Newsletter February 2024

Happy Thinking Day … well nearly.

I love Thinking Day.  My Brownies have sent videos to America to be played at their event – we are looking forward to their reply.

I am hoping for good weather for the Swanage event.  Totally sold out – we’ll need to consider another steam train activity in the future.

Last month we had several Division Commissioners stand down but some new faces are welcome to the table.  I look forward to them joining County exec.

At the end of January we had the County Commissioners lunch.  In the morning we had a great LGBTQI+ inclusion training and in the afternoon Dr. Anjana Khatwa joined us for a really interesting talk about the geology of Dorset.

I was surprised by the Region President with a silver oak leaf award – gobsmacked doesn’t cover it!  Please consider nominating people in your area for awards – our next County awards meeting is April 9th.  Anyone interested in joining our awards team please let me know – we would love some new faces.  It is one of the best roles – drop your details over to awards@girlguidingdorset.org.uk

Finally at the risk of repeating myself please check your subscription trial invoices and make sure they are correct and please pay on time.  I don’t want to have to chase you and you don’t want to be chased.  Please let your Commissioner or me know if you have issues.

Enjoy the 22nd – we look forward to the photos.

With Best Wishes,

Lisa

County Commissioner

Hello all it’s Me again (Emma)!

Just dropping a quick note to let you know all the fab things planned this year from the G&R team…

February 18th is our Thinking Day event and I could not have imagined how quickly we were going to fill the spaces.

Sorry to those of you who have missed out this time around.

I really look forward to seeing your photos of the day so please post them and tag @girlguidingdorset #girlguidingdorset.

April 14th we hold our annual Gold event for those who achieved their gold from Jan1st 23 to Dec 31st 23. We are really excited to return to the Dorset Falconry Centre for exciting and informative demonstrations, amazing handling experiences and of course to visit the lovely café on site. The family are so welcoming to us all so we are grateful to be there again this year. If you know of any girls who achieved their award last year please remind them to sign up asap on our website.

May 11th we have a county take over of Dorchester planned. We invite you to take part in our new monopoly challenge with different routes for each section.

Take a leisurely packed lunch along the way and join us when completed to collect your badge and visit the Odeon cinema to watch a movie (movie tbc) in our privately booked screens.

Do sign your units up to this on our website asap so we can ensure we book big enough screens.

June 6th Adult members are invited to join us at Dudsbury to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-day. We shall be lighting the beacon and enjoying fish and chips as per the King’s request.

You can book your space by registering here.

June 8th Units are invited to commemorate D-day 80 at the signals museum in Blandford where they will take part in STEM workshops.

This event is open to Brownies, Guides and Rangers.

Please book your space by visiting our website.

June 7-9th is The Big Help out weekend.

Don’t forget we have an appropriate badge for anyone who ‘helps out’ during the year.

We have removed the clauses for this so it can be given for any occasion whether it’s a parent who has helped out, young member fundraising efforts etc it will be a great addition to your badge box.

Find out how to order one here.

If you choose to run a big help out event please let us know. We love to see what you are doing locally to grow your young members and volunteers.

I’m looking at suitable dates for some adults get togethers. So, keep your eyes peeled on the website or the Dorset Leaders Facebook group for these.

Lastly from me for now – I am looking for some team members. If you are keen to work as a team, have ideas to grow guiding or support the retention of our members please get in touch. We meet virtually generally on a Wednesday every 6-8 weeks depending on what’s going on.

Drop me an email at growth@girlguidingdorset.org.uk if you feel you would like to get involved.

Friends of Guiding Brownsea Island (FOGBI)

Friends of Guiding Brownsea Island (FOGBI) exists to provide support and to stimulate more interest in Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour.

Brownsea Island is the place where Lord Baden Powell held his experimental camp in 1907 which then led to the foundation of Scouting and Guiding.

FOGBI would like to make visits to Brownsea Island more affordable for any Unit in Dorset that would like to visit (either for a day or for a residential) but would have difficulty funding such a visit.

Applications are invited from Units who need help towards the cost of your National Trust Group membership or towards the cost of ferry fares from Poole to the island.

If your Unit or an individual member of your Unit would benefit from a small grant (of around £50) towards the cost of a visit, then please complete and return the application form by post or scanned and emailed.

Please submit further evidence if there are particular financial difficulties that may require additional assistance. All applications are dealt with in confidence.

Please note: A grant cannot be awarded for travel costs to Poole

Friends of Guiding Brownsea Island (FOGBI)

Friends of Guiding Brownsea Island (FOGBI) exists to provide support and to stimulate more interest in Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour.


Brownsea Island is the place where Lord Baden Powell held his experimental camp in 1907 which then led to the foundation of Scouting and Guiding.


