I am sure many of us over the next few weeks are hopeful that our family and social life will slowly start to turn a corner and to enable this to happen we need to continue to persevere with our social distance policy and staying at home as much as we are able. For some of us it means returning to work and embracing all the changes and worries that this may or may not bring about. For others it is waiting to establish when children will return to school or Universities and how all this will be managed.

I am sure that there are more challenging times ahead both in our personal lives and in our guiding lives as we start to move into the next phase of coming out of Lockdown. The Guiding Promise asks us to “Do our Best” and “To be True to our Beliefs” and “To help other People” and I am sure that these promise words have resonated with many Leaders during the last few weeks and will continue to do so while carrying out all the key roles may be as a daughter, mother, wife, teacher, carer, grandparent and a Girlguiding Leader, a list that I am sure you recognize as being endless particularly at this time.

The response to photographs of County members clapping on a Thursday night for our key workers and participation in the VE75 celebrations has been fantastic. Thank you for participating. I am sure many of you will have photographs or reports relating to Girlguiding in Wiltshire South during the lockdown period relating to COVID19 and in years to come there needs to be a documented account of events to ensure tomorrow’s girls, our future leaders will be able to recall and share their memories from 2020. If there is any Leader or a group of Leaders interested in supporting this idea and pulling all the stories and photographs together to produce a small booklet I would be pleased to hear from you. This can be a small group across the County who would wish to work together. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. direct via email.

Our County home, Berwick, is safe and the grounds continue to be well looked after in readiness for us when we re-open but I am afraid that this is unlikely to be sometime soon. Berwick will continue to remain closed for the foreseeable future, this will now include the month of June, all bookings will either be postponed or cancelled.

Safe Space - Please can all Leaders check their qualifications, do you need to renew Level I and 2? if so please take this time to ensure that you are in date. Levels 3 and 4 are being offered at St Anne’s Manor please see Region website.

Use of Social Media when working with units - Please read all available information on the Girlguiding website to ensure safety of our young members and Leaders particularly with use of Facebook and in Zoom meetings.

Subscriptions - You will find guidance on the Girlguiding website and County Facebook page relating to subscriptions. I have had several Leaders contact me who are concerned about how they will manage financially when they reopen can I ask that you speak with your District and Division Commissioners in the first instance. There may need to be a County strategy around finances but until we have all the necessary information made available to us it is difficult to establish what may or may not be needed to be put in place as a support network for those units requiring assistance.

Thank you everyone for all your continued support to Girlguiding in Wiltshire South

Best wishes

Fran Westlake
County Commissioner