Anne and Karen, as joint Chairs of Girlguiding Gloucestershire’s trustees, were privileged to attend a reception on Monday hosted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace to celebrate 60 years of £1 billion charitable giving by the Garfield Weston Foundation. They had selected 120 of the 44,000 charities they have supported over the 60 years to attend. We were there as we had received a grant for our recent refurbishment of the toilet and shower block at Deer Park. ( A big thank you to Helen Welsh for applying successfully for the grant for us.) We were very excited to find on arrival that we had been selected to speak to Prince Charles. He asked about our waiting lists and spoke about his setting up of Youth United – an initiative which is close to Karen’s heart as it was funding from Youth United which helped set up Cheltenham’s Saturday Rainbows.
Garfield Weston Foundation was set up by the Weston family 60 years ago when they decided to put 80% of their family’s company (United Biscuits) shares into the foundation. United Biscuits produce lots of well known brands from Twinings tea, to Jordans, to McVities and also own Fortnum and Masons. So next time you eat a McVities biscuit remember that some of the profit is going to charity!
Girlguiding Dursley District, Gloucestershire West Division, ran the local fireworks display again this year and with around 2000 people visiting the event they raised an astounding £7,000 for the local organisations involved an their chosen charity, the Gloucestershire Young Carers.
A huge congratulations to the whole of the Dursley Team and their fabulous volunteers for putting on such a great evening.
A group of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Senior Section and Leaders had an early start on Sunday 12th June setting off from Forest South Division at 6am to head down to London for The Queen's Patron's Lunch. Ten of the lucky members had been selected to attend the Patron's Lunch on behalf of Girlguiding South West England. All those invited to The Mall received an individual lunch hamper to keep and a shopping bag of goodies. The rest of the group went to St James' Park to watch the event on the big screens. The wet weather certainly didn't dampen any spirits and a fantastic time was had by all.
The crowds gathered on top of Bubbs Hill to join in the lighting of our very own Queen's Birthday Beacon. Our County Commissioners, Helen & Carole, lit our beacon whilst the Queen and over 900 others lit beacons across the Country to mark this very special birthday for Her majesty. Many Leaders, girls, parents and members of the local community joined us at the top of the hill where a traditional Guiding campfire sing song also took place.
Five Brownies and their parents (including one of our Leaders!) from 36th Cheltenham (St Nicholas) Brownies went to the South West England Region Roadshow today. It took place at the Bristol Athletics Academy and the girls had great fun with lots of sporty activities.
A Brownie's perspective
I woke up at 4.06 in the morning as I was really excited. We had to be ready by 4.45am to go and collect Mia at 5am. We arrived at the station at 5.15am to get on the 5.30 train. As we set off we did an eye spy on the train booklet (by the end of the day we found most of them) Then we played a game and train surfed (making other people smile). As we walked we nearly fell over, Mia was being really funny.
We changed trains at Swindon to catch one to Paddington, London. I was going to sleep. Then me, Mia and my Dad had to go to first class to buy food. We had a croissant. We both listened to some music trying to get some sleep but we were too excited!
This was my first time to London and I had my first ride on the underground, we went from Paddington station to Victoria station. I stood up for most of it.
We had breakfast in a café near to Girlguiding headquarters, it was yummy!
After visiting Girlguiding headquarters we went for a little sightseeing. First we went to Buckingham Palace. We saw guards doing a funny march. The flag was up so the queen was there but we couldn’t see her looking out of her window. We went to watch the horse guards, they kept very still while everyone was trying to get a photo. When they got off the horse we saw them do a funny walk!
Next we went to Downing Street, we were talking to the police officers, they wanted to know who we were and if we would get a badge if we had a photo taken with them! We couldn’t go down the road as there were lots of ministers arriving. We also spotted Big Ben, the London Eye and a statue called Monty.
We made our way to Westminster Abbey, we were a bit early so we went into the shop, the lady in the shop was asking what we were doing in London and when we said we were there for the Thinking Day service she gave us both a chocolate coin. She said she remembered being a Brownie and Guide and carrying the flag.
We went and met up with two Rainbows, two Guides, two members of the Senior Section and their leaders. We also met Solange who is the South West Region Chief commissioner and Anna from Headquarters. Mia and I gave out Thinking Day cards to everyone that we had made. We had a tour of Westminster Abbey, the man showed us all the special things to look at. He told us who was buried there and we looked at lots of memorials.
We then went to the Evensong service and sat where the choir sings, it felt very special to be there. After we had a service with the scouts to remember Lord and Lady Baden-Powell. Mia and I were chosen to lay the wreath with Angela who is the deputy Chief Guide. at first they didn’t have the flowers so we just had to bow our heads, then we placed the flowers on Lady Baden-Powell’s memorial.
Solange treated us all to a Black Cab ride to Zizzi’s, it was fun. Mia and I sat on the fold down seats and went backwards! When we were at Zizzi’s we met Gill the Chief guide. Solange and Gill gave us all a special badge. For tea I had a pizza it was really big but really delicious too, for pudding I had ice cream with popping candy!
