Inspirational Isle of Man Volunteer Honoured For Outstanding Service to Girlguiding


An Isle of Man Girlguiding volunteer has been honoured with a prestigious Laurel Award for her work supporting girls and young women over the last fifteen years.

Su Simpson, 39, Leader and County Outdoor Activity Adviser, was presented with a specially designed brooch, by Karen Walker, County Commissioner, in honour of her inspirational efforts.

Su, first became involved in guiding when she joined 8th Lancaster Brownies in Lancaster in 2004, and has volunteered ever since – providing amazing opportunities for girls and young women. When she moved to the Isle of Man in 2008, she took her guiding enthusiasm with her and became assistant Brownie leader in Douglas, before taking over the unit in 2010, which she runs to this day.  

Su’s highlights during her time with Girlguiding include organising an orienteering night in the forest for young members, taking the lead on a variety of leader training events on the island, and developing partnerships with local government and charities. One of which was CIRCA, a local charity promoting volunteering. Her other work includes a respectable partnership with the Isle of Man Government which involved a challenge pack, designed to raise awareness about both the island and Girlguiding. As a result of this, Unesco Biosphere Isle of Man collaborated with Su to create activities where girls explored their environmental footprints and how best to look after the world around them.

Elsewhere in her role, Su recognised that there was a need to connect with 18-30-year-old members, so she formed a social group of that age, providing them with a space to meet informally, keep in touch, and to support Girlguiding in the island.

Su, shared: “I feel utterly overwhelmed about receiving this award. Hearing what other leaders and young members have to say about me leaves me speechless and emotional - this is all for something I love to do! It was a complete surprise for me and it is quite a high award too, so I am very pleased to get it. I enjoy guiding a lot, from my roots where I started as a Brownie in Lancaster to my current location in the Isle of Man where I have held several roles. The friends, experiences, and knowledge that I have gained along the way have been immense. I hope to continue to share and embrace all that guiding stands for, and means to me, with others for many years to come.”

One of Su’s Brownies, Aurelie, 11 shared: “Brownies is amazing. I knew it from the first time I walked into the hall. It’s always welcoming and we do all sorts of fun activities like science, art, and helping the planet. I even enjoy doing things that I never used to before. I most enjoyed going to Liverpool with my unit – we all laughed a lot!”

Aurelie’s mum also commented: “Aurelie really has grown into a lovely confident young lady and a lot of that is thanks to Brownies. It really kept her grounded when she and I were struggling most.”

Karen Walker, 49, County Commissioner, shared: “Su is a very selfless leader, who is never too busy to assist anyone. She's always first to offer help to less experienced or new leaders to help them to enjoy their guiding adventure. Su loves to see all members grow and develop, from the youngest Brownie learning to light a match to a leader overcoming a fear - she always encourages them to achieve their goal! Through guiding, Su has become one of my very best friends and I couldn’t think of anyone better to receive this recognition."

If you can think of a volunteer who has had a significant impact on both our girl and adult members, why not nominated them for the Laurel Award? Find out more about the award criteria here.