A DESPERATE appeal has gone out for adult volunteers to join the Girl Guides so they can continue after a national drop in helpers.
The Gosport South division of the Girl Guides says it has been hit by a shortage of staff helpers.
The staff say they are finding it hard to cope with an increase in the number of young girls who want to join the Guides.
The shortage of volunteer staff means more girls are having to join a waiting list and some miss out the unique experience of Girl Guiding from a younger age.
Anna Williams, a member of the Stubbington Guides and rainbow leader, said: ‘We need to start a new unit, but can not find adult helpers.
‘Currently we have about 42 girls waiting and need at least 12 volunteers in order to cope.’
Volunteers for the Girl Guides are normally recruited by word of mouth, and most of the staff have full-time jobs elsewhere.
The current campaign to hire voluntary staff in the Stubbington and Gosport area has not been successful.
Girl guiding division commissioner for Gosport South, Angela Wilson said she was ‘aware of the situation’ and said that people can get fulfilment by volunteering with the organisation.
She said: ‘As an adult in Guiding, it brings great non-financial rewards through the children’s happiness and trying new things.
‘We need volunteers who can remain motivated and incentivised to look through the girl’s eyes, who can find out about their ideas and dreams and help make them come true. It’s a really special role.’
Earlier this week, the Scout Association said it too was short of adult leaders. It said there are 51,000 children on its waiting list to become Scouts, Beavers, Cubs or Explorers.
To become a Girl Guide volunteer go to girlguiding.org.uk