A teenager from Hayling Island has spoken about issues which affect girls and young women on a national level.
Abiee Harris, 18, was one of the speakers at this year’s annual national Girlguiding youth panel, which aims to support girls and young women up and down the country.
As a Girlguiding advocate, Abiee travelled up to the group’s headquarters in London to speak in front of the 18-strong panel about the issues which are of concern to her.
The advocates shape the direction of Girlguiding’s research and advocacy work, giving girls a voice and making positive change to improve girls’ lives.
Abiee, who is a member of the Hayling Island Senior Section, said: ‘I wanted to become involved in trying to tackle the issues that I’m passionate about.
‘I thought there was no better way to tackle these issues than becoming an advocate for Girlguiding.’
As part of her role as an advocate, Abiee has the opportunity to get her voice heard on a national level, raising the issues surrounding Girlguiding to MPs at events in the House of Commons as well as party conferences.
‘I really want to make sure young women’s voices are heard,’ added Abiee.
‘By having the opportunity to do this in Parliament really shows our issues are important.’
Recently, advocates have also spoken out about girls’ mental well-being and resilience.
This came after Girlguiding’s 2015 Girls’ Attitudes Survey found that 62 per cent of girls aged 11 to 21 know someone who has experienced a mental health problem.
The survey also found that almost half of girls aged 17 to 21 have personally needed help with their mental health.
The Girlguiding groups meet throughout the year to talk about issues that are important to them, such as body confidence and the representation of girls and women in the media.
Abiee said: ‘I am really looking forward to trying new and exciting things while being pushed out of my comfort zone.’
For more info visit girlguiding.org.uk.