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Recognising our amazing volunteers

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Every volunteer is essential to Girlguiding, but it is always a particularly special event to celebrate volunteers who have given long and outstanding service. A selection of long service awards were presented and a special region award, the Silver Oak Leaf, presented to round off the afternoon - a total surprise to it's recipient!

After a welcome from Sue Harris, Jane Bennett was presented with a 'thank you' rose as she stepped down from her role as County President. Sue then welcomed Jill Jeffs as the new County President and presented her with the President badge which is passed along with the role. Sue also announced that Sue Norfolk and Lynne Chandler have agreed to become Vice Presidents.

Read on to find out more about the recipients.

50 year Long Service award

Kate Robinson Kate has been a leader for so long that some details have been lost in the mists of time! Kate was a Leader before she moved to Cornwall in the 1980s and she has had many roles, including District Commissioner and Assistant Division Commissioner and she is now Assistant Leader at Brownies and Rainbows and Leader for Guides, all in Devoran. Her guidance, patience, sense of humour and continued support make running the units tremendously rewarding and so much fun for both girls and leaders.

40 year Long Service award

Julie Woodbridge Julie was a Young Leader and Leader-in-Training with 1st Market Deeping Brownies and 2nd Market Deeping Guides followed by Assistant Leader with 1st Clifton Brownies and Assistant Leader and Leader with 2nd Crowland Brownies. After a break, she became a Leader with 1st Constantine Brownies before joining 1st Threemilestone Brownies as Assistant Leader. Julie has been District Commissioner for Truro Gloweth and a Mentor, Assistant Leader with 1st St Agnes Guides, 14th Truro Guides, and 8th Truro Guides. Julie opened 1st Truro Rangers in 2016. County roles followed. Currently Julie is Assistant Leader with 1st St Day Brownies.

Venessa Williams Venessa started In Devoran, before moving to Porthleven where she currently runs Rainbows and Guides. She took girls to the 2010 Now and Then camp, where their sub camp was one of the biggest and was envied by other campers, with a gateway, banners and tents that stayed up! While Venessa was the County a Guide Advisor she took a group of BP girls to sleep on a Tall Ship while it was docked in Falmouth. Venessa has also been a District Commissioner for Tregonning District, and if a girl wants to do something she always tries to make sure it is done. If you ask the girls about Venessa they will all say their Guiding experience was made so memorable because of her.

Carolyn Stanley Carolyn has been an integral part of Guiding in St. Newlyn East for a very long time. Carolyn was one of the original Rangers in the village who helped out with the Guides and Brownies in the 1960s. She moved away and on her return Carolyn had a stint as Tawny Owl before becoming Brown Owl. Carolyn has been very supportive of the new leaders in training in the village, generous and kind with her time and resources and making sure that 1st St. Newlyn East Brownies continues to be part of the fabric of village life. Her dedication and enthusiasm are truly awesome!

Rosalind Hocking Ros has been a Leader with 1st Veryan Guides for many years and a Leader with 3rd Roseland Brownies for the past 20 years. Ros has also been District Commissioner for Roseland and twice Assistant Division Commissioner for Carrick North. Ros has also been Division Secretary for the past 10 years.

Vanessa Knight Vanessa has been a Leader in Redruth South District since May 1982. She started at 1st St. Andrews, Redruth Guide unit as an Assistant Leader and she moved up to the role of Unit Leader in 1992. Since then, Vanessa has been a District Commissioner, amassing an incredible 13 years in this role. Vanessa has shown great dedication to Girlguiding and has supported so many girls throughout the years; with many more to come too!

Sue Moore Sue started guiding when a friend who ran the Egloshayle Guides asked if she could help her as she was a leader short. Sue went along and loved it and the rest is history. She became a Unit helper and after a couple of years became Assistant Guide Leader. A year later Sue took over 1st Wadebridge Guides and during this time Sue became a trainer. She has been District Commissioner for Wadebridge, Assistant Division Commissioner, Division Commissioner for North Cornwall, County Walking Safely Adviser and Senior Section Adviser. Sue worked on the promise and law committee at Girlguiding HQ in London. Sue was also Assistant County Commissioner to Jane Bennett and has received the Region Silver Oak Leaf and The Laurel Award.