FOGBI would like to make visits to Brownsea Island more affordable for any Unit in Dorset that would like to visit (either for a day or for a residential) but would have difficulty funding such a visit.
Applications are invited from Units who need help towards the cost of your National Trust Group membership or towards the cost of ferry fares from Poole to the island.


If your Unit or an individual member of your Unit would benefit from a small grant (of around £50) towards the cost of a visit, then please complete and return the application form by post or scanned and emailed.


Please submit further evidence if there are particular financial difficulties that may require additional assistance. All applications are dealt with in confidence.


Please note: A grant cannot be awarded for travel costs to Poole.

Grants – Girlguiding Dorset

Newsletter January 2024

Happy 2024 😊

Guiding is an amazing organisation.  Let’s get that in early. 

In the county there are over 900 volunteers who all participate in some way to its smooth running.  Whether you are a unit helper who does the shopping for a busy team of leaders, a sole leader running several units or a member of the Blue Team organising county events I really appreciate all that you do.

Over this last couple of weeks I have hibernated a bit, dealt with a few family things going on and tried to re-group.  I am aware that for some of you across the county things have been tough whether that be bereavements, the need for operations or unsettling diagnoses and to those people I send my heartfelt good wishes and Guiding hugs.  Guiding hugs come in many ways and I see it all the time.  It is the person who messages and with a note that says I’ll sort that for you, do you need more cheese? Fancy a coffee?  I’m hoping everyone experiences a little bit of that.

Just before Christmas I met with a few people who had thought about taking on a new role.  They weren’t sure they could do it, they felt that they didn’t know the answers to all the questions or didn’t have enough experience.   So, just for the record, I really don’t know the answers to all the questions (I look most of them up) and some days I feel I can’t do it but without exception on those days a few of those Guiding hugs have bounced my way, brought a smile and allowed this role to bring me joy.  See if a new role can do that for you and meet Jenny (below) who has agreed to do just that.

The Commissioners and Blue Team will be meeting up in January for some training and to look at your wishes for 2025.  All Commissioners have been asked to find out what your opinions are so we can put them forward. 

Can I also remind you the importance of getting your accounts completed and independently checked on an annual basis within 3 months of your year end.  I know that accounts aren’t everyone’s best skill, but they are important.

Before we know it, February will be with us and INTOPS, the Swanage steam event and, of course, subscriptions.  Please speak to your commissioner about INTOPS or if you have any problems with paying your subscriptions. 

I am fondly referring to this as my “Delia Smith” e-news.  Not because each one comes with a delightful chocolate éclair/boiled egg/turkey pie (delete to preference or dietary requirements) but more referring to her stance on the football pitch.  So, let’s be having you 2024. 

With Best Wishes,

Lisa

County Commissioner

Welcome to Jenny Bennett, our new Inclusion Volunteer

Hi, my name is Jenny Bennett and I am a Rainbow, Brownie and Guide leader in Poole District. I am excited to be the newest advisor joining the fantastic County Inclusion team.

Since the age of 14 I have wanted to make sure that people were included and had an active part in their communities.

My first job was working for Poole Youth Services, speaking to as many young people in Poole as possible to get their voices included in local and national strategies.

I then went on to university to study Community Development which is where I found my passion for working with people with a learning disability and autistic people. I have now been continuing on this career path at People First Forum for over 13 years.

Considering members’ individual needs and ensuring you are giving them every opportunity to take part can make such a huge difference to their Guiding journey.

If you are unsure about how to make adjustments so that you can make this happen, please do get in touch with the team.

Amy Coldstream, Leader at Poole East, who has completed Going Away With Scheme, modules 5,6 & 7…

…and Emily Critchell, Leader at North East Minster who has completed modules 6 & 8.

Well done!

Newsletter December 2023

It’s December and the last month of a very successful Guiding year. We’ve done countless activities throughout the county – all thanks to you and your hard work and time. I’d like to especially mention all of the Blue team. They work tirelessly behind the scenes getting all the County events up and running and I just couldn’t do it without them – Thank you.

My diary for 2024 is filling up fast. I am really looking forward to the Thinking Day event at Swanage Railway and the INTOPS event at Dudsbury in February. If you have members interested in International Opportunities then please speak to your Division Commissioner who will be organising a selection event. We had all our girls selected this year for events – which is amazing.

Talking of February…. The 22nd is subscription day. 2024 subscription is £51.50 (HQ, Region and County) – there may be a little extra on for your Division and District. If you have any issues with this payment do not delay – speak to your local commissioner. There are also the grants available from region if you need some help and fit the qualifying criteria.

And finally, whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious festival, if you are strictly a tree and schnaps kind of person or you are just looking forward to a day of peace and quiet I would like to send you all the best wishes of the season.

Lisa

Dates to note:

Just to let you know that the county office will be closed from… Wednesday 20th December and will re-open Tuesday 2nd January 2024.

