Girlguiding South West England
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Where Guiding Goes On
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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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Action for Change

Guides and RangersIn October a group of Guides and Rangers from across the Region attended a fun residential weekend at PGL Liddington in Wiltshire, having signed up for Action for Change - Girlguiding's project to create the UK's largest girl-led advocacy network. The group, aged 14 - 25, learned about campaigning, public speaking and project management, took part in interactive sessions, and heard talks from motivational speakers. As part of the project the Guides and Rangers have now joined local networks in their own areas, enabling them to stay in touch with the friends they have made, share ideas, and work together on social action projects.






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Launch of Region's New 1yr and 3yr Service Awards

Guide Leader and Chief CommissionerThe Region's Membership, Growth & Retention Conference on 17th November 2018 saw the launch of a new Service Award which has been instigated by the Region's Chief Commissioner, Carole Pennington.

Carole explained how she is 'passionate about saying thank you'. She talked about the movement of Leaders in and out of the organisation and how she felt that five years was a long time to wait before recognising what our volunteers do and showing our appreciation.

The first 3yr Award recipient was Kate Bassil, Leader with 57th Bath Guides, pictured here receiving her badge and certificate from Carole Pennington at the Conference.




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GOLD Oman 2018

GOLD Oman 2018 BadgeThe Region were pleased to be able to offer a grant to one of our Members, Natalie Gaudion, following her selection as a Leader for a GOLD project in 2018 aimed at furthering links between Girlguiding in the UK and the Oman Scouts and Guides Association.

The project team of six ran informal training sessions for girls, Leaders and Commissioners on a range of topics from understanding the benefits of Guiding and exploring different recruitment ideas, to teaching skills such as self-confidence and leadership. Natalie described the trip as 'an amazing project in a fabulous country' and the project report is well worth reading, providing a real flavour of what being involved in a GOLD project is all about. Natalie told us:

'The trip was far from relaxing as we trained over 700 people in three weeks. The evaluation meeting with the member organisation was very positive so all our efforts were worthwhile'.

Click here to read the project report.

Click here to go to the Useful Information page and find out more about GOLD and how to apply.

Click here to go to the Useful Information page to find out more about the international opportunities offered by Girlguiding South West England.


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UK Parliament Week Answered Questions for 4th Withycombe Raleigh Girl Guides!

Many thanks to Julia Gash, Assistant Leader with 4th Withycombe Raleigh Girl Guides from Exmouth in Devon, who has written to tell us about the Unit's participation in last year's UK Parliament Week. A local Independent County Councillor, Claire Wright, was invited to join the girls for their own Question Time where they found out what it is like to be a politician, and were able to talk to Claire about things that matter to them in Exmouth. They then got to write their own mini-manifestos ready for when they become Prime Minister one day!

Claire Wright said: 'I loved talking to the Girl Guides. They were concerned about the things that really matter, such as environmental pollution and waste and wanted to get active. I was impressed with their knowledge and their genuine interest in campaigning and local democracy".

David Clark, Head of Education and Engagement at UK Parliament said he was "delighted that the 4th Withycombe Raleigh Girl Guides are taking this opportunity to get involved in their democracy".

UK Parliament Week will be happening again this November so keep watching the Region Website to find out how you can get involved.


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Meet Maisie and her Piglets!

Pig and pigletRainbow and piglets

Stephanie Le Cheminant sent us these lovely photographs of her Goddaughter, Maisie, who recently joined Rainbows, and is clearly determined to achieve as much as she can before moving up to Brownies. Stephanie told us that Maisie, "Having only started half way through last term at the age of six is quite upset she won't be able to complete everything"!

Maisie's parents rear rare breed pigs on a smallholding in Cornwall and the day after receiving her badge book, Maisie decided she wanted to look after a farrowing sow in order to complete her animal lover badge. Stephanie said, "Maisie decided farrowing a pig was challenging and excited[sic] and she joined her dad through the night to clean and look after the 11 tiny piglets. Stephanie added, "When they were born she helped clear their airways".

Stephanie says the thought this "a good example of the diversity of our girls" and we are really pleased she shared the story with us.

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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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- 4th Withycombe Raleigh Girl Guides
- Action for Change
- GOLD Oman 2018
- Rainbow Cares for Farrowing Sow
- Region Guiding
- Region's 1yr and 3yr Service Awards
- 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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