Guiding Goes On: How We've Been Staying Connected

Ever since we suspended all face-to-face activities in light of the developing Coronavirus situation, many members have found new and innovative ways to carry on guiding. Whether it’s painting Rainbows on windows to put smiles on neighbours’ faces, packing comfort bags to support those currently in hospital, or creating their #AdventuresAtHome, it’s amazing to see everyone proving that, even in difficult times, guiding goes on - here's some ways how!

Helping Hand Kindness Cards

Before updated social distancing guidance was put in place by the Government, we asked our members to offer a helping hand to support the more vulnerable members of their communities and those self-isolating. Inspired by the many acts of kindness which were already being carried out, our Helping Hand cards detailed the support available and were posted through neighbours’ doors. Not only was this a fantastic way to offer support, but it helped to connect communities and proved that kindness is as important now than ever! It’s also great to see that, whilst this particular initiative isn’t quite so appropriate now, many other methods of kindness, in line with Government regulations, are still being carried out.

Virtual Guiding

If you can’t get to guiding, guiding will surely come to you! Girls and leaders across the region have demonstrated their creativity and resilience by taking their physical weekly meetings online. They’re super determined to keep up the guiding spirit. From pet show and tells and bingo nights, to mini danceathons, it’s obvious that there’s very little that can stand in the way of guiding fun! It's also great that Girlguiding has created a handy resource for taking guiding online. 

Girlguiding #AdventuresAtHome

Just because we can’t meet face-to-face, it doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun with the guiding programme! Girlguiding launched their online activity hub which is filled with lots of cool ideas for young people of all ages, as well as helpful information for parents and carers. As well as releasing programme activities every week, Girlguiding is also setting daily challenges such as story writing, scavenger hunts and emoji quizzes, to name a few! It has been great to see so many people joining in and sharing their #AdventuresAtHome on social media - we love scrolling and seeing everyday objects transformed into mascots, toys on safari, and camps in the garden!

Let my Guiding Light shine

This idea was quickly circulated on social media at the start of the strict social distancing period and has been picked up by so many members. As it is a WAGGGS initiative, it means that we’re sharing this special act with guiding members across the world – an illustration of true sisterhood. Each Sunday, members everywhere are lighting candles in their windows between 19:10 and 20:20; notice anything special about the times? They represent the year Girlguiding officially started to the present day! The Region Chief Commissioners have joined in every week to show that our Guiding Lights are still shining bright and we'd love it if you joined in, too, if you haven’t already.

#WindowsOfJoy

We’re pretty sure that lots of you will have spotted the pleasant windows in your communities. Colourful rainbows have been appearing in people’s windows up and down the country, aiming to put smiles on neighbours’ faces and allowing for rainbow hunts on local walks. The idea has since evolved into creating whole window displays for passers-by to admire. Why not get painting, drawing, teddy arranging and sharing messages of positivity with those who might be walking past your window – share your creations by tagging us and using the hashtag, #WindowsOfJoy!

Comfort Bag Scheme

The Comfort Bag Scheme has grown and grown over recent years and has helped thousands of people across the region and beyond, reaching victims of the Manchester Arena Attack and Grenfell Tragedy. As expected, many members have been all hands on deck during the current situation, too; they’ve been distributing bags to their local hospitals and despite how hard it is to shop for essential items, the thoughtful gesture is making a positive difference.

It’s not just what’s in the bags that matters, but the act of giving and reminding people that they’re not alone in times of need. Lots more information about this scheme can be found here, as well as information on how the idea can be adapted to make Kindness Bags for key workers.

Twin Hearts

Following a request from the Northern Care Alliance came this very important, crafty initiative to make twin hearts to give to patients and their families. At such a difficult time, where families are unable to visit their loved ones in hospital, these matching pairs of hearts are a touching way to help them feel connected. We have so many talented knitted and crochetiers who are eager to use their skills to support the initiative. The hearts can be any colour, as long as each pair is identical; you can knit or crochet them and if you don’t have stuffing, you can create flat hearts.

Finished Twin Hearts can be sent to:

Fiona Murphy, Associate Director of Nursing
Northern Care Alliance,
Room 133, Trust Headquarters,
North Manchester General Hospital,
Delaunays Rd,
Crumpsall,
M8 5RB

#SewcialDistancing

This challenge was developed and circulated on social media, by some badge-loving members of Girlguiding’s Advocate Panel. We all know that badges are an essential and exciting part of being a member of Girlguiding (for young members and adults too!), yet very often they can be neglected to be sewn on. The #SewcialDistancing challenge calls for members to catch up on their badge admin and sew a badge a day onto their camp blanket or uniform, then, on social media, to share the story of how it was earned. Not only has this been a great way to encourage members to tackle the pile of badges they’ve been putting off, but it has been a great way to share guiding stories and memories with one another!

Boredom Busters

If you’ve worked your way through these ideas and are still on the hunt for more fun-filled activities, then look no further! We’ve put together our very own Boredom Buster by collating a variety of activities from our amazing challenge packs, all of which can be done at home and with very few materials. Whether you’re looking to get stuck in with STEM, get active, or use your imagination, we have so much for you to choose from to keep the boredom at bay! We would love to see what you get up to at home so share and tag away with the hashtag #GGNWEBoredomBusters.

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It’s been wonderful to see all the creative ways that we’re keeping active and connected. Do continue to share the amazing work you’re all doing. We will be updating this page as, no doubt, we keep discovering great ideas and making some up of our own along the journey that we’re all on together. If you want to share what you’ve been doing, find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In the meantime, keep your guiding light shining and keep doing what you’re doing!