Newsletter November 2023

Where did October go? One minute I was still in the garden picking runner beans – the next it’s Halloween and the children in the neighbourhood are calling around trick or treating.

I have been out and about again this month presenting GOLD awards and meeting with some Divisions about succession planning.

November is a time when I start to think of warm fires and a good book to read but this month seems packed with Guiding.

By the time you read this the training at the office will have taken place. Thank you so much to our talented trainers, L and D team and especially to Fran Coldstream who has worked so hard in making sure we could run the event.

We will also have attended the RNLI pack launch at Poole. We are lucky to have the RNLI training building in our County – I hope some of you will make the most of the partnership and the new pack.

Towards the end of the month is the growth and retention conference and trainers conference.

The G and R team have been busy putting together a Dorchester Monopoly run for next year – all sections invited – and a badge of course 😊.

It has been great to hear all the plans that the Divisions/Units have in the future – dinner dances, trips to Sparkle and Ice and Thinking Day events to name but a few.

Thank you so much for all those extra hours you put in – we can’t do it without you.

With Best Wishes

Lisa

County Commissioner

Do you have a passion for the arts? If so: We need YOU!

Contact Eloise at adventures@girlguidingdorset.org.uk to find out more.

Would you like to support the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme in our county?

Do you have?

A good level of map reading skills

Navigation skills (around New Forest or Dartmoor)

Willingness to support participants with their skill, physical and volunteering sections and give encouragement plus help booking campsites and other expedition admin?

Please contact Helen Leather ggdorsetdofe@gmail.com to find out more.

It only seems like yesterday we had returned to our units after a summer break and I’m already looking at Christmas activities and even starting to forward plan into the next year! Time flies when you are having fun!

My girls have all taken this on board whether its volunteering with another unit or helping out at home depending on the section they are in and have accumulated a good few hours to the county total.

To add your hours please go to our website to add before the end of December. 

After this date you can still complete the challenge but hours cannot be added.

We have a busy year already in the planning. We are pleased to announce that we have organised a county Thinking day event on Sunday 18th February. This will consist of a trip on the steam train from Swanage Railway to Corfe station where we will make use of our county National trust membership and visit the castle and have lunch (weather permitting) before making the return journey on the train.  

Please keep an eye on the website to book your unit on.

We are holding the popular GOLD award holders’ event at the Dorset Falconry park in April again this year please encourage any girls who have achieved a GOLD award between 1st Jan 2023-31st Dec 2023. To apply for their place please visit our website. 

Also coming up from my team is a County Monopoly challenge in Dorchester.  

This day will consist of sectional monopoly style challenges followed by a cinema visit on 11th May for all sections.  

Further details to follow.

And finally please keep an eye on the website for a D-day 80th anniversary commemoration.  Further details to follow…

I am looking forward to attending the regional G&R conference on 18th of this month and hopefully returning with more ways to encourage growth within our fabulous county.

I wish you all the best for a fabulous Christmas term and a well-deserved break before we do it all again in January!

Emma – G & R lead, Blue Team

…Verity Arnold from North East Forest (NEF) division who has successfully completed her Going Away With Scheme qualification, modules 1 – 7.

Well done!

Autumn Awards 2023

AWARD AND RECOGNITION RECIPIENTS

Sharon Moore is an exceptional Unit Helper working with 1st Oakdale Rainbows.  It is her ability to be patient, caring and kind to both young members and volunteers and her air of calm which truly sets her apart.  The rainbows in her unit describe her as ‘really kind’, ‘looks after me when I get upset’ and ‘even though I’m now a guide she always remembers to ask me how I’m doing’.  Sharon takes an active part in the planning and implementation of activities.  In addition, she also undertakes the role of treasurer for the unit as well as that of District and Division Treasurer not only overseeing the accounts but also identifying issues regarding insurances and finding solutions.  Sharon is definitely one of those people who goes about her guiding roles quietly and efficiently ensuring that guiding within her Poole East Division runs smoothly and thoroughly deserves a Dorset Ammonite Award.

Gill Clarke is a resilient, hugely capable and dynamic leader who is a champion for girls and younger members.  She is a favourite with the girls, a ‘whizz’ at recruiting volunteers, passionate about developing young leaders and ensures that Girlguiding continues to develop progressively.  Gill restarted the Colehill guide unit, building a team of volunteers to reduce the burden on any one individual.  Gill has a can-do attitude, is respectful to guiding tradition and innovates exciting experiences for the young members.  Parents and girls say that Gill ‘ran outstanding online sessions during the pandemic’, ‘brings out the best in all the girls’ and ‘made sure I could still go to guides even when my mum couldn’t afford it’.  Volunteers and helpers say ‘Gill always remembers to say thank you’ and ‘always makes us feel valued and appreciated’.  Gill is recognised for her outstanding service to local guiding and for keeping her promise to serve her community and thoroughly deserves a Dorset Ammonite Award.

