Young woman from Lancashire North West rises to the challenge to achieve top Girlguiding award

AN INSPIRATIONAL young woman from Preston has risen to the challenge to achieve the highest award in Girlguiding.

Olivia Clare, 20, was presented with her Queen’s Guide Award at the House of Commons by Julie Bell, Deputy Chief Guide, during a special ceremony on 9 March.

To achieve the prestigious award, Olivia 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 the challenges must be completed between the ages of 16-26.

Olivia took three years to finish her challenges. These included canoeing through the Swedish wilderness, sleeping in the wild, running her own Peter Pan themed Brownie camp, and leading on various Brownie pack holidays.

Olivia said: “My Queen's guide as made me feel proud, my mum, Elaine Clare, never managed to achieve her queen guide and can now proudly say that both her daughters are Queen’s Guides. She has been there for the ups and downs of the whole experience and I just want to say thank you.”

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. Girlguiding is all about giving girls opportunities to challenge themselves and try new things in a supportive environment. They should be very proud of their achievements.”

Outdoor swimmer Ella Foote gave an inspirational talk at the ceremony. Over the last few years, she has completed an English Channel relay crossing, a 24-hour 12-mile swim, the Thames Marathon 14k and the Dart 10k.

Ella Foote said: “It was amazing to hear about all the incredible challenges these young women took on to achieve their Queen’s Guide Awards. They’ve all demonstrated what can be achieved through hard work, determination and commitment and it’s really exciting to think about what adventures they’ll go on to have in the future.”

Girlguiding was able to host this event thanks to support received from players of People’s Postcode Lottery which raises money for charities and good causes across Great Britain.

For more information about how to get involved with Girlguiding, the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, visit www.girlguidingnwe.org.uk.