What’s been happening in our County?




Wellies & Wristbands
When it comes to your Queen’s Guide award, there’s much that you do as friends and with people you know. However, for your Residential Event you have to seek out new adventures with people you don’t know, to come out of your comfort zone and try something new. It was with that in mind that I found myself at Wellies and Wristbands over the bank holiday weekend, the Girlguiding music festival held every summer at Foxlease and Waddow Hall. Any worries about being around people I didn’t know quickly dissipated. All it took was moving 6 picnic benches from one field to anther and we had found a group of friends that we would spend the evening with and would pop to say hello to throughout the weekend. Our ability to make new friends is one of the things I love best about being in guiding. My official role was on the Meet and Greet team at Foxlease, and I took on a variety of roles throughout the weekend including: searching through the towering pile of Wellies uniform to give to units as they arrived, manning the info point dressed in a Pikachu onesie where I was ambushed by several girls wielding pegs with their unit name on, and wrangling the swimming queue in the rain where I was taught several new games, a song in Welsh and the banana version of Singing in the Rain. You have to hear it to believe it! It was sometimes tiring and sometime soaking, but also very fun, and no matter how tired I feel as I put away my sleeping bag you can guarantee I’m already looking forward to the next one.
Isabel, Seahaven Division
 
                                 

Photos:

One of the pegs I was ambushed with whilst wearing the Pikachu Onesie - Thanks Woodley Guides!
Screamapillar was one of the girls favourite songs when we took our unit last year, so I had to take a photo!
The Ministry of Magic I stumbled across in the volunteer field. I hope I didn't make any wizards late for work!
The mountain of uniform was what I was handing out to units on my first day. Surprisingly that was about half the size it was when I started!
 

Snail Trail
It's nearly time to go on a Snail Hunt, 
For anyone not sure what Snailway is all about! it will be an exciting sculputure trail around Brighton and Hove, In the past there have been similiar trails in various City's around the UK, Elephants, Snowdogs, Owls, and Shaun sheep to name but a few.

Where will Bluebell be hiding? Location will be revealed at a later date!
Our Junior Snail has been safely and peacefully whiling away the Summer at Snailspace HQ, but with the Snailway art trail going live from 15th September, Bluebell will soon be on the move to her new location somewhere around Brighton and Hove.
Below is the timetable for Snailway.
Saturday 15 September
Snailway goes live! All 50 of our giant Snail sculptures will be on the streets and free to visit for the next 9 weeks.
 
Friday 12 October
Snailway Safari: A ‘glow-slow’ night time sponsored walk around 22 of our Snail sculptures. For one night only, expect to see a glowing spectacular of lanterns, lights and sounds. Tickets for this event are already available: https://www.themartlets.org.uk/Event/snailway-safari
 
Friday 19 October
#BeMoreSnail day: We are inviting everybody to celebrate the theme of the event with their own #BeMoreSnail activities on this day. Slow down, focus and enjoy the time you have with the people you love. Whether it’s a lunch time meditation session, a family walk or simply time to yourself, whatever you do make sure you #BeMoreSnail.
 
Sunday 18 November
Last day of the Snailway.
Saturday 1 – Sunday 2 December
Farewell Event
Join us to say Farewell to all 107 Snails at the Brighton Center for one last hurrah!
 
Monday 2 December
Auction
Our much loved 50 giant Snails will be going under the hammer and sold to lucky bidders. Anyone can register to attend this event, so if you are interested in bidding on a Snail please get in touch.
 
To keep up to date with latest news and info about Snailspace, visit our website: https://www.snailspacebrighton.co.uk/ and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the handle @spacespacebh or the hashtag #BeMoreSnail.
Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from across the county drew pictures or told us their favourite things they have done in guiding. All of these activities will be on offer as we launch our new programme with six new themes: know myself, express myself, be well, have adventures, take action and skills for my future as shown on the snail.

To see more of Bluebell you will have to visit Snailway, This will make a great Division/District/Unit activity.
There will be a Challenge to work with the Snailway, details later.

What do you call a female Snail?..........................................................    Meshell! smiley


 

Hastings Division

4th Hastings Guides
The 4th Guides are doing a kindness challenge this term, they did an evening about being kind to ourselves and mental health, this week was random acts of kindness for strangers. Girls who complete five acts of kindness receive a challenge badge put together by 3rd Burnham brownies. Below is a response we received via the Division Website.
I would like to thank the 4th Hastings Guides group for making my day on Thursday 21st June. They were handing out roses to people at Aldi in Ore Village. I found mine on my works van with a message saying I rocked. I had a particularly hard day at work, and it brought a smile to my face.
Thank you
Colin

Bright yellow van driver..
Well done Girls, a credit to Girlguiding Hastings.
 
