My Other Life

My Other Life

Rachel Elliott

CPD Business Development Officer (Research & Innovation)

I usually rush out of the office on a Thursday as I am a Girls' Brigade leader in the 3rd Aberdeen company at Garthdee. Girls' Brigade is a uniformed organisation, along with Girl Guiding and Scouts, for girls aged five to 18.

Every Thursday I work with 20 excitable Juniors (aged eight to 12) as a leader in their section. We do crafts, dancing, games and other activities and I help them to develop confidence and new skills. We also take the older girls away on team building weekend trips that have them doing things like abseiling and kayaking.

I joined Girls' Brigade in 1991 at the wee age of five and came through the Explorer, Junior and Senior and Brigader sections. I made lots of friends, did my Duke of Edinburgh Award, took part in competitions and got my Queen's Award. At 18 I chose to do my leadership training in order to give other girls the same opportunities and fun Girls' Brigade gave to me and I'm now close to 20 years as a leader. In that time I've worked in my company, been a training mentor for young leaders, helped organise our annual divisional display and a visit from Her Majesty Queen Camilla to my company at Garthdee when she became patron of Girls' Brigade in Scotland.

The leaders in my company recently totalled up that over the last 20 years we've seen more than 450 girls come through the company in some form. Some have stayed for just a couple of years while others have joined at five then left us at 18. Seeing all our girls go out into the world with more confidence than they did, because of Girls' Brigade, is very rewarding. 

One of the more recent highlights has been seeing my daughter join and seeing her win her first trophy and enjoying taking part in the most recent Aberdeen Division annual display. I hope she loves it as much as I have.

There are Girls' Brigade companies across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and we always welcome new girls and leaders. For more info visit the division's Facebook page.

  26 April 2023