Girlguiding South West England
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Where Guiding Goes On
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Useful Information

Tell Us About It!

This is your Website and we need you to help us keep it interesting, informative and relevant to all Sections. Share a new idea you may have had for a Unit activity, or if you come across some information which you think others would benefit from, tell us about it! If it's the thought of writing the piece which is putting you off, let us write it for you. Give Susie a call on 01722 343187 or e-mail . We look forward to hearing from you

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Region 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 will now be available on one page. Click here to go to the Resource Downloads page and see what's on offer! This is where you will also find the Night's Away Record Sheet.

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How the Buchanon Opportunities Fund Grant 'Helped My Dream to Become True'

SwitzerlandWe received a lovely thank you card from Grace of Lymington Rangers following her trip to Our Chalet earlier this year. Grace had successfully applied for a Buchanon Opportunities Fund Grant and wrote, 'I would like to thank you for the money you gave me because you helped my dream to become true. It was the best experience of my life'. In her card and subsequent e-mail Grace enthused about the trip, the many activities the girls were able to participate in, the 'amazing scenery' - 'Waking up to the beautiful mountains every morning was incredible', and the fabulous places they visited. She said:

'This was my first time abroad and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of my experience in Switzerland. It has made me keen to travel more and see some more of the world. I made some wonderful new friends and hopefully will have the opportunity to meet up with some of them soon.

'The best time ever!'

Click here to go to our Useful Downloads Page and find out about the grants which are available from Girlguiding and let us help your dreams come true.

Thank you to Grace for allowing us to use her story and photographs.


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The Region's Safeguarding Team

Safeguarding TeamThe Region's Safeguarding Team are now in post and we would like to give you a little more information about their backgrounds and their new role.

Susan Higgs (pictured left, from Gloucestershire), Shirley Eve (pictured centre, from Wiltshire South) and Deborah Meadows (pictured right, from the Isle of Wight) have volunteered with all Sections and have first-hand experience of the varied and diverse issues which can arise within the different age groups. Their Safeguarding knowledge outside of Girlguiding relates to vulnerable adults and young children and the complex challenges of working in these areas within the community and for the Health Service, for other voluntary organisations and within the primary, secondary and further education sectors.

In addition to providing you with support and guidance in all Safeguarding matters and dealing with the administrative and audit processes, the Team will act on behalf of the national Girlguiding Safeguarding Team and work with County/Island teams on child protection and vulnerable adult investigations. They will also support A Safe Space trainings at all levels. Shirley will act as the main Lead Volunteer and will represent the Team on the Region's Compliance Committee.

If you need to contact the Safeguarding Team, please send an e-mail to . For urgent issues only which may occur during a week day, please 'phone Jenni Freeth on 01722 343186 and a member of the Team will then make contact with you.

The Team are already working on raising the profile of Safeguarding across the Region and are formulating a template for use across all Counties and Islands to standardize the reporting and processes for Leaders and their Commissioners.

Click here to read our Spotlight Interview with Susan, Shirley and Deborah.


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Residential Event Notification (REN) Form and Going Away With Qualification

Click here for information about REN forms and the Going Away With Qualification. Please remember that completed REN forms for international trips must be copied to Julie Brown at the Region Office -


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UK Parliament

Houses of ParliamentKeep watching this space for all the latest news from UK Parliament, including an update on UK Parliament Week 2018.

Tea parties will be taking place all over the country between 18th June and 2nd July 2018 to mark the anniversary of the 1928 Representation of the People Act in which all people were given the right to vote on an equal basis. This is your opportunity to share, debate, and celebrate our right to vote over a cup of tea and slice of cake!

Click here for more information and to register..

Your Story Our History
This year sees the third instalment of films which explore the Equality Acts passed by Parliament and the impact these have had on various individuals. The latest films have been launched on YouTube and the UK Parliament social media platforms and focus on Acts that have changed the lives of women for the better. Watch and share the films with #YourStoryOurHistory.

Vote 100
Throughout 2018 UK Parliament will be holding a major exhibition as well as education programmes, events, workshops, talks and tours to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which granted the first votes to some women, and to all men over the age of 21. Follow the latest news with #Vote100.

