With best wishes
I am deeply honoured to have been selected for the role of Chief Guide. I have worked tirelessly since being appointed to my role, because I know what an important part Girlguiding plays in improving the lives and life chances of girls and young women in the UK and around the world.
The Chief Guide is the unique link between the membership and those who govern and administer Girlguiding. One of my highest priorities as Chief Guide has been to further strengthen the relationship between HQ and our national membership of around 550,000 volunteer leaders, girls and young women, by:
- helping establish shared Key Performance Indicators between HQ and our Countries and Regions, to deliver our ‘Being our best’ strategy most effectively
- creating an Operational sub-committee of the Board comprising all Country and Region Chief Commissioners so, working with the executive, they can all shape HQ work streams on behalf of our members, and
- commencing a project looking at our operating practices, to encourage greater collaboration and efficiency across key tiers in Girlguiding.
Another key priority has been to champion membership growth. I am passionate about inclusion, and am keen that as many girls as possible should have access to Girlguiding. Through fun, friendship, challenge and adventure we empower girls to find their voice, inspiring them to discover the best in themselves and to make a positive difference in their community.
In my role as Chief Guide I have seen many, many examples of wonderful leadership. Day in and day out, our adult members keep their Promise and embody our values – caring, challenging, empowering, fun, inclusive and inspiring – and it is clear Girlguiding not only touches the lives, but in many instances literally transforms the lives of thousands of girls and young women. Thank you for your wonderful contribution.
Because of this, you cannot imagine my sadness as I write to tell you that I must stand down as Chief Guide, owing to family health problems. I have been a member of Girlguiding since childhood, and will remain so in the future; my passion for an organisation which provides the highest standards of programme delivery, and an enriching experience for girls and young women remains undimmed, and I wish you and the organisation every success in the future. It has been a privilege to serve with you.
Valerie Le Vaillant OBE
How will we appoint the next Chief Guide?
The Board of Trustees will prepare a timetable and process for appointing our next Chief Guide, for which they will seek approval from Girlguiding’s Council.
Will Sally Illsley remain as Deputy Chief Guide?
Yes, Sally Illsley will continue as Deputy Chief Guide and will cover some Chief Guide duties until a new Chief Guide is appointed.
Who will Chair the Board in Valerie Le Vaillant’s place?
One of our current Trustees, Val Elliott, has been asked by the Board of Trustees to be the Interim Chair of Girlguiding’s Board until a new Chief Guide can be appointed.
How can we send our thanks and best wishes to Valerie?
Please send any cards to Girlguiding HQ and they will be passed on.
How will Valerie’s existing engagements and events be covered?
Senior volunteers and Trustees will endeavour to honour all of Valerie’s existing commitments. If you have any questions, please contact Jo Rossi who will be able to help you.