As Brownies prepare to celebrate their organisation’s centenary, local girls are being turned away and Wharfedale units are at risk of closure.

About 540 girls currently enjoy fun, adventure and community activities in Girlguiding Wharfedale units, ranging from the ages of five to 25.

Lots of events are planned in the region and nationally for the Brownies’ centenary year – but Rainbow, Guide and Brownie units are struggling to meet the demand for places in Wharfedale because of a shortage of leaders.

There are 35 girls on the Brownies waiting list who will have their seventh birthday during this year and who cannot be offered a place until next year.

Girlguiding Wharfedale warns that two Guide units could close by the end of the summer term, three Brownie units are in jeopardy, and there is only one Rainbow unit – for five-to-seven-year-olds – to cover from Addingham to Ben Rhydding.

The organisation says there is insufficient adult help to keep some of them running safely and legally.

Ann Peacock, of Girlguiding Wharfedale, said: “We know that people are very busy these days and are not so willing to commit any of their valuable time on a weekly basis. Adult help in the short term is welcomed. We need additional help sometimes to help ratios of adults to girls when on an outing.

“We may need someone to sew fancy-dress outfits for a show or carnival, or someone to simply do some shopping for an activity.

“Someone may have a skill he or she could demonstrate at just one or two meetings – we would be only too pleased to keep a list of such willing people who could be contacted now and again to enhance the programme.

“But really and truly, we need people to come forward who will undertake the Leadership Training. It is not too onerous and there is always one-to-one help by an ascribed mentor.”

The organisation says 80 per cent of employers have volunteer-friendly policies and feel that volunteering benefits their company.

There are a total of 26 units in Addingham, Ilkley, Ben Rhydding, Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston.

Visit or contact Ann Peacock on (01943) 600083 to find out more about getting involved.