I’m originally from the States, I moved to Ireland 21 years ago – for love! It all worked out well and I have a family here now. I found though that there was a space between having babies and having kids at school, and I was at a bit of a loss. I didn’t know many people or have many friends here. So when my daughter was old enough to join Girl Guides, I thought I’d get involved too and give a hand at the meetings. I got involved with a Brownie group and I really fell in love with being a leader.
It was a great opportunity to be able to have an impact on childrens’ lives, and at the same time, I met some amazing adults! My best friends are all from Guides, they’ve become my family. They threw a big surprise party for my 40th, and got me a camp bed for our camping trips, saying that I’d need it now that I’m “old”!
They just really made me feel like I had a family here that was my own, that wasn’t my husband’s family. Family doesn’t have to be blood – they’re my ‘found’ family. And now I have friends all over the world thanks to my volunteering with Girl Guides.
Youth groups in towns and villages around Ireland need local volunteers who can help rebuild our safe and secure spaces for young people. People like Jessica, people like you.