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Heartbroken girl, 7, banned from Brownies because she has learning difficulties

By Damien Gayle

PUBLISHED: 10:24 EST, 17 May 2012 | UPDATED: 10:28 EST, 17 May 2012

A seven-year-old girl has been left devastated after Girl Guide leaders told her to leave her local Brownie group because of her learning difficulties.

Kacey Godfrey’s minor learning difficulties only amount to trouble with the alphabet, her mother Donna says, but Brownie leaders have nonetheless told her she is not welcome at meetings.

That is despite the fact that she has already enjoyed years with her local Rainbows group – the Girlguiding equivalent for five-to seven-year-olds.

Heartbroken: Little Kacey Godfrey gives the Girl Guide salute in her Brownies uniform. Her mother says the child has been left in tears by the ban

Mrs Godfrey, 36, now fears her daughter will become isolated after being split up from her friends. She said: ‘She’s been in Rainbows for years and had no trouble.

‘But after three weeks at Brownies they told us that she can’t be enrolled with all of her friends because of her learning disabilities.

‘All it is, is that she struggles a bit with her alphabet. I think they don’t want to enroll her now as then it will be harder to get rid of her later.’

Kacey has been left heartbroken by the decision to split her up from her friends at 3rd Burstead Brownies in Billericay, Essex.

Mrs Godfrey said: ‘She still wants to go and doesn’t understand why they won’t let her be with her friends.

‘I’ve told her the truth and she still got up this morning and cried “Can I go tonight?”‘

'Out of order': Kacey's mother Donna believes that her daughter's exclusion from Girl Guides is discrimination

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‘Out of order’: Kacey’s mother Donna believes that her daughter’s exclusion from Girl Guides is discrimination

Girlguiding UK has been around for more than a century allowing girls to meet up weekly to enjoy fun activities and learn new skills.

It is the largest voluntary organisation for girls and young women in the UK with more than 500,000 members across the country.

Mrs Godfrey fears her daughter has been discriminated against despite a Girlguiding national pledge calling on leaders to make sure ‘all reasonable steps for the inclusion of disabled girls, young women and adults into guiding are taken’.

She added: ‘They’ve told me they want to talk to the school about her learning disabilities but why does she have to be banned from meetings in the meantime?

‘It is clear discrimination and I think it’s out of order. They are making out Kacey has been kicking people in the shins but Kacey would never do anything like that.

‘We have never had a problem with Kacey before and I’m not happy about how she is being treated.’

A Girlguiding UK spokesperson said: ‘Girlguiding UK always strives to provide support for girls and young women of all abilities.

‘Unfortunately information on Kacey Godfrey’s needs was not made apparent when she transferred from Rainbows to Brownies and this impacted her care plan.

‘Local guiding is in discussion with Kacey’s family to resolve this situation.’