  
New Assistant Chief Guide.
Meet Emma our new Assistant Chief Guide.

Emma started her guiding career as a young leader in 2007. Since then, she’s held a variety of roles in guiding, including being a peer educator. Emma’s currently a leader of a Senior Section unit and sits on both the Girlguiding Council and the Business Management and Finance Committee for Girlguiding Scotland. She’s also a Girlguiding qualified trainer, a county Senior Section adviser and is part of Girlguiding Scotland’s international team. Outside of guiding Emma is a solicitor. 

I am honoured to take up the role of assistant chief guide. I am passionate about our organisation and know the ability it has to empower, inspire and change the lives of girls and young women. I am excited to continue spreading that message and to meet more of our dedicated and inspiring volunteers and members. - Emma

CONGRATULATIONS

Our very own M&C chair, Helen Osborne was mentioned in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Helen was awarded the M.B.E. for services to adult education in her role as principal at the Friends Centre in Brighton. Congratulations Helen on recieving the award it is well deserved and Girlguiding Sussex East County are very proud and honoured to have you in our midst, Helen who has yet to be presented with her award, but when the day comes I am sure the photo's will soon appear here.
Below is a short extract of Helen's acceptance speech.




Helen has said:
“I am very honoured to be receiving an MBE and this honour represents all that we do here at Friends Centre. I am very lucky to have a supportive team and set of trustees to ensure we are able to help over 1,100 learners each year through our courses and more with those who receive support through our projects".

    


Helen on hearing the good news!!smiley                    Principal Helen.

Watersports
This Summer has seen Girls take to the water in various forms. The old favourites like Raft building/Sailing and Kayaking were joined by the relativily new sport of SUP stand up paddle boarding. 17 Guides enjoyed a cool summer evening on the Cuckmere where after the activity 3 Girls from the 4th Uckfield Guides were made their promise on the slipway to round of the evening, The activities have been headed up by County water adviser Dorinda Dodd and also Helen Osborne. 

 

 

#LOL
 

Over 200 Guides converged on Blacklands on the Royal wedding day to enjoy #lol (laugh on larks / learn on larks / lark on larks) the jury is still out on that one.  The sun shone and sun cream was applied for an action packed day of fun.
Activities included an inflatable obstacle course, flying planes, Swoove, S'mores and craft activities. Also popping by on his very special day was HRH Prince Harry for a photo opportunity!!.
 


 





Guiding Star
Poppy Parkinson an 8 year old Brownie from Hastings Division was awarded Girlguiding's Guiding Star award at an afternoon tea presentation in June, 

Poppy received this special award for her actions in August 2017 when whilst staying with her father he suddenly collapsed.
7 year old Poppy used his mobile phone to call an ambulance, this enabled the Paramedics who attended to resuscitate James (her father) and transfer him to the Conquest Hospital.
Sadly James passed away the following day, but due to Poppy’s actions it gave time for the family to say their final goodbye’s one thing that arose from this was that James was an organ donor and to our knowledge at least four people have benefited from this.
Poppy now 8 was presented her Guiding star award at a special presentation at the Stade Hall on Sunday.
Sally Christmas, Girlguiding Regional Commissioner for London and South East Region presented Poppy with the award and certificate, Poppy also received a letter of commendation from the Chief Guide.

Also earlier in the year on February 22nd which coincidently is Girlguiding World Thinking day, Poppy was awarded a public Commendation from South East Coast Ambulance service for her actions.
The presentation ceremony was attended by Poppy’s family, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Hastings, SECAmb, From Girlguiding Sussex East County Patron Sara Stoner, President Glyn Martin, County Commissioner Linda Dupret and members from Girlguiding Hastings Division.
Poppy is a very brave young lady and an inspiration to Girlguiding and has created a lasting Legacy.

The award is given to any member of Girlguiding between the ages of 5 and 26 for courage and bravery under duress whilst facing a difficult situation.
This is only the second award of its kind to be presented in the Region in the past 3 years.
 
 

Peacehaven Senior Section had a great day at HQ trialing new activities and having their input into the outlay of the activities. 
They interacted with other groups on the new programme and got to see first hand what is in the future for them.


