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Helen Parsons tells us about her movie club success up in Hertfordshire

Over here in Hemel Hempstead, we tend to find that our Brownie units are happily full, whereas our Guide units aren’t quite so popular, often with parents sharing ‘it’s just too grown up, or she’s not yet ready’ as reasons for girls ending their guiding journey at 10. So, to help with transitioning girls between sections, we came up with an event that welcomed older Brownies and younger Guides to allow them to meet and make new friends in a relaxed social setting – our monthly movie club!  

 

We’re hosting our movie club monthly during term time, with a seasonal themed film – think Hocus Pocus for October, Home Alone for December! – filling up a space we own as a district that is unused on a Friday evening. Our event is free to attend to comply with licensing laws – definitely check those out before you host a film screening to make sure you’re compliant – we also offer popcorn, sweets, soft drinks and a very special exclusive collectible badge (designed in the theme of each month’s movie) for sale during the evening. We have also made the badges available to pre-order for anyone who wants to get involved but can’t attend in person.

 

Free entry encouraged many girls to come along, and for our first event back in October we raised £103! We’ve had three since and are getting excellent feedback that girls feel great about heading up to Guides with their new found friends. It’s a nice social evening for leaders too, getting together with others in your district. After you’ve made a few hot chocolates, you get to enjoy a catch up with fellow volunteers. In future, we’re hoping to enable girls who are doing their own fundraising – perhaps for their guiding adventures – the opportunity to run and benefit from the tuck shop sales, too. Here’s to easy fundraising and Friday night fun!

 

 

A Brownie Coffee Morning

Two years ago our Brownie leaders had an idea - to have a coffee morning after our local Remembrance Parade (in our area we have an outdoor parade on the seafront). How did we do it? A unit helper and her husband kindly offered to make the teas & coffees (donated by leaders), Brownies and Guides were asked to bring in cakes (home made or shop bought). Parents/carers drop off and pick up at our hall, so a captive audience. We meet in a church hall and members of the congregation have started joining our coffee morning. In our first year we made £70 and this year we made £100. The coffee morning lasts for 1 hour.

 

 

Fundraising with Brownies

Like many units, increases in hall rent and general the general cost of living has made things more challenging for the budget. At 24th Portsmouth Brownies, we decided to make a termly bag pack part of our plans. We made contact with the community champion at our local Asda supermarket who was happy to book us in for a 3 hour slot. Before the day, we played a fun packing activity in the unit where we discussed what might be the easiest way to pack bags, and what things we should and shouldn’t touch… there were strict instructions to avoid eggs!

On the day the Brownies were really excited. We had two Brownies on each checkout with a decorated bucket, and two Brownies at the front door of the store. Even customers who didn’t need any help with their packing gave generously. We’ve now been backpacking four times, raising between £100 - £200 for the unit each trip! The Brownies tend to be hesitant to offer help at first, but we see their confidence grow every time and they always enjoy talking to customers about Brownies. Some customers have their own stories to share about when they were Brownies!

The extra funds have come in really useful for relieving some of the pressure in the budget. Having a buffer zone in the coffers means less of a stress for unit leaders, and it gives us more flexibility if there are any issues with unexpected costs.

You can visit your local supermarket and ask to speak to their community champion. They not only help with hosting bag packs like this, but they may also be able to provide community support in different ways. Don’t be afraid to ask the question – not only will your girls develop skills and confidence, but your budget will thank you too!

 

 

1st Bearwood Rangers 

Hear from Zahra first hand, how she has successfully used Girlguiding South West England grant funds to open a brand new Ranger unit: 1st Bearwood Rangers.

"We opened our ranger unit in October 2022, as we had lots of young leaders and Duke of Edinburgh that wanted something just for them. Our unit has now grown to 8 Rangers. Some of these have never been in Guiding before. Over our first term as a leader, I explored all the Ranger programme and completed my Ranger Module 1 which I was able to complete in half a term.

With our Rangers, the programme is so easy for them to run themselves and they are really enjoying the Unit Meeting Activities. We also do some adventure activities: we have done an escape room and have a camp planned in May including archery, and a trampoline day in the summer, all of which the girls have chosen themselves.

It’s so rewarding as a leader seeing them laughing and having fun and knowing you give them a safe space with no stress, especially through their exam periods. We meet at the same time as Guides and sharing the space works perfectly and keeps the rent costs down. I am so glad I made the decision to open a Ranger unit and would encourage others to do the same."

 
 
 

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Girlguiding South West England is an operating name of The Guide Association South West England. Registered Charity No. 305951

 
 
 
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