Girls’ Brigade Ministries appoints new patron


Girls’ Brigade Ministries, a 130-year-old charity helping girls and women develop life skills and faith, has announced the appointment of Margaret Casely-Hayford CBE as their new patron.

Margaret Casely-Hayford CBE, a retired British lawyer and businesswoman who is keenly passionate about diversity in business and leadership, is determined to help guide the organisation’s mission to empower girls and young women through community, leadership development, and faith formation.

With over 6,000 member and 2,300 volunteers, Girls’ Brigade provides leadership opportunities, skill development, mentorship and spiritual growth for all girls aged 4+.

2023 marked 130 years since Girls’ Brigade began. They were part of the women’s equality and empowerment movements of the 1900s, and have developed and transformed over the years to ensure they stay relevant to girls of today.

Margaret is the former chair of international development charity ActionAid UK and was Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary for the John Lewis Partnership for nine years. She featured in the Powerlist as one of the 100 most influential black people in the UK in 2021 and 2022 and is the chair of Shakespeare Globe Theatre and a director of the Co-op group.

Margaret says ‘In society today girls and young women face greater challenges and pressures than ever before, and it’s vital that organisations like the Girls’ Brigade step up to meet those needs and offer the support and inspiration that can change their lives and help them become the business and community leaders of the future.

‘Throughout my career I have dedicated myself to equality and opportunity for all, and I know that the Girls’ Brigade can act as a catalyst to help girls reach their full potential. I am convinced that the need for the Girls’ Brigade and its relevance in the lives of girls is as important today as it was 130 years ago. I want to help the charity fulfil its mission to help girls and women explore and engage with real life and Christian faith in fun, informative and hopeful ways.’

Judith Davey-Cole, CEO of Girls’ Brigade, says ‘We’re delighted and honoured that Margaret has agreed to be our patron. She’s a strong advocate for women and girls and has an admirable track record for promoting diversity, particularly for women.

‘We share her dedication to empowering women and championing young entrepreneurs across all communities and are thrilled to be working with her in the future. We couldn’t think of a better role model for the girls we are trying to impact as a charity.’

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