Cessnock Girl Guides has a new unit for 18-to-30-year-olds, and it has hit the ground running with a service challenge that supports women in more ways than one.
The Olave program (named after Girl Guides co-founder, Olave Baden-Powell) is the next group up after Senior Guides.
“It is more of a relaxed social group, yet we still go on camps and functions and show that guiding isn't just for the younger ones, and that once you turn 18 you don't have to become a leader either,” Cessnock liaison Lauren Gray said.
From April to July, the Olave program in NSW and the ACT will be collecting bras and money for the Uplift Project.
Since 2005, Uplift, with assistance from Intimo and Rotary Australia World Community Service, has sent over a million bras wherever women have requested them.
It has sent bras to Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Bali, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley regions in Australia.
In some of these countries, bras are seen as a luxury item, particularly where spending money on food and education take priority.
“We all come in different shapes and sizes and some of us struggle to find a properly-fitted bra that won’t cost an arm or a leg, but that is nothing to the struggle these ladies go through,” Ms Gray said.
“So to find out that there are girls and women out there who do not have access to bras, it's devastating.
“Every girl goes through that stage of excitement when they finally get their first bra; the Uplift project can help makes those dreams come true for some of these girls, and for some this will be the only bra they will ever own.
“I know I will be going through my cupboard and donating anything I can to help these ladies.”
The Uplift Project sends bras of all shapes and sizes, in good condition, including crop tops, nursing bras, mastectomy bras and breast forms (prostheses) and swimwear (although no bodysuits, torsolettes, shapewear, U-bras or bedroom lingerie).
It also accepts new underpants (in some places a girl without underpants does not go to school during her period); and fabric nappies, second hand or new.
The Olaves are also accepting cash donations to help with postage costs.
Bras and donations can be posted to Cessnock Guides, PO Box 814 Cessnock NSW 2325 or dropped off at Cessnock Guide Hall on Tuesdays between 5pm and 7pm.
Drop-off boxes are also located at Betta Home Living Kurri, 2327 Charity Boot Camp (147 Mitchell Avenue, Kurri), LJ Hooker Cessnock and Clayton Barr's office.
For more information, call Lauren Gray on 0421 715 067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.