USW and Girl Guides cyber security partnership

Girl Guides cyber security badge

The University of South Wales (USW) has collaborated with the 4th Caerleon Brownies unit to create a new unofficial badge for Girl Guides across the UK.

The Cyber Security Challenge badge, created in conjunction with USW Cyber Security academics, aims to give girls of all ages the chance to learn about cyber security.

In order to earn the unofficial challenge badge, the Girl Guides will be set a series of age-appropriate challenges on topics such as; strong passwords, deciphering codes, and digital footprint. The various tasks can be completed from as young as a five-year-old in Rainbows, up to an 18-year-old Ranger.

The badge, designed by young leader, Meghan Bellamy, was launched on Facebook last week (21 February). It has been well received by the Girlguiding community, gaining interest across the UK, and as far as Canada.

In May, USW and 4th Caerleon Brownies will host a cyber security event for 400 girls in the Newport Guiding Division. This is taking place at USW’s National Cyber Security Academy and will be a fun way to learn about cyber security, puzzle solving, cryptography, and staying safe online.

Girl guides cyber security badge Clare Johnson Lena Smith

(Left to right) Lena Smith, Unit Leader for 4th Caerleon Brownies, and Clare Johnson, Head of Cyber Security at USW.

Clare Johnson, Head of Cyber Security at USW, said: ‘We were delighted to be approached by 4th Caerleon Brownies to create this exciting challenge. This project supports the national effort to get more girls interested in careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) field.

“USW prides itself on training the next generation of cyber security experts, and ensuring they have the skills to help make the UK the safest place to live and work online.”

Lena Smith, Unit Leader for 4th Caerleon Brownies added: “Organising events like this is one of the reasons I became a volunteer for Girlguiding 8 years ago. All girls and young women can do amazing things. In Girlguiding we give them the chance.”

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “I would like to congratulate 4th Caerleon Brownies and the University of South Wales on this fantastic initiative. Cyber safety is an important lesson for all youngsters. The badge and the event in May are great ways of making children and young women aware of this as well as the exciting career opportunities that are available in this field.

“It is especially pleasing that this is being led by Newport’s prestigious Cyber Academy and is attracting attention from all over the world. Another great development right here in our city.”