Guide leader moves to the Woodcraft Folk

22nd December 2006 at 00:00
The Woodcraft Folk, the progressive youth organisation, has recruited a new general secretary from the Guides, one of its key rivals. Kirsty Palmer, who starts next month, was previously development manager for Girlguiding UK, and was a Brownie and a Guide as a child.

But the 27-year-old insisted that she is not defecting to the opposition.

"Often, it's a geographical choice," she said. "Everyone was a Brownie in my village. And we're all in the business of providing great experience and activities for young children and teaching them about the world around them."

She also admires the social conscience of the Woodcraft Folk, which has been involved in the peace movement for more than 40 years. "I like the overall ethos of social justice, equality and peace," she said. "Often, organisations abandon their core principles over time, but the Woodcraft Folk haven't. I really respect that.

"The issues they talk about, especially environmental concerns, are in the public eye. We can educate young people and be an advocate for those issues."

The 9,000-member organisation ran into financial difficulty last year, when the Government withdrew its annual pound;52,000 grant. But Ms Palmer hopes that she will be able to find other sources of income.

* www.woodcraft.org.uk

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