Arbroath Girlguide leading the way in call for change

Arbroath Guide Nicole Digance at the Action for Change Inspiration Weekend.
Arbroath Guide Nicole Digance at the Action for Change Inspiration Weekend.

A young Girlguiding Scotland member from Arbroath is set to make things happen in her local area and beyond after joining Action for Change.

Nicole Digance (15), a young leader with 15th Arbroath Rainbows and a Senior Section member, joined 40 Girlguiding Scotland members - all aged 13 to 18 - at a special Action for Change Inspiration Weekend in Edinburgh.

She is one of the first girls in the UK to take part in this innovative project, the country’s largest girl-led advocacy network.

At the weekend event Nicole got to grips with campaigning techniques, hands-on workshops run by Change.org and Parliamentary Outreach, and inspiring talks from young female campaigners, including Stevie Wise, who started the Sexist Surcharge petition to stop companies charging more for women’s products, and Talat Yaqoob, co-founder of the Women 50:50 campaign to increase female representation at all levels of government.

For the next year Nicole will be part of the Action for Change network in Scotland, using the skills she developed over the weekend to take action on an issue she is passionate about, and feeding into Girlguiding Scotland’s campaigns.

She said: “I’m so excited to be part of the Action for Change network because I want to learn the skills needed to make a difference to my local community and beyond.

“I want to help promote body confidence in my school and call on the fashion industry to show models of all sizes so girls don’t feel like they have to live up to unrealistic beauty standards.

“It’s a big challenge but it’s something that needs to change and I’m excited to start speaking out and taking action on an issue I care about.’’

With support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Girlguiding will be launching nine Action for Change networks across the UK over the next three years.

The innovative project will give hundreds of young women in guiding the skills, confidence and ongoing support that they need to speak up about the issues that matter to them.