Economy Minister awards NI’s first ‘Guided Consumer’ badges

in Consumer Skills

First ‘Guided Consumers’ badges awarded to Bangor Guides

The Minister for the Economy Simon Hamilton MLA, has awarded the first ‘Guided Consumer’ badges to 7th Bangor Unit of Girlguiding Ulster. 

The ‘Guided Consumer’ badge has been developed in partnership between the Consumer Council and Girlguiding Ulster, to help raise awareness of consumer rights amongst young people.

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton, who attended the event and awarded the first badges, said: “By educating our young people with the knowledge of their consumer rights and responsibilities, we prepare them for their future as confident and informed consumers. I commend both the Consumer Council and Girlguiding Ulster in the development of this valuable initiative and congratulate everyone who has achieved their ‘Guided Consumer’ badge this evening. This is another excellent example of the role our uniformed organisations play in Northern Ireland. These organisations are sustained by hundreds of hours of voluntary labour. Indeed, if government was to pay for such a service it would undoubtedly cost millions. We thank them for their efforts and value their contribution.”

One of the first Guides to receive her badge from the Minister, 12-year old Martha Gooding from Bangor said: “I had a great time learning about consumer rights; it was fun, fascinating and energetic. It is so good to learn about shopping safely online and the 24 hour rule of thinking before you buy.”

11-year old Natalie Gough, also from Bangor added: “I enjoyed being part of the pilot for Guided Consumer; it was such good fun playing the games. I really loved the 24 hour rule: think before you buy, shopping safely online and learning about the padlock symbol and to read customer reviews before you buy online.”

Speaking at the event, John French, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council added: “Young people are the consumers of tomorrow – although they are already seen as a profitable market by advertisers – so it is important we educate them now on their consumer rights and responsibilities. This initiative is designed to help them learn and understand their consumer rights through interactive, fun activities so they become informed and confident consumers.”

Girlguiding Ulster Chief Commissioner Brenda Herron added: “We are delighted to have formed a partnership with the Consumer Council and would like to thank them for funding this pack and badges.  In Girlguiding we believe it is important that we equip our young people with life skills and this badge is a fun and educational way for them to understand their consumer rights.”

This initiative is currently being rolled out to all 160 Girlguiding Ulster groups across Northern Ireland reaching approximately 2,700 young consumers aged between 10 and 14, as well as many thousands of friends, family and schoolmates that each of those Girl Guides will help to educate about their consumer rights.

For more information on consumer rights contact the Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022 or visit

For more information on being a member of Girlguiding Ulster or finding your nearest unit, contact 028 9042 5212 or visit


Consumer Council Media Contact:  Keelin Kelly telephone 028 9025 1667 / 07917 682327/07799032203 or email    
The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about buses, trains, planes, ferries, natural gas, electricity, coal and water.
For more information, visit or Facebook  The-Consumer-Council-Northern-Ireland/ or Twitter @ConsumerCouncil
Girlguiding Ulster is a leading charity for girls and young women in NI, with 12,000 members. Thanks to the dedication and support of over 2000 amazing volunteers, we are active in every part of NI, giving girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities. We build girls’ confidence and raise their aspirations. We give them the chance to discover their full potential and encourage them to be a powerful force for good. We give them a space to have fun. We run Rainbows (4–7 years), Brownies (7–10 years), Guides (10–14 years) and The Senior Section (14–25 years). Registered Charity No NIC103728. 

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