Meet the Leader is where you get to find out more about the regular volunteers for our unit. First we meet our Captain, Laura Stubbs.
Q: How long have you been in Guiding & Scouting?
I became a Brownie when I was eight and have pretty much been involved in youth leadership ever since. My Brown Owl was a very special lady called Pam who is still running Brownies today – and her Brownie unit helped give me a lot of courage and confidence in myself that I might not have otherwise.
I went on to Guides and then Rangers before taking a break when I was at Uni. When I graduated I moved back to Leeds and became a Tawny Owl at a local Brownie unit. I gained my leadership qualification and opened a Guide unit in 2010.
In my lifetime I’ve been on over forty camps and have been a leader for over 200 young people in Leeds (you can see some of them in my wedding photo above!)
Q: Why did you decide to start a unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital?
At my last unit I had some children that sometimes had to stay in hospital for tests and they said that they found it quite boring in between visiting times.
I have a friend called Chloe who often volunteers for Guides and she stayed in hospital for a long time when she was a teenager too. She used to keep herself busy with art supplies and writing, but told me it would have been great to be around more young people like her to take her mind off being in hospital.
Last year I started volunteering for Candlelighters, the Yorkshire children’s cancer charity, and I heard from the playworkers there about the great work they do and I thought “That sounds like Guides and Scouts!” When I went to the hospital to ask if we could start a unit at Clarendon Wing all the nurses and doctors thought it was a brilliant idea and we soon had lots of willing volunteers.
Q: What do you do for a job?
I work for a great organisation who bring businesses into schools so that young people can find out first-hand about the world of work and understand more about their future careers.
I’m very passionate about helping young people. I think children today have more information and are better connected than ever before, but that comes with added pressures too. I’m always fascinated when I talk to young people about their ideas and dreams – I think you’re all very switched on.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not a work or at the hospital?
I live with my husband, Will, in Kirkstall. He was a Scout and often helps out by carrying resources to and fro for me!
We have a pug called Bridget so we like to take her for walks round Kirkstall Abbey. I’m hoping that I can bring her to the hospital for some of our meetings – if she’s well-behaved enough!
We love anything to do with animals so we often visit farms or aquariums at the weekends.
Laura is responsible for leading the volunteer team and attends every week.