Clitheroe teens are ‘Guiding Idols’

Lancashire East winners (L-R) Katey Anderson, President Suzie Reynolds, Lucy Simkin, Kelsie Greatorex and Briony Taylor. (s)
Lancashire East winners (L-R) Katey Anderson, President Suzie Reynolds, Lucy Simkin, Kelsie Greatorex and Briony Taylor. (s)

Inspirational Girlguiding volunteers Kelsie Greatorex (18) and 15-year-old Lucy Simkin, from Clitheroe, received an unforgettable surprise when a group of girls and young women recognised them for their volunteer efforts.

The teenagers have recently been named among 64 “Guiding Idols” in Girlguiding North West England – a campaign led by the regional charity to recognise its volunteers for their efforts.

This year’s celebration was extra special, as it fell within The Senior Section Centenary. Girlguiding’s Senior Section is open to all girls aged 14 to 25, offering a host of amazing opportunities to older girls in guiding – from international travel and outdoor adventure sports to peer mentoring, advocacy and leadership skills.

Girlguiding North West England members were asked to nominate a Guiding Idol – a volunteer that they felt was an inspirational role model. Following the nominations, a youth panel of girls and young women, aged five to fourteen, were tasked with the difficult challenge of selecting nominees from each of the charity’s seventeen guiding counties.

The youth panel announced that they had selected 64 volunteers from across the North West and that each Guiding Idol would be invited to attend a special celebration afternoon at Girlguiding North West England’s Region Headquarters in Preston. The event included thought-provoking activities, a mocktail masterclass for the winners and an afternoon tea with a twist. Amid the celebrations, Kelsie and Lucy received a “Region Thanks” badge from the Region Chief Commissioner, Julie Bell, and had yet another surprise when a plaque was unveiled in the Region Headquarters’ garden – a memorable tribute that named all 64 Guiding Idols for their achievement.

Julie Bell said: “Once again, we’ve had a fantastic response to the Guiding Idols campaign and we’re looking forward to doing it all over again next year. We wanted to thank our volunteers for all the hard work and effort they put into Girlguiding and with the support of our young members, we’ve been able to celebrate our amazing volunteers in a really memorable way.

“Guiding is active across the whole of the UK and in the North West of England we have 14,619 inspirational volunteers who give their time where they can. We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds, ages, cultures, faiths and abilities.”

If you have a couple of hours to give or want to volunteer on a regular basis, explore Girlguiding’s flexible opportunities at www.girlguiding.org.uk/interested

The Guiding Idols campaign launched for its third time in April and ran until May. During this time, Girlguiding North West England members were asked to nominate inspirational volunteers to become 2015 Guiding Idols. Overall, 129 nominations were received and a youth panel selected 63 of these to become this year’s Guiding Idols. The final Guiding Idols are volunteers from the North West of England.