Girlguiding South West England
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Where Guiding Goes On
Girlguiding South West England Rainbows Brownies Guides Senior Section


Tell Us About It!

This is your Website and we need you to help us keep it interesting, informative and relevant to all Sections. Tell us what you are up to and send in some photographs. If it's the thought of writing the story which is putting you off, let us write it for you. Give a brief outline of what it's about, who was involved and when and where the event took place and send it in with three or four images which we can use with the story. jpegs are best, but we can work with png or even cut and paste an image from a word document. Attach your photographs to an e-mail with the story, or put everything in the post with some photographs and we can scan them. If you can't provide any pictures for us, we can probably find an image to accompany the story so there are absolutely no excuses! Any questions, give Susie a call on 01722 343187 or e-mail We look forward to hearing from you!

NB: The advent of GDPR means we need a lot more information from you when you submit photographs for use with your stories. Click here for details.


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Two Pages Added to Website!

To help you find the information you are looking for more easily, we have created two separate pages on our Website - "Useful Downloads" and "Resource Downloads".

Click here to go to the Useful Downloads page where you will find advice on such things as supporting Members with disabilities, activities for Rainbows and Brownies, information on grants, awards, the region logo, and the adult training qualification, as well as press release templates and walking scheme route cards.

All our downloadable resources are now available on one page. Click here to go to the Resource Downloads page and see what's on offer! This is where you will find the Night's Away Record Sheet.


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A Night at the Library

A Night at the Library BadgeOur latest resource has been developed on behalf of the Region by Cathy, Helen, Megan and Nicky from Girlguiding Jersey. 

A Night at the Library is an A-Z of ideas and activities which will enable members of all ages and from all sections to share and celebrate their love of books and reading, and to discover the joys of their local libraries – including mobile and school libraries.

The resource is printed double-sided on loose-leaf, wipeable paper.  There is a page for each letter of the alphabet and every page has a different theme providing a list of activities which the girls may choose from, all based on books.  The activity sheets are accompanied by a four page, full-colour leaflet which explains the resource and the full set is supplied in a smart plastic folder with press stud fastening.  The full pack of activity sheets, explanatory leaflet and plastic folder is priced at £7.00 and you can purchase an additional set of the activity sheets for £5.00.

There are five cloth badges to collect by completing the various activities, and these join together to form a shelf of books.  In addition, there are two badges which are designed as bookends and may be earned for visiting a library and for attending a sleepover in a library (if you can’t find a library willing to let you sleepover, then you can use the resource as the theme for a sleepover at another venue).  The badges are priced at 75p each, or you may purchase the full set of seven badges for £4.50.

Click here to go to the online shop to place your order. (NB: Postage and packing will be added to all the prices quoted.)

The following three PDFs accompany the resource and will be available as free downloads from either the Resource Downloads page of the Website, or by clicking on links which will be provided below. We are waiting for the downloads to be approved and will make these available to you as soon as we can.

Script for Something Fishy at the Library (M is for mysteries)
Instructions for making a water purifier (O is for our world)
The Thinking Day Story (X is for Xtras)

A Night at the Library contains suggestions of websites which provide further information to support the activities.  Unfortunately some of these links are no longer working for which we apologise; we are hoping to provide alternative website addresses very soon in order that you can update your resource pack. The inactive website addresses are as follows: - (Page F)’sbooks-site/series/how-to-draw - (Page I) – (page Q) – (page W) – (Page Z)

A Night at the Library full set of badges


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New International Badges!

We have added an exciting new range of international badges to the online shop, and we also have a new International Opportunities badge which will only be given to Members attending a Region INTOPS and will not be available to buy - click here to find out more about future INTOPS weekends for adults and girls.

Start counting up how many international nights away you have joined us for since 1st January 2017. The following five badges are all available from the online shop priced at 75p plus postage and packing:

International 3 Nights Away BadgeInternational 5 Nights Away BadgeInternational 10 Nights Away BadgeInternational 20 Nights Away BadgeInternational 30 Nights Away Badge

We also have badges to record your visits to the Girlguiding World Centres. These are priced at £1.00 each plus postage and packing:

Our Cabana BadgeOur Chalet BadgePax Lodge BadgeSangam Badge

To complete the collection we also have badges to record your visits to Disneyland and an international camp. These are also priced at £1.00 plus postage and packing:

Disneyland BadgeInternational Camp Badge

All the new international badges measure approximately 5.5cm x 6.5cm. Click here to go to the online shop and place your order today!

