Student helps guide reformed group to success

Published: 13 May 2014 at 10:40

Youngsters’ organisation has been strengthened by volunteers

A group of people, including one from Anglia Ruskin University, are giving their spare time to help five to seven-year-olds in a reformed Rainbows group.

Iona Maitland, 19, who is in her first year studying biomedical science at Anglia Ruskin, is one of five people who have got together to form the 26th Cambridge Rainbows unit for girls to attend. The unit had closed because previous leaders had retired and there was difficulty finding someone to step into the breach.

The unit, under the umbrella of Girlguiding Cambridgeshire East, is based at the Notts Own Scout Hut in Cyprus Road and allows girls to form friendships and build self-confidence through fun activities such as crafts and games. Students from the University of Cambridge are amongst the five volunteers.

Iona, who is living in Cambridge while studying but is originally from Helston in Cornwall, said:

“I feel this group is very important for children. It allows them to meet others and make new friends, it helps with self-esteem and confidence and it is a time to be with girls their own age. It gives them new experiences and a sense of pride and fulfilment.”

When the unit opened in January there were 14 girls, and that has increased to 17. Iona added:

“It is amazing to see how much the girls have changed in just a term and it makes us leaders proud to see them becoming more confident and happier with each other and us.
“I remember really enjoying Rainbows when I was five or six so it means a lot that I can give these girls the same sort of experiences I had. I feel very lucky to be a part of it.”