Message From Our County Commission
That said 2011 gave us all the opportunity to build on the foundations laid in 2010 and provide girls from Rainbows to Senior Section with good girl led guiding opportunities in a safe environment. In February a group of adults, led by Carol Dunne visited Sangam in India, one of the four World Guiding Centres. Whilst they were celebrating Thinking Day on a different continent we all took the time to remember our Guiding friends in all parts of the world and I had the opportunity to visit Ridgeway Division and take part in their celebrations.
2011 proved to be a year for international adventures, girls and their leaders took part in trips to New Zealand, Switzerland, Uganda and the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden.
The summer months saw girls take part in a wide variety of events locally from activities organised within their units, Districts and Divisions. Brownies enjoyed fun on water, taking part in the Dipper Days organised with Buckinghamshire and Guides took part in OxyGen, formally Girloree and our first County Netball competition.
For leaders there was a chance to relax, cast away items of blue for a while and dress in our Sunday best for our GLAM event (Guide Leaders are Marvellous) and enjoy a boat trip along the River Thames. A lovely afternoon was enjoyed by all with a picnic and the opportunity to catch up with friends.
At our Annual Review last year we launched our ‘Spend A Penny’ campaign to raise money to build an Amenities block on our camp site at Jubilee House. Plans were drawn up and planning permission gained form South Oxfordshire District Council to build a permanent structure providing showers, washing facilities and toilets for those using the camp site. To date our fundraising total stands at thirty two thousand pounds, quite an achievement in just a year and I would like to thank everyone who has made a donation. We still have a way to go to achieve the eighty thousand pounds needed and have recently launched the Water Challenge for members to take part in. This is a booklet of challenges, all water related, and the opportunity to gain a badge once the challenges have been completed.
Jubilee House, our County Headquarters, pack holiday centre and camp site continues to be well used by members for residential events and is booked most weekends. I would like to thank Margaret Fleetwood and members of the management committee and supporters who keep the house clean, tidy and welcoming to all those who use it. Work has also taken place on the climbing tower, again by a group of enthusiastic volunteers, ensuring there is an abseiling venue at the campsite.
Our PR tem ensured our profile was raised during 2011 again building on the successes of 2010. Our website was re-launched and the introduction of an e newsletter sent to every member once a month with news of events, trainings and updates to keep everyone well informed. The Region PR van made its first journey into Oxfordshire during the summer, the van is filled with everything needed to promote Girlguiding and was used at the Thame and Oxfordshire show in July and the Bicester and Finmere show in August again raising our profile throughout the community.
The Autumn saw me formally take over the role of County Commission from Carol Dunne. This gave us an opportunity for the County team to gather and thank Carol for her leadership and enthusiasm over the last five years, not least leading us through a very successful centenary and three large scale County events, this aside her vision, team building and strategic planning has left the County in a very healthy place and encouraged grass roots leaders to get involved in county roles. Carol’s success did not go unnoticed at region and we were delighted when her appointment as Region Assistant Chief Guide was announced.
2011 also saw Margaret Fleetwood’s role as Trefoil Guild chairperson come to an end, Margaret ably led the Trefoil Guild during her five years as chair and has gone on to take up the role as Region Trefoil Guild Chairperson.
In November our first large scale residential event took place for Brownies at Stansfield House. Fiona Jones, our county residential advisor, had the idea to hold the event specifically for leaders without a residential qualification to enable them and their Brownies to experience a Pack holiday and encourage them to go on to gain the qualifications themselves. It was a great success and plans for another event to celebrate the Brownie centenary in 2014 are being formulated.
Girlguiding Oxfordshire is supported in so many ways and I would like to express my thanks to the Friends of Oxfordshire Guiding, their members and the committee who work so hard organising events to raise money which is used to support girls and leaders in Oxfordshire in so many diverse ways, the donations the friends have made have been well received by all recipients. My appreciation also goes to members of the Trefoil Guild for their support at unit and district events and also Division and County activities, I know your support is appreciated by leaders from all sections.
A big thank you to everyone supporting guiding in Oxfordshire