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International Community Experience (ICE) - Easter 2018

Poppy WreathOur ICE trip to Belgium in Easter 2018 brought together the latest group of 11 - 13 year old Guides from across the Region who had followed this exciting programme through from the first residential weekend when they began to learn about global issues and the wonderful opportunities that ICE could offer, to the second briefing weekend when they became involved in the planning of their international trip, and finally to their destination in Belgium with a community action project, some amazing sightseeing, new friends and international experiences which would last a lifetime.

The group were based at the De Kluis Scout Centre in Sint Joris Weert where they were kept busy on their first day helping with a building project on the site. It was fairly physical work, but it was outdoors and after a long journey the day before the girls were glad to be in the fresh air and mud! On the second day they visited the First World War battlefields at Ypres including the In Flanders Field Museum, the Sanctuary Wood Museum (Hill 62) and the Tyne Cot Cemetery. The group then gathered at the Menin Gate Memorial for the Last Post Ceremony during which two of the girls and a Leader layed a very special wreath on behalf of the Region which the girls had made themselves and which included photographs and personal messages from the group. After a very moving, thought provoking day of reflection, the 2018 ICE trip ended with a visit to the Walibi Belgium Theme Park where everyone could scream and laugh and really let their hair down!

Briefing weekends are being held in Septemer 2018 for the next international trip which will take place during the Easter holidays in 2019. Click here for more information, but if you are interested in this fantastic opportunity you will need to act quickly as the closing date is 31st July 2018.


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All The World's A Stage 2018

All the World's a Stage 2018  badgeAll The World's A Stage 2018 was the Region's last big event for all Sections and was held in March 2018 at South Gloucestershire & Stroud College: WISE Campus near Bristol.

The day had a performing arts theme and was a mix of dance, drama, music and theatre workshops plus creative activities.

The DVD of the day is now on our YouTube site - click here to see it!



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Ridgeway District Celebrate World Thinking Day...

Girlguiding Berkshire's Ridgeway District celebrated World Thinking Day with an afternoon of activities related to the centenary of the first women gaining the right to vote. Ninety Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section got together at Acland Hall, Cold Ash, to make sashes, rosettes and 'stained glass windows'.

The Guides and Senior Section were joined for part of the afternoon by four guests, including a Police Officer and Chief Information Officer from a local IT company, who talked about their jobs and the challenges they faced because of their gender. They also discussed what the girls would like to do in the future.

At the end of the afternoon parents and carers were served tea and cupcakes which the girls had decorated in the suffragette colours of violet, green and white, and a very generous £116.00 was collected in donations on behalf of Care International who fight poverty and injustice by empowering women and girls throughout the world.

Click here to find out about the Region's involvement with UK Parliament in this special year of celebrations.


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...As Do Kennet Vale District...

Girlguiding Berkshire's Kennet Vale District event to celebrate World Thinking Day was held at Kennet School and was based around the WAGGGS Impact badge - 'Impact for the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is all about bringing positive change'!

Rainbows, Brownies and Guides got involved in a number of activities, all designed to illustrate different messages; decorating a pebble then adding these to a large mosaic to show how small, individual changes can create a big impact when everyone works together, and dropping objects into water to see how the ripple effect spreads.

A number of Awards were presented including the 5 Year Long Service Award to Gemma Green; the 10 Year Long Service Award to Amie Bourton and Sarah Cahill; The Chief Guide's Challenge Award to Lilian Mumford; and a special Gold Award to Caroline Kerry. This was the final part of Caroline's Triple Star Award, the syllabus having been specially designed by Tracey Gillingham to accomodate Caroline's learning disability and to encourage her to learn new skills, hone others and grow in confidence.


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...and Pang Valley District!

A snowy afternoon in March saw Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section gather with their Leaders in Pangbourne, Berkshire, for a parade of unit flags and a chat about World Thinking Day before everyone renewed their Promise. They then enjoyed activities, games, crafts and snacks on an international theme and saw Sue Schoepe presented with her 30 Year Long Service Award.


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1st Caversham Rainbows Catch a Train...

