Cheltenham Rangers had a great end of term BBQ (thanks to the National Star College students for organising not just the food but their College chef to cook for us) then we enrolled 7 new girls. It was lovely to have Anne Cadbury - a supporter of both Guiding and Star College and Karen McFarlane along to join in the evening. First time I have had a promise made to me using a voice synthesizer - great job Zoe! A video may follow. We also awarded lots of Octant badges and certificates to Emma and Millie who are both well on their way to getting their Chief Guide's Award.
Guides, Senior Section and their Leaders from across the County attended the Big Gig, a pop concert solely for Girlguiding members. 20,000 girls from across the Country watched a mix of musical talent at the SSE Arena at Wembley, London.
Senior Section members from Gloucestershire took part in a fantastic weekend trip to Alton Towers with Girlguiding South West England region! They had the chance to make new friends with other members from across our Region and celebrated the Senior Section Spectacularin style! They arrived on Saturday and pitched their tents, before taking over the water park in the evening. Sunday was then spent in the theme park, having an amazing time on all the rides. The first members of Coopers Hill Senior Section has an extra memorable day, making their Promise on Oblivion! Gloucestershire's Senior Section Spectacular mascot, Suki, also had an exciting day exploring the park and managed to get her photo taken in lots of interesting places! A big thank you to Girlguiding SWE and the brilliant team at Youth Fundays for organising such a great weekend for us.
Watch the official Girlguiding SWE video here:
I am still reeling in amazement from the incredible Annual Review evening.
I came well prepared for the Commissioners retirement and regarded the evening as theirs, but some people had other ideas as to how it should go which changed my plans and humbled me considerably.
The enormous warm friendship and camaraderie which I have received from Gloucestershire Girlguiding over 25 years is something which can only be felt, but I know that I have received more from all of you than I can possibly have given.
You have always been so welcoming and everything has been fun - I have loved it all and am going to miss the contacts with you. I have appreciated the lovely cards which I have received, and last years' 90th birthday cards flowers and presents took my breath away - I loved all the cards so thoughtfully put together by Brownies and Guides and still have the pile which I can enjoy on miserable days.
My affection and respect for members of Girlguiding Gloucestershire with their varied abilities knows no bounds - abilities which they use in a most professional way albeit they are total volunteers who still find time for their families, husbands’, partners, careers and other responsibilities.
If I have one regret, it is that I didn't get to know you all and work with you sooner
My grateful thanks to you all for a wonderful experience and for the marvellous array of gifts which came my way that evening.
Long may Girlguiding Gloucestershire grow and flourish.
160 Guides from across Gloucestershire came together once again for an action-packed camping adventure at the Girlguiding headquarters at Deer Park, Cowley.
In October 2016, a group of Girlguiding Leaders from Gloucestershire are going to India. We are visiting Sangam to join the celebrations for their 50th birthday.
Since 1966, Sangam World Centre has partnered with a variety of non-governmental organizations striving to better the lives of people in Pune. Today, Sangam is affiliated with more than twenty such NGOs, which work in a number of fields: medicine, education, environmental sustainability, women’s empowerment, and more.
During events, participants visit Sangam’s Community Partners, and are given the chance to witness community leadership and advocacy in action, while participating in dialogue with the partner organizations and the children, women, and men they assist. These connections often result in partnerships between event participants and Community Partners, helping to build the capacity of these organizations. Our group is supporting Tara Mobile Crèche, you can help by buying our badge. Cost £1.50 per badge. Contact Judith James for details.
Tara Mobile Crèche
The construction industry is the second largest employer in the country, but the workers who toil ceaselessly to build modern India are virtually invisible.
They work long hours and have no access to proper housing, sanitation, electricity or even water. While the parents change the skyline of the cities, the children are left to fend for themselves amidst piles of rubble and construction material. By the time they are five or six, they are burdened with a whole range of demanding chores including looking after their younger siblings. They have no access to schooling, health care and above all to a childhood. It is this invisible child of invisible parents whom Mobile Crèches reaches out to with these goals:
• To provide a safe environment on the hazardous construction sites, for children between the ages of 0 to 15
• To provide preventive and curative health care and nutrition
• To encourage the children’s creative skills
• To initiate the children into the mainstream of education and give them joyful learning opportunities
• To prevent child labour.
Mobile Crèches came into being on a crowded construction site in Delhi in 1969. Growing from that one original location, the organization today covers 5,000 children in 60 centres in Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune. At each site, a day care centre is built adjacent to the construction site amidst the tin shacks that house the workers and their families. The education curriculum is aimed not only at literacy but also on orienting the child towards basic health habits. Language and concepts are developed through various monthly projects, storytelling, dramatics and games. The childcare workers are health care workers, teachers, animators, friends and substitutes for mothers all rolled into one.
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.
On 21st May The Friends of Deer Park held an Open Day and Barn Dance to raise money for our County HQ. Despite the heavy rain during the day, many Leaders, friends, family and supporters of Girlguiding came ad danced the night away to the live band. Thank you to those who organised these events and everyone who came to support them.
