22 April 2024

Girlguiding embraces problem solving and teamwork at Wiltshire Police headquarters

On Sunday (25th February) Girlguiding members from across the county had an exciting day of problem-solving and teamwork as they converged at the Wiltshire Police Headquarters Devizes for a special event to earn the Wiltshire Police Challenge Badge.

Around 80 girls and young women took part in the first Wiltshire event of its kind designed to build critical thinking, leadership, and an appreciation for public service.

Chief Constable Catherine Roper – Guide leader and Child and Young People NPCC (National Police Chief Council) lead said “We are excited and delighted to host Wiltshire Girlguiding members today. Organisations like Girlguiding provide so much for our young people – positive role models, safe spaces, and the chance to gain new skills.

As a guide leader myself I know that public service is a thread that connects Girlguiding and Policing. 20% of members volunteer on a regular basis in their communities.

Our Police challenge event is a fantastic opportunity to foster the idea of public service.“

The Wiltshire Police Challenge event was an immersive day, allowing participants to explore the vital role of the police in keeping Wiltshire safe.

The event featured three activities tailored to challenge and inspire:

  • Design your own Police force – In teams the Girlguiding members create a force vision, priorities, and structure to fit the needs and budget of our county.
  • Solve a crime – an immersive training exercise where evidence was gathered to solve a burglary.
  • Uniformed Operations challenge – Attendees learnt all about protective clothing/equipment and took part in a public order training exercise.

Over lunch attendees also had an opportunity to visit our Policing Marketplace where they talked to representatives from Wiltshire Police.

This included our:

  • Crime scene investigation team
  • Armed Response Group
  • Digital Investigations and Intelligence Unit
  • Police Cadets
  • Control room (101/999 call operators)
  • Corporate communications team

Here they learnt about the different departments across the force and how they work together to effectively police our county.

These activities aimed to provide valuable insights into the world of policing, while simultaneously instilling important life skills for the participants.

Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “I am delighted to support the Chief Constable’s partnership working with Girlguiding and the introduction of a Wiltshire Police Challenge badge.

“Building trust with our communities, especially young people, and gaining their confidence has never been more important for policing than it is now. This work is one further step towards Wiltshire Police, driven by the Chief’s passion for encouraging the development of young people, cementing those foundations in our communities.

“Alongside, this Challenge event is a chance to really showcase public service at its best, inspire more females to aspire to work in policing and connect with our future police officers and leaders who will continue to keep our families, and our county safe, for many years to come.”

Once all guiding members completed the three event activities, they were awarded their badges at a ceremony lead by Chief Constable Catherine Roper. The event not only reinforced the principles of teamwork and civic responsibility but empowered young girls and women to aspire to leadership roles in their communities.

Cherie Bennett, County Commissioner of Wiltshire North Girlguiding said “We are thrilled to collaborate with Chief Constable Roper and Wiltshire Police for this special event. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our girls and young women in Girlguiding to learn about the vital work of policing.

Jo Manship, County Commissioner of Wiltshire South Girlguiding added “We know from our Girlguiding attitude survey 1 in 10 girls believe they’re hardly ever given the same opportunities to do things as boys and men, and as we know we at Girlguiding “Girls can do anything!”   We want our girls and young women to leave today feeling inspired and know there is a career in policing open to them.”

The badge will be officially launched across the county on International Women’s Day, 8th March. A badge pack will be uploaded to the Girlguiding and Wiltshire Police websites where all Girlguiding units will be able to download it to use at weekly meetings and gain the badge.

Written by
Andy Munns
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Written by Andy Munns