Your Chief Commissioner would like Girlguiding South West England to mark this very important anniversary and is challenging you to find out more about the great women in history and modern times and to produce a painting, drawing, photograph, collage, etc, which illustrates the achievements of these women. This challenge is open to every Rainbow, Brownie, Guide, Senior Section, Leader, and Trefoil Guild member throughout the Region and can be undertaken by individuals or by a unit or group working together.

You might choose to celebrate a number of inspirational women, or to pick just one - a politician, Head of State, explorer, scientist, designer, author, sportswoman, a businesswoman, or perhaps a woman who has made a positive change to the lives of others and/or has spoken out and made her voice heard. Think about women who have lived or worked in your local area as well as influential or inspirational women from overseas. Many of the great women you will come across will have achieved extraordinary things by following their hearts and dreams. They dared to be different and refused to listen when they were told they couldn't do something!

We will be looking at ways to display the art work we receive and would like to reproduce some of the designs on notelets which we could sell via the online shop. We might even use one for our Region Christmas card which would continue the Vote 100 celebrations throughout the year.

We need to receive your art work or photographs by 30th June 2018. These should be sent by e-mail to or by post to Girlguiding South West England, St Ann's Manor, 6 - 8 St Ann Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2DN. Please mark your e-mail or envelope with 'Vote 100' and include your name and age plus your unit or group name. We regret we are unable to return the art work and that we may need to edit or enhance any designs that are to be reproduced on greetings cards.

UK Parliament Week 12th - 18th November 2018

The 2017 UK Parliament Week was a huge success for Girlguiding South West England. We were one of six Girlguiding Regions to be involved and had the highest number of registered Units - approximately 500. Click here to go to the News page and find out how some of our Brownies and Guides marked the week.

Registration has now opened for this year's UK Parliament Week which will mark the 100th anniversary of the vote being given to some women and all men over the age of 21. There will be new challenges and a new badge, but please note you won't receive the Resource pack until much later in the year.

Click here for more information and to register. Follow the hashtag #UKPW18 for news and updates.

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Trailblazers - World War One's Inspirational Women

Trailblazers imageThis is a nationwide project which is inviting community groups to raise awareness about influential women from the past and present day and ties in very nicely with the Chief Commissioner's challenge which celebrates Vote 100 and is detailed above. Units may apply for funding of up to £200 to take part in two of four projects which form part of Remember Together 2018, a First World War commemoration programme. You could apply for help to buy materials which could also be used to complete the Region's Vote 100 challenge.

Click here to visit the Big Ideas Website for information on the four projects.

Click here for a download of the above information.

E-mail to request free resources and a funding application form. You can use the same e-mail address if you have any questions, or telephone Lottie on 020 3011 5275.

Click here to visit the Trailblazers - World War One's Inspirational Women Website.


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Foxlease is Blooming!

Foxlease LogoFoxlease sits in 65 acres of land in the centre of the New Forest, yet has good transport links via road, rail and air. Full-board accommodation is available in Princess Mary House, and there is also self-catering accommodation and fantastic camp-sites, including a tented village. Activities on offer include archery, abseiling, climbing, canoeing, kayaking, low ropes, high ropes, crate challenge, and many more.

Click here to go to the Foxlease website.


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Forthcoming Events at Pax Lodge

INTOPS Pax Lodge BadgePax Lodge is the WAGGGS World Centre in London and has a number of events coming up through the year ranging from World Thinking Day celebrations to a community service project offering girls the opportunity to discover London.

Click here for a list of the events which are taking place at Pax Lodge during 2018.

Click here for more information about the Pax Lodge Programme & Events.

Click here for information on the Thinking Day Celebrations for 2018.

Click here for information on Journey Through London 2018.

Book your visit and then buy your Region badge - click here to go to our online shop!


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Funding and Support for Local Guiding

Leaders and Local DignitariesThe Region's evening Roadshows provide us with an opportunity to explain to local businesses and organisations the opportunities that modern Girlguiding offers girls and young women. At one Roadshow, both the local Lions Club and the local Council came forward and asked how they could help support local Units. This resulted in the Lions Club offering to pay for transport and accommodation to enable girls to attend a Region event.

