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Added on: 15th December, 2017 by Derek Hope - Kent Photonews
In 1991 Alison Hope formed the Blackfen Rainbow Unit and her own daughter Louise was one of the first intake of young Rainbows when the unit was founded. Since that time, Alison has held the role of Leader in Charge and the unit has gone from strength to strength, with 20 members and a long waiting list.
But now “Bluebell” as she is known to the children is taking a back seat after a long and distinguished career in Girlguiding. At a Christmas party for the Rainbows on December 12th, Alison presented the unit with their very own flag, and surrounded by children, parents and friends from the Guiding community in Lamorbey District, a cake in the shape and colours of the Rainbow was cut, a framed poem was presented, along with a gift of a potted rose.
Alison said afterwards: “I will always have a deep affection for the unit and all of the girls who have passed through on their journey into Girlguiding. Many of them have grown up and their own children have joined the unit and some have gone on to become leaders themselves.”
“I am not leaving Girl Guiding and hope to be around if I am needed for many years to come, and I know that my own daughter Louise, who I enrolled all those years ago and is now a leader at Blackfen Rainbows, and Nikki Farrell who has been a leader at the unit for six years will bring added dynamism to the meetings and it is great to know that I am leaving the unit in such capable hands”.
It was 53 years ago, when Alison Hope joined 1st St Mary Cray Brownies at the age of 7.
After leaving Brownies to join the 1st St Mary Cray Guide Company, she also took on the role of Pack Leader at the Brownie Unit, where she helped out from the age of 12. Joining 1st Orpington Ranger Unit at age 16, she continued to help out at Brownies and after training became Assistant Leader at 5th St Mary Cray Brownie Pack, taking the pack over 2 years later.
In 1985, Alison took on the role of Leader in Charge at the 1st St Mary Cray Guide Company and only left in 1990 to move to Sidcup. She became District Commissioner in Lamorbey District in 2011, a role that she held for five years.
Pictures show :-
Cutting the Rainbow celebration Cake, retiring Leader in charge, Alison Hope (Centre) seen with the remaining Leaders Louise Matthews (left) and Nikki Farrell.
Presenting the Blackfen Rainbow Unit with their very own flag, Alison Hope (Right), who has been Leader in charge after forming the unit 27 years ago, Louise Matthews her daughter who she enrolled as one of the founding members and Nikki Farrell. Louise and Nikki will become joint Leaders at the unit.
Rainbow Guide Leader Alison Hope, pictured with all her Rainbows at the last meeting of the year