Debbie Boyer is an exceptional leader within the 2nd Broadwindsor Brownie Unit as well as treasurer and administrative roles within several units and her division.  In addition to preparing the Division accounts and dealing with grant applications, Debbie is always available to answer finance questions across the division including guidance on budgeting, gift aid and grant applications.  Debbie also manages the Division Trading Depot.  Since 2021 Debbie has undertaken the role of Assistant Division Commissioner.  Everything that Debbie takes on she does so with full commitment and unreserved energy.  Her attention to detail and organisational skills are second to none.  All of her roles she does to a very high standard, even when travelling abroad for work.  Debbie has truly kept her promise to help her community and do her best and thoroughly deserves a Dorset Ammonite Award.

Chris Thornton is recognised for the huge support she gives behind the scenes to ensure that grass roots Girlguiding in Dorset receives the support it needs.  She has been the county treasurer for over 13 years ensuring the units within the county receive the financial support needed.  Chris extends those financial skills at a local level within her own division and has held many roles within the county which underpin local girlguiding and is always both willing and able to mentor and encourage less experienced leaders to maintain a guiding experience for all those within the county.  At a local level Chris has worked extensively at unit level across all sections, is currently supporting Poole West and uses her experience to support the selection of young people for international opportunities (INTOPS).  Chris exemplifies the girlguiding promise to serve her community and help other people and thoroughly deserves a Dorset Ammonite Award.

Alison Markwick is recognised for her work with 1st Highcliffe Rainbows and the links she has built between girlguiding and the community.  Alison’s rainbows say that she is ‘funny, kind, patient and helpful’, that she is a ‘good teacher’ and ‘explains everything’.  They add that she helps them ‘earn lots of badges and even gold awards’ and even ‘helped when I had a fork stuck in my throat’! She will always take time to help rainbows who are struggling or need a little more support to thrive. 

She encourages and supports her peer leaders as well as helping to manage the guide hall and stores.  Alison works hard to include girlguiding within the community including gang shows and running stalls at the local fireworks display and with the Royal British Legion.  Alison continues to keep her promise to support her community and thoroughly deserves a Dorset Ammonite Award.

Teresa Fisher is recognised for her support of leaders across her division of Bournemouth North and for her work with brownies, guides and rangers.  She encourages new volunteers to take on smaller roles in supportive environments to build their confidence and will then encourage them to challenge themselves with new and additional roles.  Teresa supports younger leaders within the organisation even continuing to keep up that support when they leave for university.  Her peers describe her as ‘super-organised’, ‘incredibly enthusiastic’, a ‘hard-working superstar’ and even a ‘force of nature’!  They describe Teresa as having ‘a passion and dedication to improving girls lives’.  Teresa has truly kept her girlguiding promise to help other people and thoroughly deserves a Dorset Ammonite Award.

Jane Lockett is an assistant leader with 2nd Mudeford brownies.  Jane has excellent skills with the brownies especially when teaching them a new skill or craft which means all the girls feel included.  She also excels at teaching the brownies to sing.  Her peer leaders also recognise the support and assistance she has given to both experienced leaders and those just starting out.  She offers experience and expertise where needed and is always ready to go on adventures with the girls.  Jane also undertakes the admin and finance roles within her unit to great effect as well as taking an active and proactive role in maintaining and running the guide hall.   Jane has truly upheld her promise to help other people and thoroughly deserves a Dorset Ammonite Award.

Janet Roberts is a leader with 2nd Mudeford brownies and is recognised for her extensive work within her unit.  She encourages a wide range of activities within the programme as well as getting out and about on adventures.  Janet is very committed to giving her unit the best possible experiences and always has a positive attitude to all new challenges.  She has utilised her links to an elephant sanctuary in Zambia to encourage the brownies to support both animals and think about the wider world.  Janet is also actively involved in the running and maintenance of the guide hall and forging links within the local community.  Janet has undoubtedly kept her promise to serve her community and thoroughly deserves a Dorset Ammonite Award.

Catherine Welch – Catherine is a very dedicated member of Girlguiding and has held many roles in which she is supportive, a mentor and a trainer.  In addition to her guiding roles, she worked during the pandemic in Intensive Care in her role as a doctor in addition to supporting the vaccination rollout.  In addition, she has utilised her medical skills during the war in Ukraine and in response to Turkey’s earthquake emergency as well as attending guide camp and volunteering for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  Catherine is a worthy recipient of the Hero Award.

