is something I feel strongly about, but it’s not an issue for me personally as I don’t let it phase me. I decided to write about Gender Stereotyping. This question became important to answer and to know inside out, as at the Selection Day I was invited to (Woo! I got past the application round) we were asked to talk about it and present the issue or challenge that we held close to everyone else there. I think I did well, I unintentionally made people laugh ^.^
And on the same day, via email I found out I had been selected. I now started a new chapter in my Girlguiding life. As a Champion I am the Campaigning arm of LaSER and the voice of Senior Section in the Region. We tend to meet each term to discuss Campaign ideas, upcoming events, events we have been to as a Champion. Since becoming a Champion I have been lucky enough to have been invited to attend the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance, took part in ‘Explaining Campaigning’ at City Hall and ‘Politics – what’s the point?’ which was a facilitated discussion led by Lord Laird and other peers and MPs at the House of Lords, as a part of Parliament Week.
Recently I attended Fawcett Society’s #WomenandEconomy 2015 Hustings in the run up to the General Election.
I don’t regret my decision to apply, and I love being a Champion. I get to be part of a team who appreciates me and who notices what my strengths are and utilises them. I may not be loud, sometimes shy or unable to get a word in, but I do like being given responsibilities to lead. I was very pleased when I was given a Campaign to lead, but Shhh… it’s still in its early stages and I can’t say anything more than that. Plus I always look forward to any events that we may get to attend and be involved in! (Oh and all of our meetings contain free drinks/ food/ snacks as well as not having to worry about money as travel expense are reimbursed).
If you’re interested in about being a Champion, keep checking www.girlguidinglaser.org.uk to find out more information about what we do and how to become one. (Applications are likely to be released next month (June), but don’t take my word for it). If you do decide I may well see you soon, as you get to be a Champion for 2 years! I’m only coming to end of my first year. If it’s the same process as I went through, there will be an application form to fill in; you have roughly 3/4 weeks to get it sent off before the deadline. If you successfully pass the application round, you’ll be invited to a Selection day, which is like a workshop where you meet other potential new champions, play ice breaker games, and work together as well as individually to show that you are suited to become a Champion. Then later that day you’ll get an email through with either good or bad news. If it’s bad news, don’t be disheartened, it just means it’s not suited to you, but it may open up new pathways for you and there will be something else within Guiding that you can do and be better suited for.
If you see me out and about, please come over to say Hi, I’m always up for a chat and to meeting new people. Especially those who Guide in Middlesex North West!