It is well worth approaching organisations, local authorities, and even businesses in your area to see whether grants or other support, financial or otherwise, might be available to you - particularly if you are organising a special event, or have a Member who has been selected to travel overseas with Girlguiding and who needs help with fundraising. You could invite representatives from community groups to local events so they can see first-hand what is happening in Guiding today. Or you could offer to attend a meeting, perhaps with a couple of girls from your Unit, so they can talk about what they gain from Guiding. Contact details are usually easy to find, and if you ask your girls' parents they might know of a local "connection". If you have any queries or problems, e-mail the Region Office who are always happy to help and advise.

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GOLDAre you between 17* and 30? Ever wanted to do some voluntary work? Wondered what it would be like to work on a community project in a developing country? Want to broaden your horizons and help others do the same?

If so, GOLD could be for you. GOLD provides Members with opportunities for personal development through participation in community development projects overseas using the medium of Guiding. Development projects vary and could include anything from teaching English as a foreign language, to setting up and running a business skills training programme. Participants return to their own communities in the UK with the experience and skills they have gained whilst abroad.

If you are lucky enough to be able to take part, you will travel in a team of four to six others at the invitation of a Guiding Association in another country. You’ll work alongside local Guides on projects ranging from Guiding development to self-esteem, and life skills to health awareness. Projects are typically two to four weeks in duration and currently take place in July to December. You are expected to fund-raise for all project costs including travel and living expenses, and any equipment you may need to use on the project. You will need to be very committed to undertake all the preparatory work for your project which will include a minimum of three briefing weekends and a debrief weekend upon your return to the UK.

Rwanda 2017 GOLD badgeChloe Healy is a Unit Helper at a Guide Unit in Portsmouth where she is studying at University. In August 2017 she travelled to Rwanda as part of a GOLD project running interactive workshops with Guides and Leaders across the country. The team also camped for five days and trained more than 500 girls on camp and fire safety, pioneering, knots and making camp gadgets.

Chloe wrote a lovely piece before her trip which includes an explanation of what GOLD is all about. She would be happy to talk about the project so do contact her if you think your girls would like to hear more about GOLD.

Click here to download Chloe's GOLD story.

Want to take part?

If you are interested in taking part in GOLD, you must attend a Girlguiding UK INTOPS weekend.

If you have any specific questions regarding GOLD, please email

Click here to download the Baden Powell International Fund Grant Criteria and Application Form for Girlguiding GOLD projects.

*All GOLD participants must be aged between 18-30 years. Participants who are 17 years old at the time of INTOPS must be turning 18 by the time of the first briefing. Participants must be aged 30 or younger at the time of their GOLD project if successfully selected.


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Important News Regarding Recruitment Checks for Young People

Young people aged 16 - 18 no longer require recruitment checks even when attending residential events. However, current legislation means it is essential that they are supervised at all times irrespective of whether it is a local meeting or a residential event. Recruitment checks must be carried out if a young person turns 18 prior to attending a residential event.


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New Members

If you receive any queries about joining, please encourage parents to go to the national Girlguiding Website and follow the links to Get Involved - . If computer access is a problem, or if anyone has any queries regarding the registration process, these should be directed to Clair Beaver on 01722 343182.

Cards are available for all Leaders and Unit Helpers to use when recruiting new Members - either girl or adult. These are the size of a business card, feature your County/Island logo and the website address and telephone number for enquiries. There is also a space for you to enter the name of your Unit for easy reference. Contact your County/Island Commissioner for a supply of the cards.


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Are Your Details Up To Date?

We regularly receive e-mails from Members asking to receive our monthly Region Newsletter. Sadly, they should already be doing so and have been missing out because their details on GO are incorrect.

The mailing list for the Newsletter is downloaded each month from GO to ensure we are using current information - but this only works if you keep your records up to date. Your County/Island Membership Support Co-ordinator can help you if you have any problems amending your information on the system.