Benny Gauler –Benny has helped so many people in Bournemouth North with setting up accounts for new units, assist8ing with gift aid, end of year accounts, changing bank details and completing acco0unts for closing units. She has been the Division Treasurer for many years, giving advice on how much to charge participants going on day events or longer holidays. If you are a person who struggles to work with figures Benny is a HERO whilst always showing great patience, kindness and understanding. Many things have changed within Girlguiding, including keeping accounts, and Benny has adopted all of these with enthusiasm willingly helping everyone to understand the new systems. The dictionary definition of a HERO “is a person greatly admired for exceptional qualities and achievement”. For Bournemouth North Guides she definitely has these and Benny is recognised with a Hero Award.

Emma House is recognised with a Dorset Gentian Award for her work to promote the recruitment and retention of both volunteers and girls as Girlguiding Dorset’s Growth Membership Coordinator.  In addition to her roles as a rainbow, brownie, guide and ranger leader, Emma took on the division role of Dorset West Outdoor Activities Advisor to promote adventure to the young member and volunteers. In  2021 Emma accepted the role as county Growth Membership Coordinator which she does with incredible enthusiasm.  During the last two years Emma

has tirelessly ensured that Girlguiding is promoted at events such as the Dorchester Christmas Cracker event, Bournemouth University volunteer weeks, the Gillingham and Shaftesbury show, Jurassic Fields, celebrating the Queen’s Canopy and platinum jubilee, Bournemouth Half Marathon and has even been interviewed to promote Girlguiding on BBC Sounds on the Steve Harris show. Tailoring resources for county wide use, Emma promotes the inclusive and flexible aspects of Girlguiding. If leaders find it challenging to download, change or access these resources, Emma is always quick to offer to help, advise and support. Emma is passionate in supporting the promotion of awards for volunteers as well as promoting the celebration of gold awards received by younger members. More recently, Emma has guided the county through the re-branding of Girlguiding, producing new artwork for us to share on our outside world social media platforms. She is always ready to try new ideas and is never afraid to approach local businesses for support. Emma is without doubt a worthwhile recipient of the Dorset Gentian Brooch in recognition and acknowledgement of valued service in the promotion and/or support of guiding within and beyond Dorset. She has also truly kept her guiding promise to serve her community and help other people.

Newsletter October 2023

It’s October – the nights are drawing in and Halloween is upon us.  

Whether you celebrate this time of year as part of your faith, or you are strictly a plastic skeleton and fake cobwebs kind of person, it’s a good time to address those things we find a little bit scary.

Soooooooo….

Here are a couple of suggestions for things that I have been told are scary:-

Scary 1 – Writing an award nomination is scary because if I write how I feel it will all be splayed across a piece of paper for the person to see. 

Answer: Not so.  Your nomination will be taken with others and, if approved, will be amalgamated into a representation of what that person has done.  So, for example:

Flossy helped me when I was needing a friend to support me because I was the only person in my unit and feeling the pressure becomes…

…Flossy is a good friend, helping others in times of need.

Scary 2 – Joining the county team. I can’t join the county team – you all have so much experience – I don’t know everything!

Answer: no, me neither!  We all learn as we go along.  We all started (and most still are) unit leaders.  We have some knowledge but things change regularly so we are all really adept at looking things up.  

Consider one of the available roles on the website – go on you know you want tooooo.

What other Guiding things do you think are scary?  Let us know and see if we can allay your fears.

Some leaders took a leap of faith to join us at the GAW camp at Dudsbury.  Set up to encourage people to take their licence 4 units and several leaders attended to either update or do a bit of camping training.  Despite the rain for striking the camp there was lots of positive feedback and we hope to hold a similar event next year.

I’m looking forward to sharing our 2024 plans with you all shortly.  The team have come up with some great ideas to make 2024 our best year yet.

I hope to see some of you at a variety of trainings that are planned – do come up and say hello.

Catch up soon

Lisa

County Commissioner

Event and Training Calendar

From First Response training  and risk assessments to commissioners responsibility for finances, understanding Go and team building…

… why not take a look at the up coming events this autumn/winter.

First Response Training 16th December 

Who this event is for: Adult Volunteers

When: Saturday 16th December 2023 

Time: 9am/09:00 to 4pm/16:00

Where: County Office

Cost: £12.50

Please register by 1st December 2023

Approving REN forms and Risk Assessments

Who this event is for: Adult Members, Commissioners

When: Wednesday 25th October 2023  7pm – 9pm (19:00 – 21:00)

Where: County Office

Cost: FREE

What you will cover…

  • What to look for on the REN and risk assessment, adult roles, first response, ASS, ratios home contact, timing and when to say no
  • The online REN form

Training aimed primarily at new commissioners but open to all

Find out more or book your space now

Understanding the commissioners responsibility for finances

Who this event is for: Adult Volunteers, Commissioners

When: Saturday 2nd December  9am for 9.30 start until 11.30 (09:00 – 11:30) 

Where: County office 

Cost: FREE

What you will cover…

  • Understanding the commissioners responsibility for finances
  • Finance policy in relation to division, district and units
  • Banking
  • End of year review, assist and liabilities, when to escalate issues and to whom.