 
Unfortunately no photos allowed - Have to settle for them on the balcony with Buckingham Palace in the background! 

DISNEYLAND 2017
 

In October half term 2017 a group of 50 Guides, Senior section and leaders from Girlguiding Hastings Division travelled for a four day trip to Disneyland Paris.

 

 We left Hastings early on Monday morning and travelled   by coach to Folkestone where we took the shuttle to   Calais. We then drove for 4 hours arriving at our   accommodation at PGL chateau de Grande Romaine in   the early evening.

  The next day everyone was so excited as we were   going  to Disneyland Paris. We split up into smaller   groups, and experienced the exciting rides and shows   that the parks offer. We stayed in the parks all day, Meeting Disney favourites like Minnie,Micky and Pluto as well as Pinnochio, leaving very late at night after watching an amazing firework and light show over the Disney castle. It was truly magical. We got back to the accommodation very tired, but went straight to bed ready   for an early start the next day.

 On Wednesday we returned to the parks to do the rides and see the   shows  we had not seen on Tuesday. We left Disneyland earlier that day   returning to have dinner at the Chateau de Grande Romaine. After dinner   one of the PGL staff did an indoor activity with the girls. We then had a   surprise presentation. One of our leaders Clare had achieved her Queens   Guide award. Clare had worked extremely hard to get this award and was   presented with it at the Houses of Parliament. As Clare was a leader with   the Blacklands Brownies before moving away earlier in the year we   wanted to put on a celebration for her from us. So we had a special cake   made, and gave her a card and present. It was a complete surprise to her, and  nice  for us to be able to recognise her achievement. After all the   excitement of the day we returned to our rooms to   pack as we were sadly going home the next day.
           

 Thursday we left the accommodation waving goodbye   to our PGL friends including Heather  and Luke who   had looked after us so well during our stay. We drove   for several hours again finally reaching Calais to catch   the shuttle back to Folkestone, stopping for lunch on   the way.

 

 We watched films on the coach to pass the time. Late on Thursday afternoon we arrived back in Hastings to meet our parents and carers. We were all very tired but had had an amazing experience.

 


Switzerland

4th Lewes Guides do Switzerland!
 
This year, 2017, 4th Lewes Guides celebrated their 70th anniversary. It was a year of celebrations which culminated in a 6 day visit to Switzerland in October.
It was originally planned that we would stay at Our Chalet, 
but due to building work at the World Centre we changed plans and stayed at the World Scout Centre at Kandersteg. It was a great alternative and the ease of access from the railway station to the centre, compared to accessing Our Chalet high up  the mountain certainly gave it many Brownie points in my book.
It was a busy week, we saw a ice hockey match, went climbing and abseiling and took the vernacular train up the Jungfrau, the highest mountain in Switzerland. Here we visited the Ice Palace where one of our Guides made her Promise, 4,158 metres above sea level.


We did make it to Our Chalet for a visit and pinned one of our 70th anniversary badges to their badge board. From here we hiked across the valley to the famous Trummer Wood carvers at   Adelboden, a must see place as the entire ceiling is covered with guides and scout badges and it is here that you  purchase the trefoil woggles and name badges.

Weather in Switzerland can be mixed, we saw snowfall and sunshine during our time there. There is plenty to do and activities are easily booked from the UK or via the programme advisor at either Kandersteg or Our Chalet. We purchased a 3 day Scout and Guide travel pass and used this on boats, trains and the bus, transport in Switzerland was really easy to use with the guides.



We had a really great time, organisation was relatively easy, and I  would say Switzerland is an excellent choice if you are considering organising your first international.
Lisa Wakeling
Lewes Division


Crowborough Rainbows

Members of the 2nd Crowborough Rainbows recently took part in two CPR awareness evenings.
In the first week two Crowborough First responders Sara Chick and Bloss Spink, came to our meeting and explained to Rainbows what to do if they found someone collapsed on the floor. This led to them showing Rainbows how to do the recovery position and CPR. 
 The girls loved practising the recovery position on each other and their leaders, and were surprised how easy it was to move an adult.  Several parents were practised on at home that evening too!
  
The following week the Rainbows looked at how to contact emergency services on a variety of phones including old style dial and push button as well as mobiles.  
The Rainbows then made their own cup and string phones and used them to practise calling 999.
The meeting ended after a bandaging session, with the 15 girls receiving ‘Well Done’ badges.