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All the forms you need can be found on the Girlguiding Website - click here - where you will also find guidance on the completion of Health Care Plans which apply to unit meetings as well as overseas trips.


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Narrowboat Opportunities

Narrow BoatDo you like the idea of narrowboating with your Brownies, Guides, Senior Section or fellow Guiders but are not sure whether it is for you? We have been sent details of training weekends on the Kennet and Avon canal at Aldermaston near Newbury. You will be aboard the Falcon Adam which is a 70' narrowboat with full kitchen, two bathrooms, a seating/dining area and room to sleep upto 12 people. You can see the boat in action, work the locks and drive the boat.

Click here for information about narrowboat training weekends.

For more information telephone Julie Myers on 01189 618450, e-mail her at or click here to go to the Thames & Kennet Narrow Boat Trust Website.


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Berwick Centre - Girlguiding Wiltshire South's HQ

Berwick Guide CentreIndoor or outdoor accommodation on two campsites with toilets and shower block. An excellent venue for Unit, District or Division events, including holidays, camps, trainings and meetings.

Click here for more information.





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Maud Heath Centre - Home of Girlguiding Wiltshire North

Maud HeathLooking for a venue in Wiltshire in which to hold a sleepover or training event or to use as a base to visit local attractions or for walking expeditions? Maud Heath Centre offers modernised indoor accommodation with a fully equipped kitchen, showers and internet access. Outdoors there is a large playing field and campfire area. Maud Heath Centre can accommodate up to 150 day visitors and 30 for overnight stays.

Click here for more information.





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Iona's Inspiration

IonaMeet Iona who is a Brownie in Cheltenham. Her older sister is now a Guide, but when she wanted to join Rainbows there were no places available so Iona's Mum and a friend opened 1st Warden Hill Rainbows in Cheltenham. They then went on to open the 29th Cheltenham Brownie Unit which they still run. We are told that Iona's Mum "is a very passionate Guider, a dedicated Brown Owl."

Iona is described as "a cheeky, fun loving, sparky little girl who makes the most of life despite her physical limitations". Iona was born with cystic fibrosis which makes life challenging for her and her family. She has a very limited life expectancy and her days involve hours of physiotherapy to keep her well.

In June of last year Iona's lung function dropped to its lowest at 51% and after some intensive treatment and the use of an oscillation vest which was provided by Bristol Children's Hospital, Iona's lung function improved to 75%, but the vest had to be returned to the hospital after only a week as they have so few available. Iona's Girlguiding friends have been helping to raise the £8,000 to buy her an oscillation vest of her own and have been organising all kinds of fund raising events including a raffle, a Brownie performance evening and a sponsored walk.

Please take a look at Iona's JustGiving page by clicking here.


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The Dodo Challenge Resource and Badge

Dodo Challenge BadgeGirlguiding Kennet Vale have asked us to help them promote a Resource and badge which they have created in memory of one of their Members who had been a Rainbow Leader with 1st Kennet Vale Rainbows in Royal Berkshire for 20 years before sadly losing her battle with cancer in October 2016. The money raised from the sale of the badges will be donated to The Rosemary Appeal which is looking for £4.5million to help fund a new centre at West Berkshire Community Hospital to provide day therapy, chemotherapy, renal dialysis, IV therapies and a CT Scanner for the local community.

The Resource contains activities for all Sections and the badges cost £1.20 each plus postage and packing.

Click here to download the challenge.



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Drum Workshops

Brownies drummingWe have been contacted by Tim and Pamela Scarborough from Rhythmicity who are offering Drum Workshops to Units across the Region.

Rhythmicity have been operating for 20 years and have led Drum Workshops at Flame and BrumJam as well as within Brownie and Guide Unit meetings. A range of different themed workshops are on offer, with the aim being that the participants should have fun whilst learning about the importance of working together. Rhythmicity supply all the equipment and ensure that all the participants get the opportunity to play more than one instrument. Their usual charge is £2.50 per person plus a contribution towards travel costs, but they can offer a degree of flexibility where budgets are limited.

Interested? Click here to go to Rhythmicity's website for more information, or click here to download their flyer.


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Useful Information

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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