Harriet Townsend from Newport, Leader of 11th Newport Guides and assistant leader with other units on the Island has gained the top award within Girlguiding – The Queen’s Guide Award.
After returning to the Island following university and travelling abroad, Harriet stepped right back into Girlguiding and was welcomed back to the Island.
Harriet: “So glad I decided to give it a go”
“This welcome back was amazing. However, I felt a bit low and lost with what to do with myself. Someone had mentioned about doing my Queen’s Guide Award and after looking into the criteria and speaking with Shirley and Lesley the Commissioners for Girlguiding IW about how to start, I set off.”
Harriet continues her adventure,
“My first consideration was my age, as then aged 23 I knew I would have to be quick in starting and completion because of the deadline for this year’s 26th birthday.
“Looking back, I am so proud and glad I decided to give it a go. When handing my completed booklet in, three days before my 26th birthday, I was so happy.”
To achieve the Queen’s Guide Award those taking part carry out five main challenges each with different elements. Harriet undertook the following:
Service in Girlguiding
Part 1: Local Guiding – Assistant Brownie Leader and gaining Module 4 Leadership and running Yarmouth Guides for a year. Helping at Guide Camps and Brownie Pack Holidays.
Part 2: New responsibility – Gained licence and was leader in charge for a Brownie Pack Holiday including taking girls swimming.
Part 3: Working with other units -Joined GIW County Events Team assisting with planning and running of County Carnival Day at Sandown.
Part 4: World wider Guiding – Travelled on ‘ICE’ project to Amsterdam-first aider and an assistant leader of community project which took 24 Guides to Amsterdam for five days.
Part 1: Planning an expedition involving over 18’s no dangerous equipment and all paperwork in place.
Part 2: Challenge – Two other girls and Harriet took part in a challenge to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall whilst camping over five days. Sadly, they only made it 56 out of the 72 miles.
Part 3: Presentation – Speaking about this Expedition to a Guide Unit and Rangers and offering this as a great Girlguiding opportunity.
Personal Skill development
For this section Harriet learnt to Knit choosing knitting as a skill useful to learn for later in life.
Within the 12-month time Harriett completed a snood and tried to make a chunky knit jumper.
Part 1: Practical – Assisting Age UK – volunteering with the good- neighbour scheme and visiting an elderly lady once a week for six months
Part 2: A Research project carried out to identify if Island residents were aware of the services offered by Age UK and if they could be improved.
The overall response was that elderly people were unaware of the services and thought the service needed more marketing. Harriet also found out that the younger the person the more likely they were to help or volunteer in the future.
Harriet tells more:
“The final Challenge was to take part in a Girlguiding two-night residential event where I knew none of the other participants. For this I chose to attend an Adult INTOPS selection weekend at Foxlease, I knew no one out of the 60 participants.
“We were put into teams to carry out tasks which included, an egg drop, dream holiday task, ready steady cook challenge and campfire. I had a lovely weekend with other leaders, learnt some new songs and games and did make some new friends.
“I loved every minute of my Queen’s Guide experience even when stressed with family, job and moving but it was defiantly worth it. I am so happy to have completed it. A huge thank you to everyone who supported and helped with this award. It is not just for me but everyone.”
Harriet was presented with her award by Girlguiding IW Commissioners Lesley Clifford and Shirley Saunders. Harriet’s sister who is a Guide joined in the celebrations.
News shared by Suzanne on behalf of Isle of Wight Girlguiding. Ed