Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a primary school teacher who taught for twenty years and more recently started tutoring maths at home. I live in Ware and have two daughters, who no longer live at home now.
What do you do within your volunteering role/roles?
I am the ‘Brown Owl’ at a Brownie unit in Stanstead Abbott’s and have run the unit for eleven years. This involves organising with a team of young leaders and other leaders what we will do for the term with our girls. It involves organising pack holidays, sleepovers at museums, going cycling, sailing, trips to lots of different places and organising crafts. It is very much a team effort for the benefit of the girls. We also take part in District events where all the girls come together for events such as St George’s Day, the Ware Carnival, a special carol service, trip to the zoo and many more.
A year ago I became the joint district Commissioner for Ware which means that two of us sort any problems and celebrate any successes of the 12 Rainbow, Brownie, Guide and Ranger units in the Ware area.
How long have you been a volunteer?
I have been involved with guiding about 20 years.
Why did you decide to start volunteering?
I got involved with Girlguiding when the Rainbow pack my daughter was at was closing as the leaders were leaving, I stepped in with a friend and it was hard work especially with two children aged 7 and 3 at that time and I was working part time too. But it was really rewarding. Later I took on a Brownie pack which was also closing and have loved that and my daughter was a young leader I have run the Brownies for 11 years now. I have never been a Brownie or Guide so it was all new to me too.
Why would you recommend volunteering to others?
I would recommend volunteering with Girlguiding as it is so rewarding. You see girls go from being so nervous about speaking at their enrolment to become confident girls at 10. They have so many opportunities in a safe environment. They sleep away from home, they try lots of new activities outside their comfort zone such as cycling, sailing, and abseiling and they make new friends outside their school. You are also part of a team and that is lovely too. Everyone in Girlguiding is friendly and enjoy being involved.
Is there anything you’ve been doing specifically relating to or because of Coronavirus that you’d like to tell us about?
In the last year my brownies began to meet on Zoom last March. I think it kept me sane having something so positive to focus on. We even zoomed on Easter Monday! We started delivering packs to one porch and the girls collected their craft packs from there. We have got very good I think at being online. One of our team came up with amazing crafts and we did science experiments. We also made cards for a care home, delivered plants with a nice message to individuals that we felt had made a difference, sent cards to grandparents and when we could meet, we did a litter pick in the woods.