Girlguiding volunteer Barbara Bryan, from Langho, received an unforgettable surprise when a group of girls and young women recognised her for her volunteer efforts.
Barbara, a leader at St Leonard’s Guide Unit in Langho, has recently been named as one of 48 Guiding Idols for North West England – a brand new project led by the movement to recognise its volunteers for their fantastic work.
The Guiding Idols campaign was introduced for the first time this June, as part of Girlguiding North West England’s support for Volunteers’ Week, a national celebration week that sees organisations thank their volunteers.
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 panel of girls and young women aged 7 to 14 was tasked with the difficult challenge of selecting nominees from each of the charity’s 17 guiding counties.
Each chosen Guiding Idol was then invited to a special celebration afternoon at Girlguiding North West England’s regional headquarters in Preston. It included a thought-provoking planting activity, a pick ’n’ mix sweet cart for the Guiding Idols and an afternoon tea with a twist.
Amid the celebrations, Barbara received a Region Thanks badge from the regional chief commissioner, Julie Bell, and she had yet another surprise when a plaque was unveiled in the headquarters garden, a memorable tribute that named all 48 Guiding Idols for their achievement.
Barbara said: “Afternoon tea at region was lovely. They looked after us really well and having my name on the plaque is amazing.
“I feel very honoured to be given the title Guiding Idol, but know that there are plenty more of my guiding friends who equally deserve it. Thank you to all my Girlguiding friends that volunteer to make Girlguiding fun, giving more girls the opportunity to be part of a fab organisation.”
Julie Bell, chief commissioner for the region, said: “We’ve had a fantastic response to the launch of 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 memorable way.”
l Guiding in the North West of England has 14,619 inspirational volunteers who give their time where they can. If you have a couple of hours to give or want to volunteer on a regular basis, find out more at www.girlguiding.org.uk/ interested