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Monday 19 January 2015

Solent graduate features on front of Girl Guiding UK’s quarterly magazine

Talented Southampton Solent University graduate Hannah Watts got a little more than she bargained for when she put her first class honours degree in media, culture and production to good use to produce an article for Girlguiding UK promoting the #GirlsCan campaign.

Recognising the importance of having a good picture to ensure excellent media coverage, and following the ‘Be prepared’ code that it is in the DNA of all good brownies and girl guides, Hannah donned her outdoor gear, grabbed her branded ‘girls can go anywhere’ bag and climbed a tree. The end result was the front cover feature on Girl Guiding UK’s quarterly magazine – a magazine that will have found its way to over 100,000 volunteers in the Guiding movement!

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The #GirlsCan campaign is part of #GirlsMatter – a campaign for empowering girls being run by the Girl Guiding movement ahead of the 2015 General Election. Hannah wrote an article to inspire Brownies and Girl Guides by describing what the statement ‘Girls can go anywhere’ means to her. She wrote of her trip to Fiji in 2010 as part of Guiding Overseas Linked with Develop project (GOLD).

“The slogan, ‘Girls can go anywhere’ means a lot to me”, she explains, “because, without Guiding, I would not have experienced half of what I have by the age of 23! The travels I have embarked on as a Guide have given me memories that will last a lifetime and the opportunity to meet some of the most wonderful, committed and talented people.”

The cover feature capped an unforgettable year for Hannah. In March she was one of a select group of young women invited to the House of Lords to receive her Queen’s Guide Award.

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This was followed on 1 November with a trip to Westminster Abbey where Hannah was asked to read two prayers at the National Scout and Guide Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving.

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“Guiding is a really big part of my life” Hannah explains, “and I am now ‘Little Owl’ (assistant pack leader), although I would like my own pack one day. I also sit on our executive team as an international advisor for Itchen Division, making sure everyone knows about international guiding opportunities as they arise.

“What I would say about the Guiding movement is that it has really helped me build leadership skills. It has also given me confidence because I want to be a role model to the younger girls and give them the guidance and encouragement to do what they want to do.

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“These skills are complemented by those gained through study and work at Southampton Solent University and I now feel like I have come full circle – both from Brownie to Little Owl and from Student to working as a Graduate Associate .”FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT THE MEDIA OFFICE ON 023 8201 3040 OR EMAIL press.office@solent.ac.uk