Girl Guides – Redevelopment of Birk Crag Centre


President Nicola with Stuart Holland and County Commissioner Sue Mackay

President Nicola Harding welcomed Sue Mackay, County Commissioner, Girlguiding for North Yorkshire West and Stuart Holland, Project Manager for the re-development of the Birk Crag Centre, to speak at the Club’s June meeting.

When Sue highlighted the vision, mission and values of Girlguiding, it was evident that Girlguiding has a very similar vision, mission and values to that of Soroptimist International.

The Vision of the Girlguiding 2020 plan is for ‘An equal world where all girls can make a positive difference, be happy, safe and fulfil their potential’.

Soroptimist International ‘Is committed to a world where women and girls together achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide’.

The second half of Sue and Stuart’s talk focused on explaining about the Birk Crag Centre and its current re-development project. For nearly 50 years, the Centre has been a training, activity and residential centre, owned by Girlguiding North Yorkshire West, providing meeting facilities for Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and to train guide leaders. It has been enjoyed as a residential centre for pack holidays, activity camps and a venue for day, evening and weekend training courses.

Now greatly in need of a total overhaul, the Birk Crag Centre is planned to undergo an exciting and innovative re-development, which will provide greatly enhanced facilities. The aim is that the Centre will give girls the space and opportunities they need to thrive, grow and give back to their communities in a beautiful building which has been carefully planned to last long into the future.

Sue and Stuart explained the different ways that funds are being raised and how everyone at the Centre is getting involved and outlined how we, as Soroptimists, could help by spreading the word about the project, holding a fund raising event or becoming a Friend of the Birk Crag Centre for £25.

Members of SI Harrogate & District wished Sue and Stuart well with such a worthwhile project. At the same time, expressing a wish to explore ways to develop the common threads of our two organisations.