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Volunteer Profile - Amy Knighton

What do you do?


First and foremost, I am a Brownie Guider – I always have been and although I have dabbled in the different sections, I always gravitate back to the Brownies – my favourite age group. My other, small, volunteer role is County Commissioner for Girlguiding Dundee.


Why do you do it?


Guiding is something I have been part of since I was too young for rainbows and was an ‘illegal’ for 3 weeks before my 5th birthday (my mum lead the unit). I went from Brownies to two different Guide units as my hectic school life changed and then returned to brownies as a young leader from age 15ys until my 18th birthday, when I was awarded my leadership qualification by mum! I then moved to Dundee, and haven’t left my brownies since!

But why do I do it? I suppose some might say it is ingrained in me! As a child, I was ‘dragged’ around the county as mum was a trainer and had no babysitter – but this forced Guiding exposed me to girls and adults, craft and skills from a young age, building my confidence and giving me some fun of a weekend. As an adult, I continue to Guide for many reasons. On Friday evenings, at the unit, it is a chance to work directly with the Brownies, seeing them grow and develop and the joy they get out of Guiding and passing on that sense to them that they can do anything.

As CC, I enjoy seeing the enjoyment of both adults and girls on a much wider scale – watching them grow from the tiniest rainbow to young leader and adult leader. As well as trying to ensure that as a county we move forward with the times, yet still provide a safe girl-only space for the women of today and to try and make sure that Guiding survives the next 100 years in Dundee to provide this.


What do you get out of it?


Guiding has always provided me, from Rainbow to CC, with fun and friendship. As a Guide in Staffordshire, I was fortunate to attend a big international camp in New Jersey, USA, along with 40 other young women from my county. This was the first time I had been away for longer than 3 nights from my parents and I only knew one other girl from my county – this experience provided me with a huge confidence boost as I stayed with a family I had never met for 2 and half weeks, camped Girl Scout style, and visited NYC and Washington DC!

For my Baden Powel award, I took up Bellringing and worked with children, giving me new skills that were different and that I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for Guiding. Guiding has given me confidence, opportunity to work with people from different areas and walks of life, skills in diplomacy, organisation and teamwork.

The Guiding we do now is very different from the Guiding I started with in 2001 when I turned 18,  but the underlying principles are the same – adventure, fun and friendship. These are the things we get out of Guiding – a sense of achievement as you are presented with the Baden Powel Award or your going away with scheme. These things allow us to build our leadership skills which have been so useful and transferable into every day life. But what I really get out of it is seeing the change in my Brownies as they arrive as cheeky little 7-year-old, leaving for Guides as more mature 10-year-olds. I love seeing them come back as young leaders, especially when I have known them as rainbows, Brownies and Guides – it gives me a sense of achievement that perhaps I have helped them grow in confidence, maturity and skill and passed on my passion for Guiding to them.


What is your day job?

For my sins, I am a GP, working at Carnoustie Medical Centre. As part of that I supervise our senior medical students in practice and teach the junior medical students.

Amy on a paddle-board


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