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Duration: 1 hour

In September 2009, the Girl Guides celebrated their centenary. With a membership of over 600,000, nearly half the female population of Britain has been involved with the Brownies and Girl Guides at some time during their lives.

Throughout its history, the movement has given girls the opportunity to have fun and form life-long friendships. Narrated by Dominic West (The Wire), 100 Years of the Girl Guides delves into the movement's extraordinary archive and interviews a host of former Girl Guides from veterans to household names such as Kelly Holmes, Clare Short, Kate Silverton and Rhona Cameron.

In 1909, Robert Baden-Powell agreed to let girls have their equivalent of the Boy Scouts. It was a time when women couldn't vote, couldn't work once married, couldn't borrow money or seek contraception.

The Guides have always risen to the challenge in times of national crisis. During the First World War, they worked in munitions factories and in the Second World War, young women in the Guides International Service worked alongside British soldiers to help Jewish inmates liberated from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

The Guides' progressive vision has pioneered the change in attitudes over disability. Their inclusive approach has produced many successful sportswomen including Kelly Holmes and paralympians Barbara Howie and Tanni Grey-Thompson.

The Girl Guides would not be the Girl Guides without their camping adventures. Baden Powell believed the great outdoors was the best way for the youth of the day to stay healthy and sane.

At the heart of the Girl Guides' ethos lies their commitment to helping others and being a good citizen.

Last on

Thu 29 Jul 2010 03:15 BBC Four

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Credits

Presenter
Dominic West
Director
Rosalind Bain
Producer
Neil Cameron

Broadcasts

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