Girls from the Newent District Girlguiding have returned home from an exhilarating weekend trip to TRAC in Malswick. They took part in a host of exciting adventures during their trip including aiming to complete 100 of many tasks such as learning 100 words in other languages, completing 100 burpees and 100 star jumps. The weekend also included pedalos, zip wire, go karts, yoga, zumba, crafts and the more traditional guiding events such as campfire and a wide game. Nearly 100 members of Newent District Guiding joined together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Senior Section last weekend. From the youngest section of Guiding, Rainbows (aged 5-7), through Brownies and Guides to Senior Section (ages 15-26) and their leaders (ages 26 to 71). When asked what her favourite part had been, Celete, a Rainbow from Newent, aged 6, replied that the best thing was meeting all the different people. The group’s leader, Sian Green, said: “The trip to TRAC was a great chance for the girls to get away and make new friends, and enjoy each other’s company in a safe, girl-only space. “All the girls told me how much they enjoyed themselves.” The group of 5 who learnt the most languages could say 129 words! 14 different languages were learnt by another group. "In total 2557 star jumps, 247 push ups, 121 ski jumps, 181 tricep dips, 254 burpees, 751 superman stretches, 207 shuttle runs and 524 forward rolls were completed, so they certainly succeeded in the aim to complete the centenary!" said District Commissioner, Sian Green.
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.
A very noisy coach load of Guides and their Leaders from Dursley District headed to London to watch the musical Wicked. They had a quick walk to see Buckingham Palace and Trafalger Square, before heading to the Victoria Apollo Theatre for a magical show.
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.
The Adult Support Team, County Commissioners and our hosts in Mid Division welcomed over 70 Leaders to Sir William Romney's School in Tetbury for a day full of fun and friendship. Oh, and little bit of training along the way!
Meet Suki (left) and Sian (right). They, along with more than 20 Senior Section members from across the County, have headed off on the Celtic Cities Challenge. Watch the blog post unfold over the next few days as some head to Edinburgh, the others head to Cardiff and they all meet up once again at our County Headquarters, Deer Park, near Cheltenham for the final part of their adventure.
Day one #TeamSuki: The great train ride
Team Suki are heading to Edinburgh by train. They met up at Cheltenham Station and boarded for the long four and a half hour journey ahead. They have puzzle packs to keep them entertained plus a camera and a mascot, what else would you need?! Friendship bracelet making proves a great distraction from the long journey and Suki gets up to all sorts of shenanigans!
They arrive safely at Edinburgh station, posing long enough for a photo before heading for the youth yostel that is to be home for the next couple of nights. Suki hunts down fish and chips for everyone for tea before leading the way to The Edinburgh Ceilidh Club. There the girls soak up the atmosphere and dance the night away to some fantastic music.
Day two #TeamSuki: Edinburgh
Team Suki are up and leaving the Youth Hostel. They off to explore Edinburgh - the challenge has begun! They spend the day completing the various challenges, including squeezing into a phone box, hugging a tree and seeking out a Van Gogh. Sightseeing is also on the agenda and the team manage to spot Edinburgh Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle and Edniburgh's Jenners department store. They also manage to follow in Her Majesty The Queen's footsteps and jump on board the Royal Yacht Britannia. Belinda Bear, who had also come along for the ride, popped into the Girlguiding Scotland Scottish Headquarter's and Shop and bought the girls all a souvenir of their adventures - a badge of course! Dinner tonight consisted of the trandition haggis with neeps
Day three #TeamSuki: Heading to Cowley
This morning the team have a bit of a lie in but are still up, beds stripped, breakfasted and out to see a little bit more of this amazing city before boarding the train for the long ride back to Cheltenham. Suki is looking forward to meeting Sian.
Day one #TeamSian: A drive to the seaside
Team Sian are heading to Cardiff by car. Someone accidentally packs Sian in the boot, she is not amused!! However they have made it to the great Barry Island near Cardiff and are sunning themselves on the beach! They enjoy a bit of crazy golf and building sand art before have a fish and chip supper on the beach in the sun.
Back at Caeglas, the group enjoy a quiz night with the Soup Dragons claiming victory. Before long though, they have their first casualty of the adventure. Sian lost her welly, leg and all!
Day two #TeamSian: Cardiff
Team Sian are up and ready for the day! Today they head into Cardiff itself. They are catching the bus and keep the locals amused whilst keeping themselves warm at the bus stop by making the word Cardiff using only their bodies. Once in Cardiff, they start n the challenge. They visit Techniquest, the local science museum, where some of the tasks prove a litte complex, but much fun was had with the light box and the thermal imaging camera. They also took a ride on a boat around the harbour which everyone enjoyed.
