Seven members of Girlguiding Nottinghamshire were presented with Midlands Chief Commissioner’s Awards during a special celebration held in December at The Waterfront in Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire.
Recognising outstanding service to Girlguiding at a local level, the 2017 awards were presented by Midlands Chief Commissioner Abi Salter and Deputy Chief Commissioner Sandy Kinnersley, with the citations read by Girlguiding Nottinghamshire’s County Commissioner Jackie Brocklehurst.
‘I was very proud to be there when these awards were conferred,’ said Jackie afterwards. ‘All our adult volunteers do so much to support Girlguiding across Nottinghamshire, but these seven women have really gone the extra mile over the last year and I’m delighted this has been formally recognised.’
Here are the stories of the Notts recipients …
Ann Dawson – Assistant Leader, 1st Carlton-in-Lindrick Guides, Worksop Division
A Guide Leader since 1984, Ann creates lots of opportunities for her Guides to attend holidays and camps as well as stepping in to enable other units to take girls away when adult leaders are in short supply. Ann has led the catering team at county events and often swaps her apron for a stint at tent pitching: the award is a reflection of the appreciation felt across Worksop Division for her unfailing support.
Janet Symonds – Leader, 1st Ranskill Rainbows & Brownies, Retford Division
Janet has been a Leader since 1981, taking on Brownies and starting up Rainbows, even though she initially said she’d only do it for six months! Always encouraging her girls to enjoy as many experiences as possible, she is a keen promoter of Guiding in her local community and is a vital supporter of Girlguiding Nottinghamshire’s leadership training programme.
Nesta Wren – Leader, 4th Hucknall Guides, Newstead Division
Nesta is described by her peers as a singing and dancing Leader with bags of drive to make things happen. An active member of the Gang Show team, Nesta managed the wardrobe and all the costumes this year, and thrives on being busy: she led a trip to Switzerland in 2016 whilst also completing her university studies and looking after her young family.
Hannah Rogers – Unit Helper, 4th Keyworth Brownies, Wolds Division
Hannah began helping to run Keyworth Brownies in December 2011. A wheelchair-user, she communicates through an electronic speech aid, and the Brownies love having Hannah at their meetings and events, particularly appreciating her work with small groups. Under her guidance, the girls have been encouraged to learn patience in listening and to gain their Disability Awareness badge.
Tamsin Rabbitts – Leader, 3rd Keyworth Guides & Rangers, Wolds Division
Tamsin has been involved in Guiding for much of her life, gaining her Queen’s Guide Award in 1983, qualifying as a Young Leader in July 1984 and reopening Keyworth Rangers in 2014. At her happiest when camping, Tamsin organises lots of residential events for her Guides, including sleepovers and narrow-boating: always keen to lead by example, she’s a Gang Show regular and many Guides have followed in her footsteps.
Cheryl Atkinson – Leader, 36th Nottingham Rangers & Senior Section, Forest Division
Cheryl has led 36th Rangers for over 20 years, a unit where the members have a diversity of special needs. Cheryl has organised numerous trips, including residential experiences, and always focusses on what her girls are able to do, rather than on what they can’t. This unit has far more challenges than most, but Cheryl is there every fortnight with an encouraging smile and time to talk.
RachaeI Rhodes – Leader, 36th Nottingham Guides, Forest Division
Rachael has been a Leader with 36th Nottingham Guides for over 20 years. Unit members have many different special needs, and Rachael ensures that all the girls have activities they can take part in, no matter how varied their abilities are. Rachael has worked particularly hard to offer her Guides a residential trip, and puts into practice one of Guiding’s key messages – that Girlguiding is for all girls.