Welcome

Welcome to the home of Girlguiding Wiltshire South.

I hope that you have had a good Christmas and that you were able to take a rest from Guiding. Along with members from the County Executive please accept our very best wishes for 2020. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the endless hours that you give to your Units, District, Divisions and County Team, it is thanks to you that our Wiltshire South young members are able to enjoy friendships, adventures and opportunities.

During 2019 we have seen the Girlguiding programme take shape in all of our units in Wiltshire South and I know for many of you this has meant a complete change to how we deliver the weekly meetings. Thank you for embracing the change, I know that it has not been an easy journey for some but nevertheless the request for Gold Awards to be presented under the transition route has slowly been coming through the County channels, the first Brownie Gold Award being presented at the Brownie PGL weekend at Liddington in early 2019. There have been requests for Rainbow Gold Awards and one Unit in the County has achieved several Guide Gold Awards. In January we will see the Bronze and Silver badges being made available to our young members. Many of our Units took part in the Plastic Promise and I received many wonderful pictures from units of what they had achieved with recycled plastic, well done to all those who participated and to the girls/units that achieved the Plastic Promise Badge.

Not only has there been changes in the programme this year everyone in the County has been getting on board completing REN forms and Risk Assessments. Thank you for getting the relevant information on to the forms correctly and to the District Commissioners who take the responsibility of signing off these forms and ensuring that all Leaders and girls are safe when going away. County would like to remind everyone who will be going away in 2020 to adhere to getting the forms completed within the time limits laid down by Girlguiding, most of you have managed to complete your Safe Space Trainings, this has been a huge task across the Region to ensure that everyone has been able to complete E-Learning or attend relevant trainings. If you have not completed or are unsure of what you need to do please speak with your District/Division Commissioner. Information is also available on the National Girlguiding website. Congratulations to Leaders who have received Service Awards. This year there have been several 40 year service awards presented along with the 1 year and 3 year service awards that newly qualified leaders receive from Region. I also consistently receive letters from Region giving names of girls who have achieved their Silver, Bronze and Gold D of E Awards. The Queens Guide Awards have also featured in the County this year and the County Queens Guide Adviser is only to pleased to hear from anyone who wishes to receive advice or further information.

Berwick Management Committee have been working on a new electronic booking information file for Berwick and this is available for all wishing to book Berwick as from the 1st January 2020. Unfortunately the Jubilee Block has been out of action due to a burst water tank in the roofing area. A new tank has now been replaced and the building will be redecorated in time for the 2020 booking season. During the Summer months the Outdoor Advisers worked extremely hard with their husbands to provide the centre with a very sturdy and dry new wood store. Guides and leaders worked on one of the hottest days back in the Summer moving all the logs to enable the work to be carried out. Earlier this year a previous County Commissioner sadly passed away and the family kindly gave a donation to the County, the money was used to give the quiet area a new look with grass turf ensuring it continues to be very welcoming area for members to sit and enjoy the peace of Berwick and its countryside in years to come. We have struggled this year with the water heater in the kitchen, a new heater has been sourced and will kindly be funded by the Friends of Berwick, this should be fitted in early 2020.

Wiltshire South have several Co-ordinator/Adviser vacancies and the County Executive would really like to hear from anyone who would wish to consider heading up a Learning and Development Team (This is a new role and will cover the old ALQ role) International Coordinator (This is currently being supported by Wiltshire North Adviser and we are looking to joint work the Adviser role but having Coordinators appointed in both North and South Wilts to work under one Adviser). Walking Coordinator/Adviser required. Please think about these roles as they are key to successful running of Girlguiding in Wiltshire South.

Wiltshire South Girlguiding has managed to maintain member numbers – According to figures issued monthly by the Region office here are our current numbers:- Rainbows 518, Brownies 1167, Guides 636, Snr Section 78. We started at the beginning of the year with 2262 members and this December we have 2399 involving 169 units. Our Adult volunteers 166 in April and now 169. We have a lot of girls on our waiting lists – please look at lists in your area and consider if you can take in any more girls.

Please contact your District and Division Commissioners for further information about any of the following proposed events:

  • Narrowboat opportunities 15th and 16th February 2020
  • 22nd February 2020 – Day at Berwick for Rangers/Snr Section
  • 22nd February 2020 – Region Day at Bracknell – All The Worlds a Stage Book on SW Region website
  • Gold Dof E/Queens Guide narrowboating Residential 20th – 24th July 2020 Information with your Division/District Commissioner
  • Adult INTOPS A chance to be selected for a county trip in 2021 and 2022 29th February 2020
  • Girls INTOPS chance to be selected for a Region trip in 2021 6th – 8th March
  • All Divisions will be hearing about Division Event Days that will be held in 2020. Every Division will be offering “something” please do your best to bring your girls along and support the day.

FIRST AID DATES FOR 2020

  • First Aid 17th February – half day (9 – 12) 18th February – Full day (9.00 – 3.00)
  • First Aid Ranger/Young Leader 19th April (9.00 – 2.00)
  • First Aid 20th June Full day (9.00 – 3.00) 21ST June – Half day (9.00 – 3.00)
  • First Aid 17th October Half day (9.00 – 12.00) 18th October Full day (9.00 – 3.00)
  • First Aid Ranger/Young Leader 21st November (9.00 – 2.00)
  • Adult cost £10 per course includes 1st Response books Young Leaders/Rangers £5.00 per girl includes 5 and 6 skills builders and 1st response books.

Hot off the press ………………. We are hoping to offer a Wiltshire South Bake off Competition in 2020 – in discussion stages.

South West Region are offering Stage 5 Lead Skill Builder Take Over Days by working with the British Army – the days on offer are in various Counties and Region are organising events – I will continue to share all the information as it comes through on Facebook. The feedback from the event run in Wiltshire South 2019 was a great success and though who attended had a great time.

Well I started off wishing you all a Merry Christmas message and it would appear the message has turned into a County Letter!!

fran

Fran Westlake
County Commissioner