Click here to save your space now

Coming soon: Understanding GO for commissioners and how to build a team

Who this event is for: Adult Members, Commissioners

What you will cover…

  • Looking up unit information running reports to show units without 1st response and ASS3, leader details, reports answering commissioner questions
  • What to look for when building your team.

Date: To be confirmed – please come back to this page to check

We Are Recruiting: County Awards Committee Administrator

We are delighted to announce a new volunteer opportunity of a County Awards Committee Administrator within Girlguiding Dorset County.

Is this the role for you?

If you have an interest in the recognition of excellence within Girlguiding and have great organisational and communication skills, please contact Lisa Upward, County Commissioner at lisa@girlguidingdorset.org.uk.

For the full role description, visit our website to find out more.

Applications are Now Open!

We are very pleased to be able to announce that applications for the 2024National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra (NSGSO)and National Scout & Guide Concert Band (NSGCB) course are now open.

If you would would like to know more, please visit our website or to apply for the 2024 NSGSO or NSGCB course, please visit nsgso-nsgcb.com.

Many thanks,

Alice Coomer

NSGSO and NSGCB Coordinator (Publicity)

Newsletter September 2023

Welcome back!

I hope you have all had a great summer. 

I have been busy over the summer with needlefelting, Brownie Holiday, a trip to Twynham to give Josie Spencer a much deserved Hero Award, meeting with some of the blue team and the annual task of sorting my Brownie accounts ready for an external check.  I know some of you met at Kingston Lacey for a picnic and there have been some cracking pictures of camps, holidays and carnivals.

Throughout the summer Emma and her helpers have been to Melplash Show and Dorset County show.  There are some great photos – I hope you managed to see them there.  Thank you to everyone who has helped.

This month there will be a Brownie and Guide trip to Brownsea and the Going Away With camp.  

Talking of camping – we are considering a county camp for 2026.  We are really keen to hear your ideas so we have set up a form for all sections.

Please make sure that you let your girls have it so we can take on their views too. There is a paper copy to do with a unit if you wish – please ask Alison at the office. Closing date is the end of September.

Finally, over the holidays I have appointed a new Young Leader co-ordinator for County.  

Gill Clark can be contacted on YLcoordinator@girlguidingdorset.org.uk and introduces herself below. With the new YL qualification on its way soon this is a perfect time to welcome someone to the role.  

We have set up a form here for YL’s to tell us what they want to see from the group.  We will send to them all separately but please do pass this on to those in your units.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all over the autumn term.

Best wishes

Lisa

County Commissioner

Meet Gill, our new Young Leader Co-ordinator…

Hi, 

I’m Gill and have been working with Colehill District for the last 20 years, in a range of roles and support with all units.

Before retiring, I worked in secondary education, through which I gained experience and skills to work with Young People; I remain aware of the many challenges society may present all our girls + leaders, and am confident to offer appropriate support as needed.

Post pandemic I have become increasingly passionate about supporting Girlguiding. I am an active recruiter and keen to help futureproof units for years to come. 

Our Young Leaders are such a valuable resource to Girlguiding and I am excited to begin working with them to support their journey, develop their skills and ensure they can access opportunities and adventures. I am also really keen to get alongside Unit Leaders, so we can work in partnership to support our Young Leaders progress to whatever level they choose.

Your Learning Opportunities: BOOK NOW!

1st Response Training; Wednesday 27th September

When: Weds 27th September, 18:30 to 21:30

Attendees to arrive 10 mins early please for a prompt start

Where: Session at the County Office

Cost: £6.00

Please register here by 20th September 2023

The follow up, obligatory on-line part will be Wednesday 4th October via Zoom. Time 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

Autumn County Catch Up Day; Saturday 4th November

Empowering you through fun, friendship, challenge and adventure.

Join us at our County Catch Up Day…

Little bit of training, networking, being social with like minded people.

Time for you!

Date: Saturday 4th November 2023

Time: 9.30am until 3.30pm

Where: St Edward’s School, Dale Valley Road, Poole BH15 3HY

Who can attend: All volunteers including young leaders from within Dorset

What to Wear: Uniform

What to Bring: Packed lunch. Refreshments will be provided.

Inclusion: Please let us know if you need any additional support or information to help you attend the training.

You can sign up for morning, afternoon or both.

