A BIRKENHEAD girl guide leader is waging the war on homelessness by partnering with charity Wirral Ark.

Ashleigh Boden, 21, is working towards her Queens Guide award - the highest achievement anyone can receive in girl guiding and as part of this, she has been inspired to complete 12 months of community action.

After partnering with Birkenhead based homeless charity Wirral Ark, Ashleigh created a challenge pack with an unofficial badge which encourages all girl guiding sections to work with a charity local to them.

By purchasing a badge, 65% of proceeds will go to Wirral Ark.

The Rainbow leader is also creating care packages that include items such as sanitary products, first aid kits, flannels, tissues, gloves, tooth brushes and energy bars that she has been hand delivering to Birkenhead's homeless.

Ashleigh told the Globe: "I was thinking over Christmas and New Year that it's sad now that we've all been celebrating with our families and people on the streets have perhaps not had any celebrations.

"That's when the idea of the homeless packages came about.


Ashleigh's Wirral Ark badges

"They may not be able to get the support they need but I can provide them with the basic necessities that we all take for granted.

"On January 2, I put a post up on social media about sponsoring homeless packages through a Paypal pool account.

"Within 48 hours I had £120, a stranger donated £50 - which is a lot of money, I couldn't believe it.

"I researched beforehand what people may need and what to and what not to put in the care packages.

"I then looked into the best way to spend the donations like the shops where I could get more for the money donated. In the end I spent around £110 and went home to pack.

"It's expensive to keep this running but with the donations I will do as much as I can but I am also looking at doing other things to help.

"Anything from raising awareness through the girl guiding badges or talking to businesses to help with my mission.

"Last year I did the Santa Dash and now I am looking at doing the sleep-out in October, so there's always something going on."

For Ashleigh, helping the homeless is something she has always wanted to do.

She added: "I have cared about the issue my whole life.

"It breaks my heart when I go out to town and see people out on the streets in the cold and the rain with nowhere to go.

"I feel guilty about having a home to go back to and having a warm meal when those people had nowhere.

"So, even though I'm completing the Queens Guide award, the partnership with Wirral Ark means so much and to release an unofficial girl-guiding badge is something I only dreamed of.

"I want to say thank you so so much for all the donations so far.

"I just wish those who donated could have seen the smiles I had this weekend when giving out the packages.

"I hope I can encourage more people to hopefully spread the idea that if someone can help just one person, they can make a huge impact."

For more information about Ashleigh's mission visit https://www.facebook.com/GuideCommunityProject/

To donate visit https://paypal.me/pools/c/8b0jaiNl7z or https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/guidecommunityproject