Rainbows on a trainEarlier in the year Girlguiding Berkshire organised a county training called Venture Outdoors to build confidence, skills and knowledge amongst its Leaders and encourage them to take their units out and about. Kathleen Moore, the Leader of 1st Caversham Rainbows, took her girls on a wonderful trip as part of their I Could Be A Civil Engineer badge to discover all the elements of Civil Engineering in the local area.

The Rainbows chose to take a trip on a train so with an extended meeting which ran over the evening rush hour, the girls met at a car par in town, walked to the station and caught the train to Reading West and back. Kathleen says:

'The girls loved it and had a spotting sheet with our own Caversham guider, civil engineer Cath Dunford to point out all the items and show the girls what the station was like in mid build as she was involved in the Reading station project. We were treated like royalty by GWR train guard Sanjay who stopped everyone from getting in a carriage on the 18.33 to Basingstoke so all the girls could be together and he let them have a look at the driver's carriage. All the girls, rainbow helpers, leaders and parent helpers had a great time and enjoyed walking over the beautifully lit Christchurch Bridge.'


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...and Go To London!

Rainbows in LondonKathleen Moore wrote to tell us of the fabulous day which 1st Caversham Rainbows from Berkshire enjoyed when they attended the Colonel's Review in London at the beginning of June.

The Colonel's Review is the second rehearsal of the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony which is held to celebrate The Queen's birthday. Despite the early start, Kathleen says, 'We all had an amazing time' and 'some amazing guiding memories were hopefully made'. After all the pomp and some furious flag flying at the Review, the girls enjoyed their lunch in the park before walking to Buckingham Palace and then onto Girlguiding's HQ.

Kathleen added, 'On behalf of our unit, I would like to thank Girlguiding for giving us this wonderful opportunity.'


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A Special Long Service Award in Valley Division

Long Service AwardCongratulations and many thanks to Charles 'Chas' Newport, or Wolf as he is known by his unit, 5th Thatcham Brownies, upon receiving his 30 Year Long Service Award from Sarah France, Joint County Commissioner for Berkshire, at a ceremony at Easthampstead Park, Bracknell in April.

Chas' wife, Denise, has been a Brown Owl for 43 years and in thanking Chas, Claire Thompson, Valley Division PR Co-ordinator said, 'I am quite sure that unofficially you have done more for our organisation than we have given you credit for, as a support to your lovely wife.' She added, 'I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those dads who already help behind the scenes, either as duty drivers, water carriers and car park attendancts at larger events. We have several male County Ambassadors, and many units encourage family members to attend at least one meeting a year to see how much fun their daughters are having'.


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Sithney Green Brownies Go Bats!

Brownie in a treeMany thanks to Jan Crooks, Brown Owl of Sithney Green Brownies in Cornwall, for sending in a copy of the Bat Conservation Trust's, The Young Batworker. The Trust's magazine 'for the young bat enthusiast' features a story and photographs of the unit who are members of the Young Batworker's Club and who have been bat spotting and fundraising for bat conservation, achieving their Wildlife Explorer and Environmental Challenge badges.

Click here to read the magazine article in full.







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Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award for Three Downton Rangers

Rangers at Buckingham PalaceCongratulations to Sara and Emily Ball and Jess Shearing from Downton Rangers in Wiltshire South who received their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards from Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, at a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace on 17th May.

Proud Mum Helen Ball is the Leader of Downton Rangers and sent us the story. She told us:

'Duke of Edinburgh Awards are not usually held at Buckingham Palace, but an opportunity arose and the DofE team asked for special permission.'

Twins Sara and Emily were also celebrating their 20th birthdays and Helen said:

I was thrilled when the invitations arrived but couldn't believe they would be attending on their Birthday. It makes the whole occasion extra special. All three girls have worked extremely hard to achieve the Award, I'm so proud of them all.'


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Berkshire Brownie's Badge Bonanza!

Brownie with BadgesWell done to Emilia who has earned all 57 interest badges and the three adventure badges, plus 13 challenge badges at meetings and District events. A loyal supporter of the Royal Family, Emilia also has five badges relating to Royal occasions.

Emilia was presented with her final badge, the Writer badge, a certificate and a trophy to mark the occasion by Reading Abbey Division Commissioner, Jenny Parsons, and Whiteknights District President, Pat Nash. Her Brownie Leader, Pauline Crisp, said of Emilia, 'Her enthusiasm and determination has inspired other girls in the unit to try to earn more badges.