Morning session A (10.00am-11.00am)

•        Exploring the promise yourself and with your unit; OR

•        Getting your head around inclusion for young members; OR

•        Understanding & supporting the Leadership Development Programme

Morning session B (11.30am-12.30pm)

•        Bringing the outdoors in; OR

•        Having difficult conversations; OR

•        Exploring the promise yourself and with your unit

Afternoon session (1.30pm-3.30pm)

•        Crafts for your units that adults want to keep; OR

•        Outdoor cooking for all ages

•        Playing with science, coding and engineering in guiding

Cost:   £6 for a half day and £12 for whole day which should be claimed back from unit funds.

For more information and to book your space visit our website here.

If you have any questions re admin for the event contact office@girlguidingdorset.org.uk

Newsletter August 2023

Shhh… it’s the holiday season – I may even say it’s getting quiet.

Over the summer I am working on the County Strategy for 2024 with the help of the Blue Team and having a week away with my Brownies.

As you can see below the team (including Alison at the office) are all having a bit of a break. I hope that the sun shines for all of your camps, holidays and sleepovers and that you all get a chance for a personal break and will be back bright and breezy in September. 

In our continuing series introducing our Blue Team members, below is a little bit about Emma House – our Growth and Retention lead.

Thank you for all you do for Girlguiding.

Best wishes,

Lisa

County Commissioner

Hello Emma here!

If you don’t know me, I am the Growth and Retention lead for Dorset and part of the Blue team.

G&R – What is that?  Well, the short of it is Growing our membership (adults and children) & retaining our adult and child members.

This year we have attended Gillingham & Shaftesbury Spring Show and are booked into Melplash Show with a county stand promoting Girlguiding and are awaiting confirmation about 2 further events.  We also have supported many of you by providing equipment and resources to use on your own stands at localised events with which you have all been doing fantastic jobs! We couldn’t increase our membership without a team effort!

Information and guidance are also regularly shared via our Girlguiding Dorset leaders page which is a hub of info, ideas and a great place to show what works for your unit.  Please if you haven’t already consider joining this page using this link.

We also create badges & associated challenges which can be found on the website.

This year we have secured some adult member activities the next being the wander at Kingston Lacy House (NT) in August meeting up for a group picnic, a glass workshop in September which is fast filling up and a willow wreath making workshop in November please book onto these so as not to miss out and ensure payments are made asap. These will be a great way to meet leaders from other areas of our county as well as being great fun!

It’s hard to believe that another school year is over and a new one just about to begin as are our units returning after the summer break!

With that in mind please do consider completing the lend a hand challenge with your units it can be completed in a unit meeting or over a few sessions with the onus being on volunteering at least one hour to a charity (Girlguiding is included). The Challenge and badges are available from our website now at only £1.25 per badge inclusive of postage.  Find the challenge badge here.

I shall be looking at new badges and adult activities for the next year and am happy to take ideas from you all as to what you would like to have a go at!

Please email them to me growth@girlguidingdorset.org.uk – no promises but I will certainly see what I can arrange!

If anyone is interested in G&R or if you may know of someone who is interested, I do have some limited spaces to join me at this years region conference at Taunton Cricket club on the 18th November.  There are different workshops available and you get fed!! For FREE!! Fancy it?? Email me at the above email address and let me know.     

Best wishes for the summer,

Emma

Holiday update

  • I am away on Brownie holiday for a week from 6th August.  I will still pick up emails but may be slower at replying.
  • Ann Smith-Nicholls is having a break over August from badge orders.  She will start to fulfil orders again in September.
  • Alison (office) will be away 11th – 28th August and the office will be closed.

Newsletter July 2023

Well July already…. How did that happen?

What cracking weather we have had – an opportunity to do all the outside things.  Lets hope the dry weather continues (if a little less muggy) for the camping and holiday season.

So many of you are heading away with your units – thank you for giving up your holiday to give our young members a chance to experience holidays away from their families.  Our Brownies  go away as three units together to help us spread the load and I understand this year I am the white rabbit – constantly late for an important date!

Last week I went to the Gentian meal.  So lovely to meet with all the current and ex- leaders who have been awarded this special award.  The quiz was a bit too difficult this time – note for next year!

In the next week or so I will be visiting several Division meetings, going to the watersports events, learning to needlefelt and finalising the GAW taster camp.  With camps in mind we are thinking of a county camp on 2026.  There is a survey coming out for your to do with your girls or for them to do with their parents.  Please do answer it so we know if a County Camp is what people really want.

Finally, watch out for the last minute opportunity to take Brownies and Guides to Brownsea and the adults events that have been organised. 

I hope to see you at one event or another over the next few weeks. Come and say hi.

Lisa

County Commissioner

First Response Evidence

Please could we remind those that need to present their 1st Response evidence to do so via this link

If you have a pin number for your profession, please submit this with your latest BLS/ILS/ALS certificate.

 (The form on that webpage will be updated shortly).

