Case Study: Highlighting the City's hidden volunteers - Cat Edwards

Plympton Brownies


Cat Edwards is a leader in training with the Brownies in Plympton. She started in the Rainbows and then worked her way up.

By RACHAEL DODD - Herald Reporter rachael.dodd@plymouthherald.co.uk

VOLUNTEERS from across Plymouth are sharing their stories to celebrate Volunteers Week. All this week, events and celebrations are happening across the country to say Thank You to volunteers and to recognise their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.

The events included Sunday’s Inspiring Volunteer Awards organised by Improving Lives Plymouth and hosted by BBC Spotlight's Victoria Graham, where Plymouth’s amazing unpaid workers were centre stage at the Theatre Royal.

Also this week the Our Plymouth campaign is highlighting hidden volunteers in the city who give their time to a variety of good causes. Our Plymouth provides a "marketplace for good" where community organisations, social entrepreneurs, active citizens and those who want to contribute to the city can meet. Cat Edwards is a leader in training with the Brownies in Plympton. “I’ve been with Brownies since I was about seven,” she said. “I started in the Rainbows and then worked my way up. I think growing up I saw how it affected me positively and I wanted to give that back to others. They really supported me through some difficult stuff that I’ve been through.” Cat attends the group weekly – helping plan and organise a range of events. “I help run all the different activities,” she said. “We’re working on a talent show right now, they might try craft or go out on a hike, play outdoor games, and we’re organising a min-festival for them. We’re also a charity so we fund-raise for different things too. “I’ve even been to Sweden, Finland and Austria all through Guiding and being a leader. “It’s really rewarding, it’s always nice to bring the experience that I’ve had to other people. I always used to love camp fires and now I organise them. You don’t really think about it as volunteering. I work a full-time job in Liskeard and they’re very flexible if I’m a little late to meetings. I do it with my friends and I have fun as a leader.” Growing up with the charity, Cat has seen the effect it has on the community. “You get a lot of self achievement out of it,” she said. “You feel the impact it has on the children. They start out on their own and scared to leave their parents and soon they're running in every week. “They make life-long friends too – there are people I met in Brownies that I’m still friends with now.” The Girl Guides Plympton Division is looking for more leaders. No matter how much time you have to give, there’s an opportunity for to join their team. Find your place in the team of inspirational women, sharing their skills and passions with girls in a unit – all while benefiting from the adventure and opportunities guiding has to offer. To register your interest, visit the website to find out more and take the first step to becoming a volunteer: www.girlguiding.org.uk/get-involved/

Our Plymouth has a goal to make Plymouth an even better place to live, work and visit. It aims to achieve this by working across all sectors of the city connecting people and organisations, creating opportunities, campaigning and inspiring active citizenship. If you’d like to get involved get in touch with us, like our Facebook or follow us on Twitter.