All posts by admin

Girlguiding Norfolk Showcase 2016

What a super evening! Literally ‘showcasing’ what is great about Girlguiding Norfolk.

There was chatter, food, info on the latest developments at the ARC plus the opportunity to comment on our new Girlguiding Norfolk website. Then into the conference theatre where we learned about what members of Norfolk have achieved this year including Hazel Farman’s inspiring talk on her experience at the World Scout Jamboree in Japan.

The evening ended with a presentation of awards and commendations. Good Service awards went to Lynn Rawlings, Rosemary Tooms, Christine Bramham, Catherine Morrey, Pat Whittaker and Melanie Carter; County Commissioner Commendations went to Janet Leeson and Abbe Beck and gifts of paperweights were presented to Sharon Watts, Linda Marquis, Sue Groves, Janet Milbank and Christine Cutting as a Thank You from the County.

Girlguiding Norfolk was also proud to present the highly prestigious ‘Guiding Star’ award to Annabelle Lessiter, a Guide with the 1st Acle Guide Unit as a reward for all her guiding achievements, even though she is blind. She first joined Girlguiding UK as a Rainbow aged five in Brundall. She had limited eyesight then but enough to see things close up and create crafts and pictures and decorate biscuits.

Although limited when playing games, all she wanted to do was have fun. Annabelle moved up to 1st Brundall Brownies at seven with her close friends who looked out for her. She even joined them all on an Activity Day at Hautbois House which included a canoeing session. The instructor towed Annabelle’s kayak behind hers and continually told her about what birds and other creatures were around. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and loved being splashed.

Annabelle is now a Guide with 1st Acle Guides and has been keen to try anything and everything. For example, on reaching the top of the climbing wall she was heard to say

I used to be frightened of heights but, now I can’t see, it doesn’t worry me anymore!” At the International Jamboree, Norjam, she went roller skating, took an active part in ‘It’s a Knockout,’ which involved water games, inflatable slides, and bungee runs.

She also went to The Big Gig for the first time and had a wonderful time.

Whatever Annabelle tackles, she does it with a sense of fun and a smile. She is inspirational to the Guides around her as she personifies many of the Guide Laws. Her own Patrol Leader frequently asks me, “How can she do that when she can’t see?” Annabelle has just been elected as Patrol Second, a role that she is taking very seriously but is entering into it energetically and enthusiastically, as she does all her guiding activities.

Annabelle is an amazing girl, busy filling her life with as many experiences as possible with the encouraging help and support of her family. Annabelle’s eyesight continues to deteriorate and along with other handicaps will continue to govern what and how many guiding activities she can take part in, but nothing seems to calm her determination.

Fundraising for the ARC

A number of sponsored events have taken place to raise money for our new Archive Resource Centre.

These have included 3rd Oulton Brownies who had a sponsored silence whilst 43rd Saxlingham Nethergate Brownies challenged themselves to a sponsored silent craft night. The girls had to make a craft in silence which was quite a feat! Leaders Clare and Catherine reported that the girls did really well and enjoyed the challenge. 1st Cawston Brownies did a sponsored dance and both 4th and 38th Norwich Rainbow units completed a sponsored ‘wheels’ event. The girls took their own wheels – wheelchair, bicycle, scooter, roller skates, dolls pram etc with appropriate safety gear to complete laps of the local park.

Others have done good turns, 1st Wroxham Guides went bag packing and 3rd Attleborough Brownie leaders, challenged the Brownies to collect money in a Smartie tube for good turns. The most collected was over £11 in one tube!

Cakes have featured in a number of activities too. Thetford Trefoil Guild had a cake stall, braving the elements on a wet day, in April and managed to sell out in 2 hours raising funds for both the Guild and ARC. Their gazebo acting as a shelter from the rain by passers by, who weren’t allowed to leave till they had bought cake! Watton & District Trefoil enjoyed Afternoon Tea with good cake too.

2nd Attleborough Rainbows held a ‘history’ evening where they looked at the leader’s camp blankets and identified the different badges. They then creatively had a Kim’s game with some historic items like old promise badges, a woggle and Rainbow birthday badge. The ARC badges were paid for from funds. They completed the evening playing an ‘old’ game which was hanging (newspaper) washing out! As the ARC is all about retaining, remembering, learning from and enjoying Norfolk Guiding history it is appropriate that some units have used this as their fund raising challenge. Central Division – commemorated the Queen’s birthday by having a 1950’s style tea with appropriate games.

Other ideas have been: 1st Suffield Park Rainbows made their donation to ARC from ‘Gift Aid’ money they had received during the Spring Term. Dereham Trefoil Guild are doing a word making sponsored challenge, whilst 4th Sheringham Brownies held a local raffle with prizes they had collected.

Girlguiding Smithdon and Brothercross District completed a sponsored walk between Heacham North Beach and the Lighthouse Cafe Hunstanton, a distance of just over 5 miles. Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Leaders, parents – and dogs! joined together on a bright but very chilly Saturday morning.

