Rainbows Christmas Cracker – Gulliver’s World

Rainbows Christmas Cracker – Gulliver’s World

300 very excited Rainbows from Rochdale, Heywood, Bury and Oldham all gathered for a Christmas celebration at Gulliver’s World. Aptly named ‘Rainbows Christmas Cracker’; this event brought together all Rainbows from Girlguiding Lancashire South East County for a day of festive fun and adventure.



Taking on all types of weather, Rainbows received full access to the Gulliver’s World Theme Park. From the high-flying rides to the slow and steady, Gulliver’s World found themselves in a sea of red uniforms and Christmas hats as the festive spirit grew.

This event was not only for Christmas, this was also a birthday celebration for Rainbows, the youngest group of Girlguiding. The 5 – 7 year old age range, founded as Rainbows, celebrate their 30th birthday this year with a variety of activities happening throughout the country.


Kathryn Abram, Event Coordinator, said “It’s been a tough few months planning the Rainbows Christmas Cracker. The logistics for organising so many young girls has been tiresome work but seeing these girls have so much fun has made it worthwhile.”

Jessica Dawson, aged 6, particularly enjoyed the pantomime show. “The show was really funny, my favourite part was when the turkeys went running around us. I’ve had a really fun day and can’t wait for Christmas.”

Lynne Scales, County Commissioner, said “This is likely to be my last event as County Commissioner with my role coming to an end. I’ve been delighted to enjoy it with my own group of Rainbows. The work and effort of the events team has been fantastic, everyone has had a really good day.”

Maria Dilkes – Queen’s Guide

Maria Dilkes – Queen’s Guide

A young volunteer from Rochdale has been awarded with the highest Girlguiding honour available. In front of 120 volunteer peers, Maria Dilkes, 26, received the award from Kathryn Mason,  Girlguiding Lancashire South Queen’s Guide Co-ordinator.

The Queen’s Guide Award gives you the chance to develop your skills, whilst contributing to guiding and local community at an impressive level. Not only is this a great achievement, but is recognised by potential employers and further education institutions as a mark of excellent dedication, self-challenging and achievements across multiple disciplines.

The Queen’s Guide Award is based on concepts of personal challenge and participation across five sections, Service in Guiding, Outdoor Challenge, Personal Skill Development, Communication Action and Residential. Maria has completed all these sections and her further dedication to Girlguiding is inspiring.

Maria runs 3rd Rochdale Senior Section, a group that she opened herself two years ago. Maria is also a Guide leader at 3rd Rochdale Guides, runs 39th Rochdale St George’s Rainbows and assists with 39th Rochdale St George’s Brownies. She is also a member of Friends of Waddow, Waddow Young Heritage and part of Waddow’s Service Team, these allows Maria to volunteer at national events and support the next generation of young women even more.

Janet Taylor, Maria’s Queen’s Guide Mentor, said “Maria is an enthusiastic, committed and reliable young Leader. She fully deserves to hold the special title of Queen’s Guide. She is a fantastic role model for anyone looking to get involved with Girlguiding.”

Brownies Mission Survive… Mission Complete!

Brownies Mission Survive… Mission Complete!

Over 300 Brownies from Rochdale, Heywood, Bury and Oldham all gathered at Ashworth Valley for the aptly named ‘Brownies Mission Survive’. This event brought together all Brownies from Girlguiding Lancashire South East County for a day of fun activities and learning new skills. Striking it lucky with the weather, Brownies were offered an array of physical and mentally testing tasks. Brownies found themselves working through a variety of stations to perform new and challenging activities which included taking on a tough low ropes course, the scary narrow tunnels of a cave bus and hitting the target with soft archery.

The Brownies received a sticker for any challenge that they managed to complete. A total of eight stickers allowed the Brownies to complete their mission and be rewarded with a Brownies Mission Survive bag and badge.


Michelle Wood, Event Coordinator, said “It’s been a tough few months planning for Brownies Mission Survive. Arranging such a variety of activities for so many young girls has been tiresome work but seeing these girls have so much fun has made it worthwhile.”

Rosa Curran, aged 7, particularly enjoyed the low ropes course. “I slipped off a few times at the start but then I got my balance. I’ve had a really good time.”

Lynne Scales, County Commissioner, said “These events really get into the spirit of Girlguiding. It’s delightful to see Brownies, who have likely never met each other, jumping into tasks and working together so well. Michelle and her team have done a fantastic job and should be very proud.”

Oldham Rainbows Enter A Celebration Wonderland

Oldham Rainbows Enter A Celebration Wonderland

This year marks the 30th birthday of Rainbows with celebrations being held throughout the country. Rainbows from Girlguiding Oldham Division gathered at Trinity’s Methodist Church in Royton and found themselves whisked to their own Wonderland. Decorated to perfection; the church transformed into the perfect host for the party with handcrafted decorations adorning all the walls, setting the scene for a birthday extravaganza.

Sixty Rainbows packed out the venue and undertook a variety of activities themed around Alice in Wonderland, with their very own Alice arriving in fancy dress! These activities were enjoyed by all with the Rainbows being able to make their own edible treats, decorate teacups, craft Wonderland-style hats and create their own colourful layered art in jars. (The last one seriously impressed me and quickly went down on my ‘to do’ list!)


It wasn’t all work though! A section of the hall was transformed into a themed croquet court with activities surrounding it, including a ‘Tweedledee and Tweedledum’ photo booth, large playing cards and a ‘Pin the Grin on the Cheshire Cat’. Overlooking the proceedings was a fantastic tea party display, certifying the amount of time and effort which had gone into making the day a success.