Pam Potterton Pam’s first award was her Queen’s Guide Award, aged 15. She was honoured to carry the Guide Company flag at Crystal Palace Sports ground for the Guides Diamond Jubilee in 1970, in the presence of Lady Olave Baden-Powell -Pam has been an Assistant Leader of 6th South Wallington Guides and at Bishop Andrewes Guide Company both in Surrey. She moved to Barrow-in-Furness and continued Guiding before moving to Plymouth and then to Saltash. Pam has been the Leader with the 2nd Saltash (Burraton) Guides and Brownies. Pam has held many District and Division roles and it would probably be easier to list those she has not done!

30 year Long Service award

Jane Bailey In her own words - this is Jane, who's survived 30 years guiding in 4 counties, but we can’t leave it at that! Jane started Guiding in Warwickshire at 18 before moving to London. Four years of Central London Guiding followed, where the journey to camp was taking Guides on the tube. Moving to Bristol, Jane was introduced to the 93rd Bristol Unit. During 24 years at this unit she managed over 20 camps and holidays, 4 Big Gig trips, and termly adventurous activities including caving! When planning her family’s move to Cornwall in 2020, Jane contacted the local Guides. Jane is still enjoying Guiding and looking forward to the next ten years!

Melissa Dale Melissa has completed her 30 years in 1st Mabe Brownies, training as a Leader and then running the unit. She is very enthusiastic and encourages the Brownies to take part in all activities, including ones in the village. Melissa was a mentor for 7 years, a District Assistant and a District Commissioner. She is also a trainer, having held this role for over 10 years, specialising in A Safe Space, Mentors and Programme. Melissa has infinite patience!

Claire Harvey Claire has been guiding all her life. Claire comes from a Guiding background and became a Young Leader, then in 1993 she became a Brownie Leader. She has also been a Rainbow Leader. Claire now works with the 1st Treviscoe St Stephen Guides and Rangers. She has been a District Commissioner for St Austell (Hensbarrow) and became a trainer in 2018 specialising in A Safe Space.

Valerie Tippett We don’t have much information about Valerie, who is clearly someone who quietly gets on with running a successful unit and has been Assistant Leader with 1st Threemilestone Brownies for the past 30 years. Valerie spent a couple of years with 1st Chacewater Brownies and was Leader of Truro Look Wider Group for 2 years.

Gill Sharp Gill came into Guiding as a parent helper at Germoe Brownies and then moved to Germoe Guides. She eventually took over the running of the Guide unit when the leader retired. She has arranged endless trips, camps and Big Gig experiences. Gill is still in touch with lots of girls who left Guiding over 20 years ago and they all say the same thing; their Guiding experience was made so memorable by Gill. She is now extremely proud to not only have had her 2 daughters go through the units and gain their leadership qualifications and her granddaughter is in her Guide Unit.

Beth Garvin Beth is a Queen’s Guide. She is a Guide and Ranger leader in Bodmin and had previously been involved with 1st Mylor Guides, During the last 30 years Beth has held County appointments as Duke of Edinburgh Advisor and Senior Section Advisor. Beth loves the outdoors and has attended several international and local camps. An article was written about Beth in Guiding magazine about her being a pyrotechnician and in 2010 Beth organised and set off the fireworks for North Cornwall’s centenary celebrations.

20 year Long Service award

Victoria Ling (& County Good Service Certificate) Victoria was a Young Leader and Leader at 1st Berryland Guides, County Senior Section Adviser and County Peer Educator Coordinator with Greater London West. She has been the Leader of Surbiton Rangers, Residential Adviser, Guide Adviser, and Mentor with Surbiton Division. Victoria has also been Assistant Leader with 1st Grampound Guides and 7th St Austell Guides, District Commissioner for St Austell (Boscoppa) and is currently Leader with 2nd Roseland Brownies, 2nd Roseland Guides and is also a Mentor too.

