The money, from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for new groups and/or groups restarting after the pandemic, has enabled us to help groups, in specific areas of deprivation, start meeting again – offering places for 10-18 year olds.
GB’s Director Jules Murdy says ‘It’s been great to hear how the leaders we’ve been working with have grown in confidence and that their groups are growing as a result.’
The targeted groups have had promotional campaigns and publicity materials made for them, have been able to buy some new equipment, and have had the uniform costs and a year’s fees for their new members, aged 10 plus, covered.
Here some of the groups share their experiences of being part of the grant funding project, which has run from October 2022 to March 2023:
‘Receiving the grant money has been wonderful. It’s a blessing that will enable us to provide the girls with resources and experiences that previously would have been beyond the scope of our finances.’
Team Leader Jenny Holland from 28th Liverpool n:gage
‘Our group has struggled to recruit for a while now. In the autumn, we leaders had finally reached a point where we started discussing whether we should close. Not long after this, we heard that we were eligible for the funding. It was like God was telling us we’re not done yet! Receiving the grant has really lifted our team of leaders. Both the funding and the support from GBCO has given us the confidence to plan things that we’d never have attempted before. We’ve been inspired by conversations with other groups in receipt of the funding to try different things. We have a lot more work in front of us, but we can’t wait for our plans, with God’s grace, to move forward.’
Team Leader Donna Crighton from 1st Portsmouth
‘There has been a lot of work on the grant process, but it will be very rewarding in the end. It has gained us 6 new girls so far and given us the opportunity to get games equipment and for them to make crafts and do cookery, which we didn’t often do due to a lack of equipment. We’re very thankful for this grant money as it will help the girls immensely, especially the uniform, as we come from a deprived area.’
Leader Karan Dickinson from 9th Hull
‘We were so grateful to be selected to receive the grant and the GB staff team has supported us well through it. It was lovely to receive promotional goodies, a roller banner, and an outdoor banner, which will help to make sure we always have a presence within our church. It’s nice to be able to spend the money on what we find useful and that we don’t have to fundraise for it. We can simply use it on how it will most benefit our group, girls, families, and leaders. Thank you for the opportunity and development Girls’ Brigade.’
Team Leader Lauren Jeffries from 1st Hull
Grant money has also gone towards projects that not only support the selected grant groups but also benefit all our groups – such as developing online training modules, taster sessions, a national Facebook advertising campaign, and more.
Tranche 2 of the grant funding, which is to create 300 n:counta and n:spire member places in areas of deprivation, runs from February 2023 to March 2025. We’ll soon be contacting groups in the relevant areas to see if they want to be involved.
Once again, there is also money towards things that will help all our groups – such as a national Facebook advertising campaign and hiring a PR agency to shout about our work.
Jules adds ‘It’s good news that our work is being recognised in this way and that we can use this grant funding to grow GB.’