Once in a lifetime trip for fundraising Guide

Natasha Cootes in Sri Lanka
Natasha Cootes in Sri Lanka

A Girlguiding member from Eastbourne has returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Sri Lanka, where she joined a team of young women taking part in vital community development work.

Natasha Coote, 26, joined a team of five Girlguiding members participating in the Guiding Overseas Linked with Development scheme – otherwise known as GOLD this autumn.

During her three weeks in Sri Lanka, Natasha taught leadership skills to Sri Lankan Guides – running workshops in several different regions across the country.

She also taught English to local teachers.

Founded in 1991, GOLD offers young women between the ages of 18 and 30 the chance to develop their potential improve their skills and make a long-lasting positive difference in communities as far afield as Honduras, Madagascar, Russia, South Africa and Thailand.

Natasha, who is leader of the 8th Eastbourne Guides, helped to develop a new Girlguiding section in Sri Lanka called the Butterflies, for girls aged between five and seven.

She said, “After all the training with the leaders the highlight of my trip was meeting a group of Butterflies in uniform for the first time!

“The biggest challenge was the culture shock and the cold showers every morning!”

Natasha, who works as a senior physiotherapist, raised money ahead of trip by hosting a family quiz night in a local pub and organising a ‘onesie’ walk with her Guide group along Eastbourne seafront.

For more information on GOLD and how to join Girlguiding – the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK – go to www.girlguiding.org.uk.