Hello and welcome to another Chiefs’ Chat. It’s come at a great time as the excitement drums up for World Thinking Day 2020!
I started the year with a meeting at region HQ, where we decided who would be presented with a region award. It’s always so lovely to find out more about our wonderful volunteers and young members who have achieved something special. There’s plenty more where that came from as we know our volunteers do incredible things every day, deserving of recognition. So, please do consider recommending someone you know for a region or national award.
As always, I was happy to travel to London for the Ops Board meeting. It was here that I was surprised and equally delighted when Amanda Medler presented me with my Trainer’s Qualification, which means I’m now a fully-fledged A Safe Space Trainer. Thank you to Barb, Jane, Vicky, and Kay for the valuable parts they played over the years to help me get there in the end. I thoroughly enjoy training and hope to see some of you at a training event near you in the nearby future. It’s always great to get together and share skills and best practice.
My highlight of the past month has been working with Emma at Waddow and at our first exec of the year. It’s great to have her contribute her ideas on how we can inspire more girls. Emma, Katherine, and I will at the Army event at Fulwood Barracks on World Thinking Day – it’s going to be lots of fun!
Katherine and I were quite looking forward to visiting Girlguiding Isle of Man but Storm Dennis had other plans! I hope you’re all staying safe during the bumpy weather and that it hasn’t affected you too much.
Looking back at the last month, we’ve been doing a couple of events as a trio – it feels so good to be able to add to the team! In early February, we all attended the ‘Sparkle’ event for Rainbows in Girlguiding Cheshire Border. We had a fantastic time seeing the Rainbows embrace the activities that had been arranged for them, which involved an agility course, a Fantasy Food Zone, a Magical Makes creative area and a Sparkling Science Zone!
I was often mistaken for an event organiser with attendees asking me ‘can we start now?’ and ‘where are the loos?’. But, that’s the best thing about any Guiding event – everyone gets stuck in and we’re all made to feel like we belong. I also discovered how much our new Assistant Region Chief Commissioner, Emma, loves getting her hands dirty – we don’t know who enjoyed making slime more, Emma or the Rainbows! During the day, the Rainbows got to dress up in costumes and have their picture taken – we never pass on an opportunity to get silly!
I’ve also been busy with other meetings too, like the Finance Committee and the recent Region Exec. Admittedly, they’re not quite as ‘fun’ but I love them just as much, as it all makes a difference and means we can carry on doing what we do best – changing girls’ lives!
This has been such a great month of settling into the role and getting to work with both Julie and Kathryn, and the rest of the region.
At the beginning of February, I attended my first exec meeting and had the chance to meet all our county commissioners. This was a really interesting day for me and as well as covering the more serious topics, there was also ample opportunity to discuss exciting upcoming plans! I also took the chance to meet some of our Express! reps and it was great to be able to listen in on their discussions and fantastic ideas.
Also, that weekend was Cheshire Border’s Rainbow Sparkle event, which all three of us had the pleasure of attending together. I don’t think I’ve ever seen – or will ever see - quite as many unicorns in one place ever again! Not to mention, being joined by Eddie the teddy, and our very special Olivia doll! Rainbows isn’t a section I volunteer with so it was great to be able to meet our youngest members and, as Kathryn said, get stuck into making slime with them!
This month I have also had some great opportunities as part of the Advocate Panel - namely designing and leading workshops with young members to choose a focus for Future Girl Acts 2020. I also joined a meeting with Girlguiding staff to provide a volunteer youth voice to the discussions surrounding this year’s campaign, like the Plastic Promises campaign, which was a huge success around all countries and regions. Here’s to more opportunities for Blue Peter appearances for some of our girls!
In the meantime, I can’t wait to join in our Thinking Day celebration at Fulwood Barracks and meet even more amazing Guides, Rangers and their Leaders.
We're looking forward to catching up with you soon!
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Julie, Kathryn, and Emma.