Tiana was 7 years old when she started Girl Guides. She had no friends at school because she was crippled by shyness to the point where she would not speak to adults or children outside of home. On her first night at Guides, she hid in the corner with her face tucked down into her arms. Other Girl Guides occasionally skipped over to her to say a friendly hello, deliver items for an activity, or check if she wanted to play.
After a few weeks, Tiana was joining in the opening ceremony and watching games. As time went on, she began to join in with the activities and the first time she achieved a badge, she was smiling from ear to ear. Her mother saw her talking to another 7 year old girl at the Guide meeting and arranged a playdate with the girl. She almost cried with relief when she heard Tiana giggling with her new friend in the back garden.
Over time, Tiana built her confidence to the point where she was able to attend large state camps and speak aloud in the group. Her mum noticed a difference in Tiana at school, too. She was contributing more in class and had made a couple of friends. But money was tight and when Tiana's mum was made redundant, she had to make difficult choices about what they could and couldn't afford. The only way they could keep Tiana at Girl Guides was through Lend a Hand.