We shared a cab with the Senior Section back to Paddington, they were really funny as they were counting down the time to their train and as soon as the door opened they ran as fast as they could to see if they could catch it – I wonder if they did?
It was a brilliant day, I really enjoyed it.
36th Cheltenham (St Nicolas) Brownies
A Leader's perspective
After receiving an email from the County Commissioners saying Gloucestershire had been asked to select one Brownie Leader and for her to choose two Brownies to go to Westminster Abbey for the Thinking Day service, you can imagine my shock, delight & excitement to find out it was me!!
We were told we would meet up with Solange (Chief Commissioner of South West Region) and there would be 2 Rainbows, 2 Brownies, 2 Guides and 2 senior section with their leaders.
On Saturday 20th February, my two Brownies (Samantha and Mia) and I caught the 5.30am train to London! On arrival to Paddington station we made our way to the underground. While travelling on the tube the girls tried a bit of “train surfing!!”
Breakfast time! Having found a little café near to HQ we stopped off for Breakfast, the girls tucked in while I panicked that the cooked breakfast would end up down their smart uniforms! The café owner was very impressed with the girls and gave us a discount for being in uniform!
Off we went for a quick visit to HQ, the girls had a look round the shop and bought a couple of treats with their pocket money before setting off for a bit of sightseeing. Some of the sights included Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Downing Street, Horse Guards, Houses of Parliament, London Eye and of course Westminster Abbey.
At one o’clock we started to meet up outside Westminster Abbey, Solange was there to meet us. Mia and Samantha handed out Thinking Day cards that they had made for everyone. We were then taken for a tour around Westminster Abbey, finding out lots and lots of interesting facts.
For the Evensong Service we were sat in the Quire stalls, not far from the male choir. It sounded beautiful.
We waited for the public to leave before being taken to the part of the Abbey where the memorials for Lord and Lady Baden-Powell are. We were joined by Angela Milln (Deputy Chief Guide) and the scouts for a short service and then Mia and Samantha were chosen to lay the wreath for Lady Baden-Powell.
After a quick photo shoot with everyone we were then treated to a black cab taxi ride (to the girl’s great delight!) to where we met Gill Slocombe (Chief Guide) for a meal.
We made our way back to Paddington station for our journey home – two very tired Brownies but who had both done themselves, myself, their pack and Girlguiding proud.
It was a fantastic day, with lots of great memories for the girls to cherish. They were very lucky to come away with special badges too. I would like to thank Helen and Carole for putting us forward and to everyone involved in the day making us feel very special and treating us to an enjoyable and memorable day.
36th Cheltenham (St Nicolas) Brownies
We are delighted to say that one of our current County Commissioners who is due to step down from her post in May 2016 will not have time to draw breath before she takes on her next challenge. It has been announced today that from May 2016 she will become the new Region Chief Commissioner.
Well done Carole!
Upton St Leonard's Rainbows and Brownies held a Christmas Concert and presented Sarah Jones from the Royal British Legion with a cheque for £800. The girls raised the money by making and selling in the region of 500 crocheted and knitted poppies to family and friends. Well done girls!
As a member of the WAGGGS European training and events team, I have been privileged to be working on both the European and World level in November and I would like to share some personal thoughts from the World conference on Growing Guiding. It's actually taking a while for them to settle in my brain. In the UK we help girls and young women develop their potential through Guiding and we have enormous numbers of girls led by exceptional leaders and supported by peer educators who grow up stronger and better equipped to face the world ahead.
In Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zambia – not only do they do this too, but they save lives too by giving girls the skills, knowledge and confidence to say no to violence, FGM, early marriage and child slavery. I feel humbled and amazed by both the young pioneers in emerging Movements and the ladies who have helped Guiding thrive in their countries through turmoil, war and awful threats to women's lives.
Over the next few weeks, I would like to give some real thought as to how I can support some of these organisations as they strive to meet the needs of even more girls in so much more challenging conditions than we will ever know. I feel sure out of this will come a new project and purpose at the end of my time as County Commissioner – Helen
Photo shows Pascaline from Rwanda with Helen, with all sorts of other international leaders in the mirror.
Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from across the country took part in Blue Peter's record breaking longest ever super hero cape. Members from over 100 units took part, including units in Gloucestershire.
Well done to 1st Yorkley Brownies and 11th Cheltenham Brownies for being invited to take part.
The cape celebrates the community action spirit of Guiding and measures over 44 metres!
To view the unveiling of the cape on Blue Peter (about 21 minutes into the show), click here.
To view the backstage footage of the cape, including a glimpse of each individual spot, click here.
Members from all sections and all corners of the county came together today for a day of fun, all in the name of "Performing Arts."
From scarf juggling to unicycle riding, from drumming to singing, our members enjoyed a wide range of activities, building their musical skills, communication skills and confidence.
