Crisis hits Girlguiding units

1st Harwood Rainbows SUS-160516-110809001
1st Harwood Rainbows SUS-160516-110809001

Rainbow, Brownie and Guide units in Horsham are facing a crisis because of a lack of volunteer adult leaders.

One unit - the 1st Harwood Rainbows which meets at North Holmes School in Roffey - is under threat of closure this summer if no-one comes forward to help.

There are currently just under 800 Rainbows, Brownies and Guides in the Horsham division and there are hundreds more girls on a waiting list to join.

Division commissioner Helen Currington said: “Things are particularly bad at the moment. Some of the issue is that most of our leaders are women and now so many of them work full time and try to juggle work and home that it’s difficult.”

As far as the 1st Harwood Rainbows unit was concerned, she said: “It will close in July if no-one comes forward and that will be 15 disappointed little girls.” The unit needs three adult volunteer helpers to carry on.

Girls can join the Rainbows from aged five to seven; Brownies from aged seven to 10, and the Guides from 10-14 years.

Helen, who has been a leader with the 4th Horsham Brownies for 33 years, said that leading the units was a fun thing to do: “I wouldn’t have been doing it for so long if I didn’t enjoy it.”

There are currently eight Rainbow units, 15 Brownie units and seven guide units in the Horsham Division - which has its own headquarters and campsite.

Most units, said Helen, “would welcome additional adult help but the key unit in danger of closing is 1st Harwood Rainbows.

“This is the longest running Rainbow unit in Horsham Division, having been formed on 2 October 1991. The current leaders are stepping down this July and unless new leaders are found then the unit will have to close - just short of its 25th anniversary.

“There are 15 young girls who will be very sad if the unit has to close - not to mention the 27 girls on the waiting list.”

Anyone interested in becoming an adult leader should register their interest at or go to and follow the links.

l Rainbows, Brownies and Guides spent a fun afternoon on Sunday at the Drill Hall in Horsham celebrating the Queen’s birthday, some of whom are pictured above.