Last month, Girlguiding launched a competition for members to put their creativity to great use and to design the Together at Heart COVID-19 badge in support of the Together campaign. The COVID-19 badge was created to thank all key workers and volunteers working during the pandemic.
We were pleased to see that our very own Guide, Pippa, 12, from 1st Bebington Guides, Wirral, was selected as the winner of the badge design competition – out of the 1,500 entries.
Pippa has had a busy couple of weeks – you may have caught her on the local radio and on CBBC’s Newsround – but we’re glad to have had a chance to catch up with her to talk about all things guiding.
Tell us about your design process in making the fantastic winning badge!
Before I started, I looked at all my other badges for ideas about what looks good on a badge and how I can make it a true guiding badge. I wanted to use the rainbow as this is a symbol connected with the coronavirus pandemic. I decided to have it circling around the sunshine with the sun rays to show that there will be better days to come.
How do you feel about being selected as the winner?
I was really over the moon and completely shocked. I didn’t expect to win and thought my mum was joking when the email came!
What have you been doing to stay connected to guiding during the pandemic period?
I have been taking part in weekly Zoom meetings with my Guide unit. We have had challenges to do such as scavenger hunts around our house and the ‘Stone Age challenge’. I also enjoyed making a skeleton out of old toilet paper tubes!
On VE Day, we were supposed to be away on camp, but it was cancelled, so we did it virtually instead – it was just as much fun. We had lots of VE Day challenges during the day, with a virtual ‘afternoon tea at 3’ and a virtual fly past. My dad and brother carried me high up on a ladder as my mum filmed me doing the fly past! I also camped out in the garden with a campfire for a true guiding camp experience.
I’ve been able to use the time to work on some of my interest badges, and our brilliant leaders pop them through our letterboxes when we achieve them. It makes me feel connected to guiding and means I don’t have to stop having fun, despite what’s going on.
What do you love most about guiding?
I love being with my friends; we have all been part of Girlguiding since Rainbows, so it’s nice to grow with them and experience so much fun with them. I love the chance to try new things which I wouldn’t normally do. I love school too, but Guides is so different to school – we get to do different activities that we don’t have a chance to do at school.
My favourite thing about guiding is camping and nights away!
What’s been your best guiding memory?
My favourite memory is of my first Guide camp last year where I slept under canvas with my friends. We all helped with the tasks, including building the tents, and it was great to enjoy it together with my very best guiding friends. I loved the campfire too!
Is there anything else you would like to share? (about Girlguiding in general, their response to the pandemic, or anything in response to the efforts of keyworkers and NHS staff across the country).
I’m really grateful to all the key workers and NHS staff across the country as they have kept us going through the last four months; the country couldn’t have got through it without them. They've done an amazing job and I am proud that I could be part of Girlguiding’s efforts to thank them.
Pippa’s mum, Claire said: "I really can't praise Girlguiding enough. Their support and encouragement on a national level has been amazing. However, on a local level, we really do have an incredible group. Our leaders are so dedicated throughout this pandemic; the girls have still had plenty of opportunities to meet virtually and engage with one another. They have gone above and beyond and we're really blessed to have them. Pip is currently working on her 'Aspirations' Interest Badge and one of the goals she has chosen for her future, is that she'd like to be a young leader when she's old enough...that's thanks to the amazing role models at 1st Bebington.”
Julie Walton, Region Chief Commissioner, shared: “I watch with interest all the fabulous activities and challenges that are happening despite the lockdown and I am delighted that Pippa's badge was chosen as the final design. Girlguiding North West England is leading the way again! I am so proud of all our members for stepping up to the challenges that have come our way in the last few months and I am really looking forward to being able to share events and activities again as soon as we can. Take care until then, and well done, Pippa!"
The badge is available now, with half of the profits to be donated to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. The remaining profits will be used by Girlguiding to help the charity to be able to continue working alongside its dedicated volunteers to offer fun, entertaining activities and support for girls and young women following the financial impact it has experienced by the pandemic. Girlguiding volunteers have been keeping members connected with their weekly unit meetings by delivering ‘virtual guiding’, allowing hundreds of thousands of girls to continue to have fun, learn new skills and keep in touch with their friends.