Blog / May 27th, 2021
County Spotlight: Essex North East
Essex North East is a large County spreading from Great Yeldham on the Suffolk border encompassing the seaside towns of Clacton, Frinton and Harwich the rural area of Halstead and the London commuter belt including Ingatestone.
We have the benefit of historic Colchester and Chelmsford, the birthplace of radio, as well as rural towns and village. We enjoy the wildlife of salt marshes and mudflats as well as the sandy beaches of the Sunshine coast.
We are proud of our amazing units and volunteers and our county campsite, Riffhams is a back to basic gem.
What have we been up to?
Much like the other counties, due to Covid-19 Girlguiding in Essex North East has gone online. Our fantastic leaders have sorted entertainment and education by running virtual guiding for our units. Guides in Frinton-on-sea were given boxes with crafts and activities for their weekly meetings and other units have invited guests along such as virtual animal encounters, magic shows and story tellers.
Units in Elmstead and Braintree divisions hosted virtual sleepovers and camps to celebrate World Thinking Day, and of course- these included making everyone’s favourite, smores! One of the brilliant opportunities provided by the online world is that we are able to meet with people from further afield- Elmstead Division’s World Thinking Day event included Girlguiding members from Portsmouth and girls from Chelmsford were “visited” by a leader from Canada.
We’ve had some big birthdays too, 1st Writtle Guides celebrated their 100th Birthday and 1st Writtle Brownies celebrated their 60th!
During 2020, our County Commissioner Julie Craven and her fantastic team put together the County Commissioners Challenge 2020 which is a brilliant challenge badge for individuals or units. It featured weekly themes and activity suggestions June to December 2020 and it’s not too late to visit our website to view the challenges for inspiration, and order badges.
GENE Radio Show
Throughout the last year the volunteers and girls have continued to give girls a voice with our very own GENE Radio Show
Essex County Cricket
Last year we teamed up with the Essex Ladies Cricket Captain Kelly Castle who ran a virtual coaching session and Essex Cricket in the community have more face to face cricket events planned for our young members.
The Light Project
Girls and leaders from Girlguiding Chelmsford have recently taken part in a ten week on line STEAM project to plan and make an amazing installation. The project was funded by Essex 2020 and the Ragdoll Project, who’s aim to give children a voice through creative arts. The installation, titled “Lockdown Loss and Future Hope” reflects the positive impact that pets have had on the girls’ lives during the pandemic.
“The artwork is dedicated to all our lockdown pets, those that have gone over the rainbow bridge and those that we hope to have in the future”
Snapping the Stiletto Animation Project
We have an exciting partnership with the Snapping the Stiletto campaign, a National Lottery Heritage Funded project which aims to seek equality and challenge stereotypes by sharing and celebrating the stories of Essex women.
Girls across the county were given the opportunity to take part one of two, four-week introduction to online animation. You can find this here and here.
They brought portraits of female role models and self-portraits to life through animation on a tablet. They learned about looping and morphing tips and tricks to make effective and beautiful short, animated videos.
Their final animations will be used as part of the Essex wide Snapping the Stiletto project.
Onwards and upwards
I am sure that most of us will tell you that we have been given some brilliant opportunities and made some fantastic memories which we otherwise would not have, if we hadn’t volunteered our time in the first place. I would like to extend the County’s heartfelt thanks for all our amazing volunteers have done to continue guiding in our area, and keeping our members interested during these difficult times.
As units begin face to face meetings our members continue to challenge both themselves and the girls in their care.