Emilia said her favourite badges were Rider, Advanced Swimmer and Watersports. 'The most difficult badges were probably the ones that took longest. The Gardener badge took months because I had to grow plants from seed and then wait until either I could harvest them or they flowered!'


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Girlguiding South West England - Where Guiding Goes On!

Region LogoThe Girlguiding South West England Region is made up of 16 diverse Counties and Islands, each with Divisions and/or Districts and individual Units which are often quite unique from their neighbours.  All enjoy a variety of advantages and face different challenges, but the Region’s Leaders and Commissioners work hard to ensure that Guiding continues to be fun and accessible to as many girls as possible, of all ages, regardless of where they live.

A large proportion of the Region is coastal which offers fantastic opportunities for all kinds of outdoor activities on the beach and water all year round, although an influx of summer tourists does obviously impact on the life of the locals.  The weather on the coasts and particularly on the islands is often a deciding factor on where and when Unit meetings take place; for example, in the Isles of Scilly, the most westerly part of our Region, travelling to a meeting by boat is often the norm.  The Brownies on St Martins make the journey across to St Marys during the summer months, but are unable to do this in the winter, and even on some summer evenings when the weather suddenly draws in.  Island Guiding does make it more difficult and very expensive for girls to take part in events and activities which are held on the mainland and this can make them feel rather isolated. 

We also have the beautiful New Forest, Exmoor, and Dartmoor National Parks within our Region which enable local Units to make the most of the wonderful outdoors.   But on Dartmoor there are very few local Units and girls may have to travel quite a distance each week to meet up with the friends they only see at their Rainbow, Brownie, Guide or Senior Section meeting.  Here again the weather can change very quickly and planned activities may need to be re-arranged, and the outbreak of Foot and Mouth some years back meant that many girls were unable to attend meetings whilst local roads were closed and travel restricted.

The wonderful outdoor opportunities which are available to our Members in coastal and rural areas are not so easily accessible to those who live in our large towns and cities.  Here Units are restricted to using local parks for wide games, but camping and campfires are not possible and personal safety is a consideration when out and about.   Units in these areas do though have much easier access to museums, swimming pools, bowling alleys, climbing centres and other attractions and girls don’t usually need to travel so far to attend meetings which are also less weather reliant!  The distraction caused by all the other activities which are available in a busy town or city can however, sometimes mean that girls get drawn away from Guiding. 

For those attached to the armed forces which are stationed within the Region, Guiding can provide a sense of continuity for girls and Leaders whose families move around the country, and indeed around the world.  Many have benefitted from the warm welcome which Girlguiding extends to them wherever they go and have found that it is much easier to make friends in a new area when they have Guiding in common.  The Units which are based on Salisbury Plain receive practical and financial support from their local garrisons in recognition of the help which Guiding provides to service families.

The different challenges and rewards which are experienced through Guiding across our Region are demonstrated beautifully in our DVD, Where Guiding Goes On, which was filmed whilst Solange Rebours was Chief Commissioner.  The film has been shown to guests at the Region’s Roadshows to demonstrate the diversity of the Region and remains an interesting and informative illustration of what our girls and their Leaders can achieve wherever Guiding goes on in South West England!  Click here.

We would like to publish your stories about Guiding within the Region.  If you are a Unit Leader, a District, Division or County/Island Commissioner with a story to tell about the challenges and achievements of Guiding in your particular area, do please e-mail .


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- 1st Caversham Rainbows Catch a Train
- 1st Caversham Rainbows go to London
- All The World's a Stage 2018 DVD
- A Night at the Library
- Chas Newport, Long Service Award
- Downloads
- Downton Rangers' Gold DofE Awards
- ICE trip to Belgium, Easter 2018
- Emilia Earns Full Set of Brownie Badges
- International Badges
- Kennet Vale District World Thinking Day
- Pang Valley District World Thinking Day
- Region Guiding
- Ridgeway District World Thinking Day
- Sithney Green Brownies Go Bats!
- Stories for Website - How to Submit

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Girlguiding South West England, St Ann's Manor, 6-8 St Ann Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2DN. Tel: 01722 329306
Girlguiding South West England is an operating name of The Guide Association South West England. Registered Charity No. 305951

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