 
One of the Rainbows said “We now know what to do but our parents might not so we could tell them”
 
 Rainbow Leader Sapphire said
“The girls were so enthusiastic – they all got something really worthwhile from the sessions”. 
 



1st Blatchington Guides
 

We have had a busy year, with a trip to PGL Windmill Hill , the girls had a great time on the zip wire, giant swing, raft building, fencing, canoeing and team building activities, not to mention the midnight feasts in their cabins!
 
We also had a lot of fun down at Cuckmere Haven on a balmy July evening mastering paddleboarding.

As part of our regular outdoor activities we had a barbeque at the Rookery at Bishopstone, camp fire as Sealarks and shelter building at Friston Forest.
 
Back inside the patrols had a “Great Guiding Cake Competition” and three of our older girls got their BP awards up at the campsite.

 
We have had quite a good intake of new girls coming up from Brownies this term and so we’re looking forward to introducing them all to the fun and adventure to be had at guides.
 
Julie Epsom : assistant leader 1st Blatchington guides 

Uckfield District
 
Units from Uckfield have been getting into the Christmas Spirit,
2nd Uckfield Brownies had a fantastic festive afternoon at the Bluebell Railway on their Santa special train.

Each girl received some chocolate coins whilst the leaders received a mince pie  shortly after that the girls had a visit from Santa 🎅on the train and received a present 🎁.



The train continued to Horsted Keynes station where the girls got to visit the reindeer, have photos in Santa’s sleigh, visit Santa in his grotto and had great fun in the mirror room.
 



They then travelled back to Sheffield Park and were visited once again by Santa who got them singing Christmas songs and finally they had a go on the Victorian merry go round.
A lovely day had by all.
A fun evening was had by all at 2nd Uckfield Brownies Christmas Party
They hired a bouncy castle disco for the evening.

All girls found the stockings they made last week were filled and they received a present from secret Santa.

As well as party food they made reindeer from soap and flannels.
5 girls got to make their promise on the bouncy castle and we sadly said goodbye to six 10 year old girls who jumped over the toadstool. We wish them all the best for the future.
Thank you to the parents for sharing part of this evening with us, we hope you all have a lovely Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in 2018.

Meanwhile the 4th Uckfield Guides were joined By the Chiddingly Guides for a Winter Wonderland weekend at St. Barts residential Church in Barcombe.



The girls arrived on Saturday morning and we immediately set them to work making paper chains to decorate the hall as well as Christmas crackers,sewing felt stockings, painting ceramic baubles, rolling and printing their own clay decorations,
making pom pom baubles and 3D Christmas cards.
 


The leaders had also added decorations to the hall, and Christmas elves,

Angus & Flora also joined the party to add some festive cheer. The girls played games, watched Christmas movies and drank hot chocolate before bedtime.


The second day of 4th Uckfield & Chiddingly Guides' Winter Wonderland weekend was all about food! After a breakfast of croissants the girls donned aprons and swirled icing on top of cupcakes to make fairy light cakes, melted chocolate over marshmallows for penguin marshmallows, made and cut gingerbread shapes which, when turned upside down, became rudolph jammy dodgers, and blended gingerbread men with cream cheese to make delicious snowman truffles, complete with rolo top hats.
 


We cooked and ate Christmas lunch, using the woolly hat place names and crackers made the previous day to decorate the hall, and played a game of 'pass the sprout'.
 

The girls cleaned and tidied their bedrooms and the sitting area, before gathering all of their creations and presents (hand drawn personalised mugs from the leaders, and stationery sets discovered in their stockings under the tree) together ready for home time. We hope that all Guides enjoyed their weekend and that they have a lovely Christmas! We hope to see you all again in a few weeks time in the new year!

 
 

