The 2023 Guiding Overseas Linked with Development (GOLD) project took place in St Lucia. Read about what team got up to here...
The focus of GOLD is on sustainable projects that making a lasting difference. St Lucia was an in-person project, and the first year of the GOLD project in this country. The main aims of the project were:
- To increase the capacity of the Girlguiding Association of St Lucia by supporting the recruitment and initial training of new volunteers
- To increase retention of existing members
- To support Girlguiding Association of St Lucia to develop a national programme that all volunteers can use to plan their meetings
We worked alongside and in partnership with the Girlguiding Association of St Lucia, supporting and promoting the development of the Guiding community in St Lucia and the UK. During the project we ran 17 hours of training, engaged 50 young members, met with 25 members of the wider community, worked with 6 new adult members and reached 524 people on social media. We facilitated discussions on recruiting and retaining Guiders. Concrete action points coming from the project included plans to run a skills audit for adult members as it was identified that people feel valued when their skills were recognised and used. There was also discussions of a formal induction for new Guiders including allocating mentors and we discussed and proposed an example induction checklist. Finally, it was identified that it would be good to have some training on social media and internet communications with a focus on recruitment but also for disseminating information to existing leaders. This is a potential avenue for a future GOLD project.
In consultation with young members we discussed plans for the programme and also their centenary celebrations in 2025. Young people expressed how “Brownies makes my life fun”, “Brownies is great and everyone should join” and how they were proud to be “part of an amazing organisation”. We collated their feedback on what they want to learn and be involved with and facilitated discussions with national leaders on programme themes and development. A new national programme is something that the Girl Guides of St Lucia want to achieve by their 2025 centenary celebrations and through our project it became clear that they need their programme to be consistent from North to South and to have a structure and framework with key ideas but remains flexible and varied.