A Special Congratulations to Our Queen's Guides

A huge well-done and a congratulations is in order for the seven inspiring young women who received their Queen's Guides Award over the weekend.

Natalie Clare, Abbey McNamara, Rachel Melling, Rebecca Benson, Bekky Ashmore, Maria Dilkes, and Tracy Clare have risen to the challenge and achieved the highest award in Girlguiding - all while conquering unique obstacles along the way. 

The seven young women joined other guiding members from across the country to be presented with their Queen’s Guide Award at the House of Lords on Saturday 20 October by Julie Bell, Deputy Chief Guide.

Adventurer Pip Stewart was in attendance to give the recipients an inspirational talk. Over the last few years, Pip has cycled 10,000 miles from Malaysia to London, travelling through 26 countries, and journeyed 3,000 miles by bike, boat and plane through Brazil and Peru. Earlier this year she joined two other adventurers to paddle the Essequibo, South America’s third largest river.

Pip said: “I am absolutely delighted to be asked to help celebrate with all those who have achieved the Queen's Guide Award. The hard work, determination and commitment that these young people have displayed is unbelievably inspiring. I believe everyone can teach you something I can't wait to meet the individuals behind the success.”
To achieve the prestigious award these young women took on a series of personal challenges in areas such as social action, voluntary work and travel. Fewer than 150 young women out of the hundreds of thousands of Girlguiding members are presented with the award each year and they have to complete their challenges before they turn 26.

Natalie Clare, 22 shares how her journey in Girlguiding NWE meant she went from being shy and lacking confidence,  to enjoying meeting new people through various residential trips. She said: “Achieving my Queen’s Guide means a lot to me. My whole family has been involved in supporting me through the process. My mum especially, as she missed out on gaining her award by a couple of sections. Gaining this is for her because she helped me so much when I felt like giving up”.

Abbey McNamara, 21, speaks passionately about wanting to make a career out of working with children. She said: “The most adventurous thing I did was to take the guides in the region to Switzerland. Some of the guides that I took away, I didn't know at the beginning.”

Rachel Melling, 27, pushed herself further while working toward the Queen’s Guide Award – and has since been a member of the GOLD team for Aruba 2017 and Maldives 2018. She shares: “Girlguiding has given me the skills for life to complete difficult challenges. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything.”

Rebecca Benson, 25, pursued her Queen’s Guide Award while studying to be an optometrist. Her notable experience includes organising an archery trip for her brownies, singing around campfires, and making smores. Rebecca said: “Achieving my Queen's guide means a lot to me, it is a lot of hard work and determination and it is nice to be able to work towards an award once you have left Guides.”

Julie Bell, Deputy Chief Guide said: “It’s a privilege to present all these incredible young women with their Queen’s Guide Awards. Hearing about the range of challenges each of them took on and the effort they’ve put in is truly inspiring. They should be very proud of their achievements and I’m sure they’ll all go on to have many more adventures in Girlguiding and beyond.

Well done everyone, we're so proud to see so many of our members from the North West achieving this award.