It’s been an interesting year, hasn’t it? We are now coming up to a year since the first lockdown was announced and 2020 was certainly not been what we expected. Despite everything going on around them, our girls, leaders and volunteers rose to the challenge and adapted to a new way of guiding.
We are continually amazed at the creativity and dedication of our volunteers as they adapt activities and offer girls and young women as many opportunities and activities as they can. We have heard from so many parents how important guiding and a little slice of normality has been for girls and young women.
Claire Course, County Commissioner, and Netta Record, Assistant County Commissioner
Some of our highlights from 2020!
Cambs East inaugural STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) event in February 2020, when over 1000 girls, leaders and volunteers enjoyed a day of hands-on activities, exciting experiments, exhilarating engineering, cool construction and marvellous maths!
With the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, and in partnership with Girlguiding Cambridgeshire West, we launched the Lord-Lieutenant’s Challenge in February 2020. This give girls and young women opportunities to stretch themselves as they learn about and serve their local community, before taking positive action to improve their lives and the lives of others.
In April 2020, the Jarman Centre, the Girlguiding Cambs East residential centre in Newmarket, offered an egg-citing Easter challenge in for girls and their families to complete at home instead of their usual family fun day. Over 400 people took part!
Girls were out there serving their community too! Rainbow, Nevaeh-Joy, raised £450 for the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust doing a sponsored walk, and Maisie, a Brownie, raised over £800 from her own hospital bed for Starlight Children’s Foundation.
What’s to come in 2021?
Members celebrated a virtual World Thinking Day together on our YouTube channel on Sunday, 21 February. Activities included international crafts from all the WAGGGS regions and a special time to renew our Promise led by members, including a Rainbow. It’s not too late to get involved or order the badge! (Last order date: 31 March)
The Jarman Centre team are really looking forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as they can but, in the meantime, all members and their families are invited to take part in a fun-filled virtual sleepover, packed with Jarman Centre themed activities. The main event will be on Saturday 27 March to Sunday 28 March, but the challenge can be completed in unit meetings or as a family over the Easter break.
The change to doing everything online has been tough for some children and volunteers. We know that many of our volunteers just haven’t had the time or the headspace for online guiding between work online or work as a keyworker or unexpectedly home-schooling or caring for family members in a really challenging time. To try to offer guiding to those girls where online meetings haven’t been an opportunity, we are excited to be starting monthly Zoom meetings for each section across the county.
There’s been some small benefits to online meetings too that we wouldn’t have expected at the start of this!
During UK Parliament Week, Cambridge MP, Daniel Zeichner joined several Rainbow units to share the story of Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night from his office in the Houses of Parliament.
Last month, 5th Cambridge Brownies celebrated Chinese New Year with a virtual sleepover and joined Canadian Sparks and Brownie units for an international campfire.