Day three #TeamSian: Sightseeing before heading to Cowley
Team Sian have had a more leisurely start this morning, cleaning up the holiday home before they can set out for the day's fun. A quick selfie in the car before the head to St Fagan's National History Museum, a wonderful museum feature the history of Welsh life through the ages. Before leaving Cardiff behind the team take a tour of the Principality Stadium, the iconic venue for sports, concerts, exhibitions and conferences. They then start the journey back to Gloucestershire, eager to find out what Team Suki have been up to.
Day three #TeamSuki & #TeamSian reunited at Deer Park
Team Suki have returned on the train and team Sian via car and everyone taking part in the Celtic Capitals Challenge have been reunited at our County Headquarters at Deer Park, near Cheltenham. They finish the evening with a good old fashioned campfire around the wood burning stove. Thanks to Christine for leading the singing.
Day four #TeamSuki & #TeamSian A final fling!
It's the last day of our adventures together but there's still time to queeze in a little more fun! We make memory frames to remind us of our time together and get messy with finger painting to create a Senior Section Spectacular logo. But soon the times comes for us to disperse back to the corners of the County from whence we came. Thank you to the organising team for helping us create these amazing memories.
We will continue to update this post sharing the goings on of the Senior Section throughout their trip.
The Gang Show started the week of with a bang last night at the Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham! Scouts and Guides from Gloucester District are currently putting on their annual variety performance of Gloucester Gang Show. This year's show consists of celebrations of 100 years of cubs and senior section, pirates searching for buried treasure and the cast go on a summer holiday.
The show runs every night this week; starting at 7:15pm and there is a matinee on Saturday which starts at 2.15pm.
"Brilliant first night at Gloucester Gang show tonight, well done everyone" says Gail
"Everyone performed marvellously. There are so many fantastic voices in Girlguiding and Scouting" according to Val!
Gloucestershire County Commissioner recognised for her role empowering hundreds of girls and young women.
A Cheltenham Girlguiding volunteer has been honoured for her work supporting girls and young women over 34 years with the prestigious Girlguiding Laurel Award
Helen Welsh was presented with a specially-designed solid silver brooch in honour of her inspirational efforts by SW England Region Chief Commissioner Solange Rebours at a ceremony last weekend. Helen first became involved in guiding when she joined as a Brownie in Hampshire aged 7, became a Gloucestershire Girlguiding adult volunteer after moving to Cheltenham in 1981 and has volunteered ever since – providing amazing opportunities for girls and young women
Helen’s highlights during her time with Girlguiding include taking a group to a camp in South Korea, celebrating its Centenary with her Ranger Guides at the top of the Empire State Building, waving off a member of her unit who took part in a Tall Ships Race, and seeing many hundreds of girls grow in confidence and self-esteem as they completed things they didn’t know they could be capable of. More recently Helen has been leading a pioneering Holiday Brownies project giving girls waiting to join Brownies the chance to experience all that Brownies has to offer. Run by local students, many of whom are former members of Helen’s units, this new and flexible approach to Guiding is now spreading nationally. Helen’s current unit is also breaking new ground as it is a joint unit made up of local teens and students from the Star College. When Helen is not busy with her Gloucestershire Guiding, she also works on the world guiding stage training leaders, and helping them find ways to grow the organisations in their own countries.
Helen, said: "I’m extremely proud to receive this award. Volunteering for Girlguiding is such a rewarding experience and it’s been wonderful to work with so many young women and girls over the years and see the difference guiding makes to their lives. Guiding opens up so many fantastic opportunities for girls to grow in confidence and become a powerful force for good in their communities. I would like to dedicate this award to all of the girls and leaders in the UK, USA and wider world I have had the pleasure of knowing over the last 34 years."
Emily Green, 22, who attended Helen’s Senior Section Unit, was one of the first leaders of Holiday Brownies and is now volunteering with a charity in India during a gap year said: “being a member of Cheltenham Rangers opened up a lot of opportunities for me thanks to Helen. She inspired me to travel to places I had only dreamt of visiting, take organisational roles in events I never thought I could be a part of, and encouraged me to make an active impact in my community, both within Guiding and in other ways”
Chief Guide Gill Slocombe, said: “We are very proud of Helen’s contribution which has had a tremendous impact on the girls, volunteers and wider community that benefits from Girlguiding in S W England. Without dedication such as hers, we would not be able to offer the challenges, fun and friendship which are an integral part of belonging to Girlguiding.
In Gloucestershire there are currently over 450 girls who want to take part, and Girlguiding Gloucestershire needs lots more volunteers to give time to support their local groups.
By giving just one or two hours a week, volunteers can help local girls and young women enjoy a wide range of exciting activities, as well as acquire new skills and experiences – and have fun at the same time.
The charity welcomes volunteers of all backgrounds, ages, cultures, faiths and abilities. For more information about volunteering with Girlguiding, visit www.girlguiding.org.uk
Girlguiding gives girls and young women their own space to have fun, grow in confidence and discover their full potential. For more information, call 0800 1 69 59 01 or visit www.girlguiding.org.uk.
Photos from events around the county, celebrating World Thinking Day 2016 and helping connect all 10 million guiding members worldwide!
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