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14 November 2013

Alliance board member becomes Girls' Brigade president

Alliance board member becomes Girls' Brigade president

By Amanda Pilz

Rachel Gardner, Alliance board member and co-founder and director of Romance Academy, has been appointed as president of Girls' Brigade England & Wales.

The author, speaker and youth worker from north London was elected at a Girls' Brigade (GB) national meeting on Saturday (9 November 2013) in Didcot. Rachel is the co-founder of Romance Academy - a revolutionary relationships project that tackles teen pregnancy and under age sex head on.

She says: "Modern society is not always good news for girls. There seems to be a constant barrage of messages telling girls to conform to damaging ideals and perform in damaging ways. Navigating a safe way through can be tricky at best and terrifying at worst.

"GB offers girls a robust vision of life in all its fullness and equips them to meet the challenges of life and faith head on. It inspires them to be the thinking, fearless and compassionate leaders they all have the potential to become. For me, becoming President means holding up a microphone and cranking up the volume about what good news GB is for girls in this generation."

In England and Wales, GB works in local communities in partnership with local churches. It provides rewarding, stretching and positive opportunities through which currently around 15,000 children and young people, between the ages of four and 18, are growing and developing in confidence, faith and skills in a Christian environment.

Ruth Gilson, GB's executive director and vice-chair of the Alliance board, said: "We're passionate for and about young women and we want them to discover what it means to have life to the full.

"Rachel is experienced in a wide range of issues that affect their lives in and out of church and her passion to turn up GB's voice in the Christian community and further afield is very welcome.

"2014 sees the start of GB's seventh generation of mission among girls and young women and it's significant that we have such an inspirational role model as our ambassador for such a time as this."

Steve Clifford, general director of the Alliance, says: "We are delighted our friend Rachel Gardner has been appointed to this fantastic role. We pray she will help to equip, inspire and encourage the next generation of female leaders.We are looking forward to working closely with both her and Ruth Gilson, and championing the work of this amazing organisation. I pray that more female leaders will be inspired by Rachel and Ruth and feel empowered enough to fulfil their potential, playing their much-needed part in the body of Christ."