During all these exciting activities, the Rainbows managed to pause for lunch. Gathering in a large circle the girls sang Happy Birthday to each other and blew out the candles on a specially made birthday cake, before getting their very own slice!

Kathryn Abram, Rainbow Leader, said “I have been stressing all week, hoping I had everything I needed to make sure the day ran smooth. It is all worth the time and effort when you see the girls and leaders enjoying themselves.”

Rainbow quotes can be often difficult to get, however, Nieve (5) from St Herbert’s Rainbows gave an impromptu quote from the other side of the room. Halfway through her second activity Nieve loudly exclaimed that “This is the best day ever!” which brought a temporary halt to proceedings before.

With Rainbows fed, watered and exhausted from a day of thoroughly enjoyable activities they left for home knowing they had celebrated their 30th birthday in an excellent and unique manner.

Girls on Parade for St George

Girls on Parade for St George

St George’s Day always brings the Guiding and Scouting Associations together as they parade through the main streets of Heywood; this year’s parade gathered an unprecedented amount of Guide and Scout members and volunteers.

Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, and The Senior Section, led by their Leaders and joined by members of the Trefoil Guild, paraded in full uniform with unit flags and boards. Parading from Harwood Park Primary

School to St Luke’s Church under beautiful blue skies, the Associations packed out the church and renewed their Promises.

Alyson Quinn, Division Commissioner, “St George’s Day is an excellent chance for us to join the celebrations. I’m proud of all the members and Leaders who attended today to represent Girlguiding and Heywood.”

Andrew Weekes, PR and Public Affairs Adviser, “We look forward to St George’s Day every year; it’s a fantastic opportunity to be seen within the community. The last six months have been a huge push to get seen and known. Hopefully the members and Leaders can inspire new girls and volunteers to get involved.”

Isabella Howarth, aged 6 of St Luke’s Rainbows, attended her first St George’s Day Parade. St Luke’s performed the role of Duty Group for Girlguiding which allowed Isabella to lead the girls in parade and in renewing their Rainbow Promise. Afterwards, Isabella said “It’s been really fun. I was a little scared at the front but I had my friends and sister with me.”



Photo Credit: Girlguiding Heywood Division Photographer – Andrew Ridgway, Ridgway Photography

Brownie Emily Gets A Charity Chop

Brownie Emily Gets A Charity Chop

Emily Mahoney, age 10, of Trinity Brownies in Royton is making the headlines for all the right reasons. Sticking to her promise of ‘I will do my best’, Emily has managed to fantastic feats in the last year.

Emily’s first act of ‘Being Her Best’ occurred when she grew her hair out before having it cut and donating it to the Little Princess Trust. This selfless act means that the Little Princess Trust will be able to provide a real hair wig, free of charge, to a boy or girl across the UK and Ireland that have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.

The second act of ‘Being Her Best’ saw Emily receive a ‘Talent For Writing’ award after having an original piece of creative writing that was selected for publication in a Young Writer’s Anthology. Emily’s poem impressed the publishers and was chosen from a whole host of entries of young writers. Emily now eagerly awaits the release date of the Young Writer’s Anthology which is set for Friday 30th June.

Clare, Emily’s mum, said “Emily has been extremely selfless in donating her hair, she wanted to make sure that children suffering from illness had the opportunity to have hair that looked natural whilst they recovered.”

Regarding Emily’s published poem, Clare said “In her writing she is very creative and her poem was fantastic, I am extremely proud of my beautiful little girl and with me being a guiding leader she truly is a great example to other young girls”.

Mike Mahoney, Emily’s dad, said “It’s been a tough 12 months for the Mahoney family and Emily has been an inspiration to us all, I couldn’t be more proud of her”.

If you would like to learn more about the Little Princess Trust; information can be found on their website:- http://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/

Girlguiding gives girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities. If you want to get involved visit www.girlguiding.org.uk.

Exclusive Party Gets Brownies Thinking!

Exclusive Party Gets Brownies Thinking!

4th Heywood St Luke’s Brownies celebrated World Thinking Day in style by hosting their very own American-Themed party. Brownies planned an evening of American-based activities including Cheerleading and Rock ‘n’ Roll lessons from Kat’s Dance Academy!

Each year, World Thinking Day is celebrated by Girlguiding members and Girl Scouts across the world on 22nd February. It is a day of international friendship and solidarity, which also marks the joint birthdays of Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Olave Baden-Powell, who was World Chief Guide.

4th Heywood St Luke’s Brownies were one of the lucky unit’s that won a competition ran by their Region, Girlguiding North West England. The girls had to write about guiding on a global scale, and explore what it means for them to be part of an international organisation. They were selected for their superb answers, and won all of the essential party items for their World Thinking Day celebrations.

The unit was joined by a very special guest, Bekky Ashmore, Assistant Region Chief Commissioner, who took part in all of the exciting party activities and presented each girl and Leader with a special commemorative badge. A surprise visitor to the unit was Nicola Grinstead, World Board Chair of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Neve, 7 years old, said: “I had a super time at the World Thinking Day party, I had fun doing the Rock n’ Roll and Cheerleading, but my favourite part was the sweeties!”

Bekky Ashmore, Assistant Region Chief Commissioner said “I had such a great time celebrating World Thinking Day with 4th Heywood St Luke’s Brownies, exploring what guiding is like for girls across the glove. This huge international family that makes up the 10 million members is such a unique and special movement that provides fantastic opportunities for girls to become the best version of themselves. I’ve had so much fun travelling round the Region, meeting some of our wonderful leaders and members.”

The theme of this year’s World Thinking Day was ‘Let’s Grow’ encouraging girls at all levels of guiding, from local groups to global guiding communities, invite more girls and young women around the world to experience what it means to be part of the Guiding Movement.