Inspirational Leeds Woman Honoured For Volunteering With Girlguiding

A Leeds Girlguiding volunteer has been honoured for her work supporting girls and young women over the last 23 years with a prestigious Laurel award.

Anne Esslemont, a Brownie, Guide and Senior Section leader was presented with a specially-designed brooch in honour of her inspirational efforts by Andrea Simon, deputy chief commissioner for Girlguiding North East England at a recent meeting.

Anne, 39, first became involved in guiding when she joined Brownies and has volunteered as an adult ever since, providing amazing opportunities for girls and young women.

Anne, said: “Girlguiding has made me the person I am today, developing me from the seven-year-old who was too shy to speak in front of the other Brownies to the leader and trainer I now am. My highlights from my time with Girlguiding are taking the girls camping and seeing them bond over the time spent together whether that’s a weekend at a local campsite or our week in Iceland last year and being involved with planning large events and working with lots of wonderful people.”

“I’m extremely proud to have received this award. Volunteering for Girlguiding is such a rewarding experience and it’s been wonderful to work with so many young women and girls over the years and see them developing their confidence and skills.”

“Guiding opens up so many fantastic opportunities for girls to grow in confidence and become a powerful force for good in their communities. I would like to dedicate this award to all of the girls I have had the pleasure of knowing.”

Katie, 21, who attended Roundhay Rangers said: “Being a Ranger has really helped boost my confidence and that’s because of volunteers like Anne who is a great leader and has organised lots of exciting activities and trips for our group.”

Leeds county commissioner, Jan Ali, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to Anne, through her roles in her units and at county level she has helped thousands of girls discover new things, make great friends and experience things for the first time. She has endless energy and enthusiasm and is committed to helping each girl to find her voice. In her role as a trainer she has shared her experience with leaders throughout the North East England Region so her good example has spread far and wide.”

By giving just one or two hours a week, volunteers can help local girls and young women  enjoy a wide range of exciting activities, as well as acquire new skills and experiences – and have fun at the same time.

The charity welcomes volunteers of all backgrounds, ages, cultures, faiths and abilities. For more information about volunteering with Girlguiding, visit


Notes to editors:


Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, with over half a million members. Thanks to the dedication and support of 100,000 amazing volunteers, we are active in every part of the UK, giving girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities. We build girls’ confidence and raise their aspirations. We give them the chance to discover their full potential and encourage them to be a powerful force for good. We give them a space to have fun. We run Rainbows (5–7 years), Brownies (7–10 years), Guides (10–14 years) and The Senior Section (14–25 years). Registered Charity No 306016.