Hilary Bryant Hilary held many roles in Redruth North where she was a Mentor, a District Commissioner and a trustee for the Beatrice Tucker fund. Hilary spent many years with 1st Illogan Brownies as Tawny Owl and as an Assistant Leader for 1st Redruth Guides, taking the girls on many camps and experiences; even learning to fly a plane with the Guides!

Jackie Lees Jackie has completed her 20 years in the same unit, 11th Falmouth (Parish Church) Guides, the oldest Guide unit in Cornwall. Jackie is passionate about Guiding and camping. She has shared her views on various aspects of the programme and compliance with the Division leadership and Headquarters over many years! Jackie has also been District Treasurer and has recently joined the Condurro committee.

Rebecca Biddle Becca started with 2nd Egham Brownies in Surrey and then completed her Leadership Qualification with 3rd Egham Brownies. Moving to Cornwall, Becca took up the role of Unit Leader for 1st Illogan Rainbows and will soon become an Assistant Leader with 1st Illogan Brownies too. Becca is a valued member of Redruth North District and has helped to organise countless events for our girls. She also serves on the Carwynnen campsite committee.

Jackie Williams (& County Good Service Certificate) Jackie is an Assistant Leader at 1st Mabe Brownies and has been here for the whole of her 20 years, starting as a Unit helper. Jackie is enthusiastic about the achievements of the Brownies and loves working with “Brown Owl”. She is a caring Leader, making sure everyone is looked after. Jackie is the second Leader of 1st Mabe Brownies who is receiving a Long Service Award today.

Vicky Bruce (& County Good Service Certificate) Five years into being a Leader with Camelford Guides, Vicky completed her Queen’s Guide award. Vicky has continued to take on challenges, gaining her minibus licence in 2014, opening a Ranger unit in 2019 and taking on the role of County Residential Advisor last year. Vicky is very busy each year with the North Cornwall Arts and Crafts Show which is open to all Guiding and Scouting sections. However, Vicky is most in her element on residentials, and especially under canvas. She takes every opportunity to take her two units away. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she is a wonderful asset to District and County level guiding.

Julia St Ledger (& County Good Service Certificate) Julia trained as a Leader in 1993 and became Leader of 10th Falmouth Brownies. After a break, Julia became a Unit Helper and then went back into uniform, again, at 10th Falmouth Brownies, until the unit merged with 11th Falmouth Brownies in 2015. Julia now helps lead 2nd Falmouth Brownies and we are so grateful for her commitment and enthusiasm.

County Good Service Certificates

These are awarded to members in recognition of the extra work they have done for the County. This year they are awarded to:

Julie Dingle recently retired DC for Saltash Emma Forrest who is County MGR Adviser, County PR Team Leader and Assistant Division Commissioner in Penwith. Sue Pendleton recently retired Division Commissioner for Caradon Cotehele

County Thanks Badge

These are awarded to members in recognition of their work as County appointment holders or work on a specific County project. This year, we would like to say thank you to:

Barbara Attwood for her work as County Camp Adviser Val Chapman for her work as County Holiday Adviser Dawn Lambert as joint District Commissioner of Gribben Nikki Martin who was the other half of the Gribben DC team Frances Wells in recognition of her work on the Cornwall Christmas Traditions badge

Girlguiding Good Service brooch

This is awarded for excellent service to Girlguiding in Cornwall. This year we are pleased to present this brooch to:

Kim Collett Heather Harper

Gill Hayhurst

Karin Saunders

County Standard brooch

Penny Congdon in recognition for her work as County Brownie Adviser

Sarah Robinson for her time as Division Commissioner for Caradon Tamar, also receiving a County Good Service Certificate.

Silver Oak Leaf

Mary Andrew for outstanding commitment to Girlguiding, particularly in her role of International Adviser. This surprise award was presented by Racheal Tattum, Deputy Chief Commissioner from Girlguding South West England.


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