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Blog / April 24th, 2024

Uniformed Youth Fund – May 2024

A couple of months ago, I shared that we were able to support units with over £6000 worth of support towards subscription payments. This month I caught up with Sylv of 2nd Westcliff Rangers, a unit that received £160 towards their subscription invoice. At the beginning of our project, 2nd Westcliff Rangers had 1 Ranger. By subscription time, that had increased to 6 Rangers. We know increasing capacity and girl numbers close to subscriptions can make budgeting a bit tricky and so we offered the unit some money towards this important bill. I caught up with Sylv to hear how the unit had grown and how the money had impacted them.

Hey Sylv, your Ranger unit has really grown in the last year. Can you tell other volunteers what has worked so well for your unit?

The unit has grown from 2 girls (one YL) who didn’t want to leave Guides. Now our Guides meet weekly and Rangers fortnightly. We invite 13+ Guides to come along to Rangers. This has really helped with keeping girls in guiding past their 13th birthday, it’s now natural to just move up to Rangers.

What fun activities does your unit like to do?

Our Guides and Rangers are very active in guiding. Last term we had a ‘Ready Steady Cook your lunch on a budget’ day as we were saving every penny towards the subscription bill in February.

Most of our group were involved in the 30th Gang Show in Southend held every alternate February Half Term. I have always encouraged my Guides to sign up as it’s such a fabulous experience giving girls additional confidence and a completely different circle of local friends, many of which they keep for life. 5 of the 16 Rangers and 5 of the 22 Guides appearing in the show were ours. Rehearsals start in September, and it is a huge commitment alongside attending Guides/Rangers.
One Ranger said:

Gang show meant seeing friends and having fun with them, making memories, and learning unforgettable dances and singing that we still do every Ranger night!

Many of our group are attending Hautbois Fest in August and they’re really looking forward to the festival experience – music, adventure and spending time with friends.

You called me your Fairy Godmother when I wrote to you to offer you the funding. Can you tell me what it means to your unit?

I’d just told the other guiding volunteers that we should focus our fundraising efforts on the Rangers group this term. Paying our subscription bill was going to wipe out our savings pot. We were booked on a CluedUpp CSI day on Saturday 13 April as a celebration after the February Gang Show. The grant means we can now think of doing something else with them in the summer term too.

Tell me a bit more about the CSI day, what did the girls think?

7 of our group went on a murder mystery event in Chelmsford, where 4 people had been found dead. Guided by a mobile app the girls had to hunt for clues, solve cryptic puzzles and interrogate virtual witnesses. They competed with other general public teams, primarily adults, to see who the best detectives were. This is the official report from our group in their own words:

This was a great day out and a very challenging exercise. We should have spent more time reading the lengthy instructions as it took us the first half hour to work out what we needed to do. However, when we did, it was good fun. We suffered network problems but we managed to eventually work out who the murderer was. The weather was beautiful, we ate our packed lunches in the sunshine, pausing the challenge and enjoying some down time with our friends. A large challenge was to walk though Primark, the fastest route, without stopping to look! Our day concluded by eating delicious ice creams before catching the bus back home. We would recommend this type of activity. We felt it was too complicated for Guides, but it would certainly challenge any Ranger/Adult groups.

That sounds like a lot of fun and very age appropriate for those older Guides and Rangers. Is there anything else you’ve done differently since the grant?

After we received the grant, I went shopping and bought the ingredients to make DIY Easter eggs, which the girls had asked to do. The grant really helped as I didn’t feel panicky about spending money. They are good girls and have not asked to do many activities needing bought resources since we opened as they are aware of finances. It was wonderful to treat them.

It was great to catch up with Sylv. If your unit has welcomed new Guides or Rangers this year, I’d love to hear your story and share it in a future blog. Do get in touch.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog and would like to read more about the project head to our first blog.

Next month’s blog coming in June. Last month’s blog

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