A young woman from Midhurst has spent the weekend at a democracy and campaigning festival hosted by Girlguiding London and South East England (LaSER).
19 year old Sophie Bosley joined hundreds of other Girlguiding members at Use Your Voice 2016 in London on September 10 and 11.
Taking place at a host of iconic venues across the capital including City Hall and the Feminist Library, Use Your Voice 2016 offered young women in guiding the opportunity to get informed about current issues, equipped with the tools to campaign and inspired to start campaigning on issues they care about.
Sessions run across the weekend by the likes of Campaign Bootcamp, Save the Children, the Craftivist Collective and Mind introduced participants to a variety of campaigning skills such as blogging, film, public speaking and craftivism.
High-profile campaigners spoke about their personal journeys, including Maya Evans, founder of ‘Fly Kites Not Drones’ and Dan Raven-Ellison, who is campaigning to make London a National Park City.
Sophie, who planned her own itinerary for the event, spent the weekend going on a tour of Parliament including the New Dawn art installation celebrating women’s suffrage by Mary Branson and taking part in a workshop run by the Senior Section Advocates discussing amongst other campaigns the need to raise awareness of sexual abuse in schools.
Sophie, who is a Rainbow Leader and Ranger, said: “Use Your Voice 2016 was an amazing event because I got to choose my own sessions and learn about issues that I’m really interested in.”
“It was great to take part in a workshop with Jesse McCabe who talked about how she had petitioned to get the A-Level music syllabus changed to include women composers; this really inspired me as I had recently sat my A-Level music exam.”
Use Your Voice 2016 is one of a series of girl-led events across the UK this year marking 100 years of Girlguiding’s Senior Section, open to all girls and young women aged 14 to 25.
The Senior Section offers a host of opportunities to older girls in guiding – from international travel and outdoor adventure sports to peer mentoring, advocacy and leadership skills.
Members of The Senior Section also drive Girlguiding’s advocacy and campaigning work, speaking out on issues affecting girls at the highest levels of government.
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