Dollingstown youth leader Victoria Kinkaid has made her voice heard to top government decision makers during a national meeting of Girlguiding’s Advocate youth panel.
Victoria, 19, who is a leader with the 5th Lurgan Guides, met representatives from the Government Equalities Office to give her feedback on key future projects.
She is one of 17 members of Girlguiding’s Advocate panel who meet three times a year to discuss the issues girls care about, UK-wide.
The former Lurgan College student said: “Advocate speaks for the whole of Girlguiding. We choose the campaigns we support based on the opinions of girls guides through research we carry out.”
The national meeting took place over the weekend of January 25 and 26. At it, there was a Q&A session with political representatives where the Girlguiding Advocates had the chance to find out about careers in politics, and what it takes to run a government campaign.
Over the weekend Victoria, who has been involved in Girlguiding since joining the Rainbows 14 years ago, had the chance to give her opinion about the Girls’ Attitudes Survey, Girlguiding’s groundbreaking annual research programme which seeks the views of girls and young women across the UK.
Victoria along with the 16 other Advocates also took a trip to the Tate Britain to see an exhibition about suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst, and welcomed representatives from eating disorder charity Beat, whose session included a presentation from a young beat ambassador, and ways of getting involved in beat’s Sock it to Eating Disorders campaign.
Victoria, who is a first year medical student at the University of Aberdeen, says she joined the Advocate panel because she wanted to make a change.
She added: “In the future I hope to be able to speak out for girls and girls’ rights at a national and global level. I feel like I am now more equipped to take action against things that I feel passionately about.”
Victoria commented: “One of the things that stood out the most about being a member of Advocate was being involved in the ‘No More Page 3’ campaign. We wrote letters to David Dinsmore (Sun editor) and our campaign got a phenomenal amount of coverage on radio and in newspapers.”