Heathfield District
 

Wednesday 13th December was a very proud day for Girlguiding Heathfield, as five of their Guides were presented with their Baden-Powell Challenge Award at their end-of-term Christmas Party. The Baden-Powell Award is the highest award a Guide can achieve and it is a genuine challenge for these girls, designed to push their boundaries and encourage them to try new things. All five girls have spent the past year working really hard to achieve the challenge by running meetings at their unit, trying to create more healthy lifestyles for themselves, looking into ways of helping others and the environment and much more. Some of the girls carried out some charity work for Raystede, the animal shelter, raising awareness of what they do and helping raise some money to support the charity whilst others investigated the harmful impact of all our rubbish and went litter picking to try and improve their local environment. At the end of the challenge the girls were required to attend a special Baden-Powell Adventure, so they spent a long weekend with a group of other candidates for the award learning lots of new crafts to bring back to their unit and preparing themselves for the next step of their Guiding journey. Unfortunately Grace was not well enough to attend the surprise presentation, but Lucy, Jasmine, Chloe and Sophie were all thrilled when their District Commissioner arrived to present them with their hard-earned badges and certificates. You can see the four girls pictured with their District Commissioner and proud Leaders Daynna and Aimee who supported them through the challenge. Heathfield District is extremely proud of the girls and all their hard work and was thrilled to have as many as five girls to present this esteemed award too.



SANGAM
 

. Sangam - Developing your Potential  1st to 17th August
 
On the 1st August 2017, 16 very excited leaders from Sussex East County, including the County and Assistant County Commissioner, jetted off to India, for the experience of a lifetime.
  


We flew to Mumbai and then took a four hour coach ride to Pune.  Sangam was very welcoming and the experience began on 3rd August, with a wonderful welcoming ceremony.  We each were given a flower garland around our necks and tumeric powder, in red and yellow, was placed on the centre of our forehead.  For good luck we were each given a mouthful of coconut and sugar.  Finally we went to light a candle, around a beautiful brass ornament traditionally used by Indian people.  Professional photos were taken of this occasion.
Our first experience of Pune, was a ride in a auto rickshaw.  A memorable and on occasions quite scary experience, as you weave in and out the traffic.  We visited a paper factory which made traditional paper with recycled cotton. It was fascinating and many old methods were used, in a labour intensive factory, with many Indians doing very simple jobs.  On the next day we ventured into Pune city, which was very busy.  We experienced a bus ride, which was packed with people.  As we walked through the street bazaar, it was festooned with colour and excitement.  We went into a beautiful sari and punjabi suit shop, with all of us ordering one or more of these items, to be made to measure by the tailor.  I think we were all shocked at how cheap everything was in the shop. Some of us were carried away and ordered loads of items!
We were treated to a meal out in a vegetarian restaurant with delicious curry and sampled the famous lime soda. Then we had an evening auto rickshaw ride home which was memorable. 

 
The next day we chose our community projects.  I was at a construction site creche, with around 100 people.  The children and staff were delightful and so full of enthusiasm for our activities. We started a project with the older children, for three days on conserving water.  We made water catchers, to see how much water they could collect, we made filters and conducted a range of simple science experiments with the children.  In the afternoons we did creative work making friendship bracelets, Indian God Gnash posters and Indian flags for independence day on 15th August.  It was great fun and also brought home to us the simple but happy lives Indian people lived. They gave us all paper flowers as we left.  A memorable few days where we felt we made a difference, in a simple way.

As our time at Sangam drew to a close, we did the Pune Challenge in a auto rickshaw to visit certain sites around the city.   It was great fun.  Over the course of the days at Sangam, we also had sessions on WAGGGS issues, like Free to be me and Stop the Violence. 
On the last day we each received a certificate and a pin, to remember our time there, in such a magical place.

We made many new Girlguiding friends from Herts, Staffs and Essex. 
As we left Sangam we took a coach to Mumbai and stayed in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. What a beautiful place!  Pure luxury.  Everyone had cocktails and a lovely meal in the restaurant, by the pool.
The beds and air conditioning were heaven!  We saw India gate and the hotel was lit up with green, white and orange lights to symbolise the Indian flag for independence day.  The next morning we travelled to Mumbai airport, to take the plane to Delhi just an hour and 20 minutes by air.  We arrived at our hotel, which had a supermarket underneath and parade of shops.  

The next day we went to old Delhi to have a bike rickshaw ride, which was great fun and so busy, bright and vibrant through the spice bazaar.  We visited a mosque and Sikh temple, which served 7000 meals a day, to anyone rich or poor who lived or worked in the area.  We had never seen such big pans and an amazing flow line of volunteers to make it happen, quite inspirational. The next day we travelled to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. It was also the County Commissioners birthday, so she had Happy Birthday sung to her on entering the coach and had a delicious cake, at the restaurant where we stopped for a meal.  A lovely surprise.  
 
We were taken to a luxury hotel in Agra and again enjoyed a lovely evening. We saw the Taj Mahal at sunset, in the garden opposite and then early the next morning went at sunrise.
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