Girls will be... boys?

Pictured playing football at St Luke's Boys' Brigade are members (left to right) Daniel Reeves, Nathan Liddell-Archer, Georgia Cooper, Callum Howe and Nathan Pilcher

Pictured playing football at St Luke's Boys' Brigade are members (left to right) Daniel Reeves, Nathan Liddell-Archer, Georgia Cooper, Callum Howe and Nathan Pilcher

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GIRLS are being recruited to join a boys’ brigade in a historic move which has never been done before in a company’s 87-year history.

The 3rd Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade is encouraging girls to join them in a bold move that will make history in the town as no other brigades have ever opened up membership to females.

The town branch was founded in 1925 at St Luke’s Church, in Tunstall Avenue, where it has been based ever since, but it has never had female members.

The brigade currently provides activities for boys aged five to 18.

But if girls join the organisation, it will become known as a boys’ brigade and girls’ association.

The company’s captain Richard Cambridge hopes the change will breath new life into the brigade.

He said: “We had a meeting with all the staff last summer and we just thought it was the right time.

“We have got other organisations in the church that have got girl members as well as boys and we thought it was time to move with the times.

“It’s quite a historic, bold move.”

Richard’s father John Cambridge, warrant officer for 1st Hartlepool Boys’s Brigade, became involved in the youth organisation after Richard joined the 1st brigade as a seven-year-old in 1976.

Richard said another officer’s daughter was going to go along to a group gathering but had decided not to after failing to persuade her friends to join her.

He added that girls would get a lot out of being involved in the historic organisation.

He said members take part in a range of activities, including craft activities that will interest girls, rather than just the “rough and tumble” of physical activities, and residentials.

The group attends an outdoor camp six times a year at Eggleston near Barnard Castle.

Richard, who is also an IT teacher at St Hild’s School, said: “We are a very disciplined company and members’ personal development is boosted.

“That’s our aim – to enhance leadership skills, particularly for the older ones, and for the younger ones it’s all about fun.”

Any females or their parents wanting to find out how to join the brigade, or wanting more information, can visit www.3rdhartlepoolbb.org.uk, call Richard on 07808158115 or email richard@3rdhartlepoolbb.org.uk