Guides from across the County embarked on a day out to London's SSE Wembley Arena for the Big Gig, Girlguiding's very own pop concert. Girls from Amberley, Quedgeley, Dursley, Salem, Hatherley, Mersey Hampton and Battledown travelled by the coach loads to join 20,000 members of Girlguiding including Guides, Senior Section and Leaders.
Ella Henderson took headline spot with other acts including Gabriella Aplin, Aston from JLS and Gloucester ex-The Wanted band member Nathan Sykes. Each act brought their own style and personality to the event and the girls spent 2 hours bopping to the fantastic music.
"Ella Henderson was the best because she interacted with the crowd" says Emily, 13
"Jagmac was the best because they were a family and the dancing brought great vibes to the arena" says Lauren, 12
"It was a really joyful experience because you got to see loads of different singers at one concert" says Heather, 10
The day was made extra special for some girls as they made their Guide or Senior Section promise and one Leader was even presented with her Adult Leadership during the event.
Dursley District Guides & Senior Section make it into the Gazette
35th Cheltenham (Salem) and 18th Cheltenham Guides make it into the Gloucestershire Echo
Yorkley Brownies were out and about busily finishing off some good deeds in the community this weekend.
They delivered 25 bags of books, clothes and toys to the British Red Cross to help them in their work supporting people in crisis at home and abroad.
They also visited Forest Pulse, a fabulous local group for children with additional needs, who they are forging links with. On this occasion they handed over a cheque for £118 from their sponsored walk. The Brownies have been keen to spend time together with the Forest Pulse children, not just send money, so they joined them at an activity play session and swimming, as well as having them join the Brownies for a Making Pizza night at their meeting last week.
Both groups seem to be really enjoying and benefiting from being together from time to time.
Leader Emma says "I am really shouting out for our girls! They have been ace and their parents very supportive for our activities."
Well done to you all!
17th Gloucester (SA) Girlguiding have created a messy challenge badge, guaranteed to bring extra giggles into your meetings or holidays. The challenge is suitable for all ages, with lots of messy activities, including craft, games, food and mud!
You can download the challenge pack below.
1st Randwick Brownies were invited to attend a special Waitrose Community Matters evening a few days ago to receive a cheque for £292 from the collection of green tokens during May 2015.
Brown Owl Julie Burns and Fluffy Owl Maygan Jones, a Young Leader with the group, took five Brownies along to the event at Waitrose in Stroud after being nominated anonymously for the Community Matters Award in May. Waitrose donate £1000 to be split between three charities each month, and the Brownies were very fortunate and came second.
The girls and leaders arrived at the Waitrose Community Matters evening to be greeted by juice in champagne glasses and lots of tasty finger foods! Each charity had a chance to give a talk about their work, receive their cheque and have photographs taken (which might appear in the Waitrose magazine too!).
The group are hoping to spend the money on a special trip and the Brownies are currently coming up with lots of ideas..!
Stroud News & Journal Article
Gloucestershire Singing Circle, together with friends from other Circles in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, joined together for a concert in Highbury Congregational Church, Cheltenham on Saturday 26th September with proceeds in aid of the MS Society. This was in memory of Diana Adams who had been a Guide Guider at Highbury Church, a Rainbow Guider at Emmanuel Church, secretary of the County Trefoil Guild, producer of the County Newsletter and also a long time member of Highbury Church where she was a Deacon and where she also produced their monthly Church Magazine. As well as all of this she sang in the church choir and was a member of our singing circle. A very busy lady.
We are pleased to tell you that we raised the sum of £1860 to present to the MS Society. A fantastic result. Thank you to everyone from the County who came and supported us.
If anyone is interested in joining the Gloucestershire Singing circle, our next meetings are Friday 13th November and Tuesday 15th December (this last one follows the Peacelight Service) and they are all at St Mary's Congregational Church, Gloucester starting at 7.30pm.
Huge congratulations to Gloucester Gang Show, whose members won a competition to sing on the official England Rugby single with Ella Eyre! They were invited down to Abbey Road Studios last Friday to record their part. The mixed guiding/scouting group included Rainbow leader Sam and Brownie leader Claire - we're very proud of them!
The wonderful team from Gloucestershire Roads/Amey spent a day at Deer Park today and worked their socks off clearing and painting the stables and putting in a all-seater new campfire circle on Bubbs Hill. That block now looks great and would be super for a group evening meeting, basic sleepover or to support a camp up on the hill. We are also keen to get schools using it as an outdoor classroom for eco-education. If you know of someone in a school we could take round to show them the space and activities, please let us know. We are always happy to host volunteer teams from businesses in the area as there are always more jobs to do. A special thanks to Ann, Sue and Jean for the non-stop tea and cakes which helped keep everyone going strong throughout the day.
July saw our County President, Anne Cadbury, celebrating her 90th birthday and in true Guiding fashion we had to make a fuss of her at the County Executive Meeting. She was presented with flowers and it wouldn't be a birthday without cake!
Anne warmly thanks all members of Girlguiding Gloucestershire for their cards and good wishes for her birthday. She particularly appreciated and enjoyed all the handmade cards which were full of imagination and individuality.
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