Girlguiding Norfolk at the Spring Fling

Girlguiding Norfolk joined over 70 stands this year at the Spring Fling which is a fun filled, educational day for learning more about food, farming and the countryside aimed at four to 11 year olds.

We decided on simple food based science for our theme which proved very popular with all of our young visitors. Making ice cream in a plastic bag proved to be a big hit; we soon had a queue waiting to have a go.

‘It’s magic!’ was a frequent comment.

Our other activities proved just as popular. Tasting raw apple and potato whilst wearing a blindfold and holding your nose is interesting. Try it – you really can’t tell the difference.

We also borrowed an idea from the County Science Box and used red cabbage juice as an indicator solution. Youngsters tested substances like vinegar, lemon juice, soap, bicarbonate of soda and toothpaste to see if they were acid or alkali.

Is that red fizzy pop strawberry flavoured? Is the yellow one lemon? Well, that would be telling, but we had fun finding out!

Sam said on Facebook

‘Great to see so much interest in your stand today. It was really nice to hear some little ones shouting to their parent, “look Rainbows!” as they walked towards the stand. Bless them, so excited.’

Elaine replied ‘That was one of the best parts Sam. But I think us Leaders had a great time too.’


A group of 35 Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and their leaders from Gayton joined hundreds of fellow Girlguiding members at Alexandra Palace in London on Saturday 20th February for the Spark event which kicked off celebrations for 100 years of The Senior Section.

The girls stepped out of their comfort zone and took on adventurous activities such as bouldering, bungee trampolining and zorbing.

 “I enjoyed many of the activities at Spark. My favourite was the Photo Booth, we all put graffiti on our picture and they printed a copy off for us.”Amelia S, aged 13

“There was something for everyone to do and enjoy, I liked the Photo Booth, and it was a good way to express friendship.” – Becky, aged 13 

A Rainbow, said “It was good; I got help from a friend ‘cos I got stuck!” Ruby, Raibows

Amelia P, 13 liked the Medical Mavericks where she used real life medical equipment and enjoyed rocking in the Silent Disco.

“We got to do loads of activities, I had a really fun day and I really enjoyed it.” – Alice S, aged 12

All of the leaders agreed that the day was a great success. Everyone was shattered by the time we left London, but even the Rainbows had a go at everything.

Nicky, a Brownie Leader, who insists she is just over 5 feet, liked the magic mirrors best – “Look! I’ve never been so tall!”

Lauren Greengrass, age 14, renewed her promise at the event to Gill Slocombe, former Chief Guide.  Lauren has been a member of Girlguiding since the age of 5 when she joined as a Rainbow.  She has progressed through all the sections and finally reached Senior Section.

Being a member of Girlguiding has given Lauren many amazing opportunities including two trips to Adelboden where she was presented with her BP Award last year, took part in an ICE trip to Belgium, had an amazing time at Norjam 2014, so is looking forward to attending EssexJam in the Summer of 2016.

The Queen’s 90th Birthday

Celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday

1st Oulton Brownies had a lovely Spring sleepover finishing with an afternoon tea party celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday with special guest Liz Hepburn, Girlguiding Lowestoft Division Commissioner. The Brownies decorated cakes with union flags and made and cut out fancy sandwiches.

Elsewhere, seventy girls from Dersingham Rainbows, 1st & 2nd Brownies and Guides, plus leaders, helpers and Trefoil Guild members came together at their HQ to celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday with a Street Party. The girls helped to decorate the HQ by making birthday bunting from stickers, wrapping paper and pictures of the Queen.

They enjoyed silly team games outside, including stilt races and Potato & Spoon races as well a giant pass-the-parcel! Everyone then sat down to eat with the tables covered by plates of sandwiches, crisps, and cake. The evening ending with singing Happy Birthday to the Queen and some silly action songs. All the girls received a party bag, which contained a piece of the giant birthday cake. In their previous meetings the girls had made cards, which have been sent to the Queen.

Opening of the ARC

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in June, 150 people saw history being made by Girlguiding Norfolk with the official opening of the Archive Resource Centre (ARC).

The sun shone brightly, the music by Taverham Brass Band was brilliant as ever, the afternoon tea was beautifully set out and delicious, the waitresses willing and smiley, the company delightful, the setting very relaxing and the opening of our ARC resource a very exciting time for our county.

Anglia Region’s archivist and heritage consultant, Ann Mitchell, was delighted to be at the opening ceremony and believes no other county have such a building.  Norfolk leading the way again!

Carol Bundock, County President, said “The triumphant opening of the ARC was the culmination of many years of hard work by many people. The vision has become a reality, our future is secure because of our wonderful past, which we can now have fun enjoying with all ages in our own and wider community, whilst also preserving for future generations”.

It was just less than three months since the turf was cut preparing for the installation of the new modular building designed to not only hold Girlguiding Norfolk archives, but  also to serve as a launch for the next step of the project. The work is in progress… This is just the beginning!