Equipment to Loan

With many activities and events happening over the summer, here’s a quick reminder that there are lots of resources available to borrow from county office that include…

Recruitment KitsIndoor ArcheryPromotional MaterialsBadge Making Kit
Musical Instruments
EncousticsCircus SkillsPyrographyJengaGazebo

To view the full range, fees and how to reserve please visit the website.

Alternatively you may email the county office if you have any questions.

Gold Awards

There has been a cost increase for the GOLD awards.  Please can you download the new request sheet HERE when ordering. Thank you.

Newsletter June 2023

It’s volunteers week and naturally my thoughts go to all the amazing leaders out there who run so many units (some more than one).  

I have spent a little bit of time this month going around to see units and presenting GOLD awards.  What a joy it is to see the members who have achieved so much during their times in each section.  I have also had the pleasure of presenting Hero, Ammonite and service awards to many volunteers.  We are blessed in Dorset with Leaders and Unit helpers all of whom are committed to allowing girls be the best they can be.

I am aware that many of you, like me, have strong feelings about the announcement of the closure of the TACS – especially Foxlease.  As a member of Foxlease Singing Circle and a friend of Foxlease I have strong ties to our home in the forest.  I would encourage you to send your feelings to the email address  enquiries.property@girlguiding.org.uk – I understand they are being collated and handed on.  I have already sent my thoughts.   I am equally happy to represent your feelings through region if you want to let me know at lisa@girlguidingdorset.org.uk.  Please head your email “Training centres” so I can find them easily.  If you would like to chat to me about it let me know.

You will see below that I have asked Carolyn Harmer to come on board the Blue Team to be our Commissioner Support lead.  Carolyn has just finished being a Division Commissioner in West and will be looking after new Commissioners to make sure they have support in their roles.  Welcome (again) Carolyn.

Finally, thank you so much for all you do, for every meeting, holiday, camp and trip.  The whole of the County leadership team truly appreciate what you do – We can’t do it without you.

Best wishes,

Lisa

County Commissioner

Volunteer’s week will soon be upon us at the beginning of June (1st to 7th) so now is a good time to start thinking about how the County will be showing its appreciation to its volunteers. Lots of helpful information can be found here

Introducing our new Commissioner Support Lead

We are delighted to announce that Carolyn Harmer is going to be our Commissioner Support Lead and joining the Blue Team.

You can contact her via email: Commissionersupport@girlguidingdorset.org.uk

Newsletter May 2023

It’s time for our May newsletter…

May reminds me of dancing around maypoles in bitter and miserable weather so I hope we get better luck this year with all the bank holidays!

Talking of reminiscing – I received a lovely write-up that Sarah Roberts from Twynham has written for the Christchurch Historical Society.

It has some great pictures and stories of Twynham during the war –  have a look here…

Thank you Sarah for sending me a copy and if anyone else has some interesting facts about their Division do let me know.

As part of the Kings Coronation we have launched our Lend a Hand badge that will help us record all the helping hours we do.  It is for Rainbows – Trefoil.  It’s a lovely badge and there are some certificates that can be downloaded – thank you G & R team but especially Ingrid and Emma for the hard work that has gone into it.  

If each member of Girlguiding Dorset does 1 hour of helping we will top 4500 hours!  Give it a try and don’t forget to let the office know how many hours you have done each week and we will update the totaliser.

Finally, don’t forget to look at all the watersports events we have on offer and watch out for a GAW opportunity in the next few weeks.

Best wishes,

Lisa

County Commissioner

Lend A Hand Badge

To mark His Majesty The King’s Coronation thousands of organisations across the country are getting together to give us all the chance to help out in our own local communities.

At Girlguiding Dorset, we are always keen to ‘lend a hand’ and hope to encourage girls and leaders to take part and log their volunteering time.

You can read more and find out how to order your badges here.

Looking for badge and programme ideas to introduce to your unit? Find our resources page here.

External First Aid Certificates

Do you have an external first aid certificate?

Perhaps you did a course at work?

There is a new region team to help with verifying your certificates and mapping it against the Girlguiding 1st Response syllabus.

Please:-

  • complete the short 1st Response eLearning course which takes around 15 minutes to complete; simply search within the learning platform or click here

Your certificate will be passed to one of the team of volunteers to be checked, they will contact you directly if they have any queries and once, they are happy, Emma will update your GO record accordingly. If you are a Commissioner, you no longer need to check the certificate, instead pass on the above process to the volunteer. This is a new process so please be patient with us.

Thank you.

What’s On This Summer – BOOK NOW

Paddle, surf and kayak…

This is your opportunity to experience a range of exciting activities by coming along to one of our Dorset County Watersports Activity Days 8/9th July.

Or traverse the Swanage coastline and book your space on our Coasteering Climbing day with Land and Wave near Swanage 9th July.

Visit our website to check eligibility and find out more