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Girl Guiding Stalwarts recognised for over 70 years of service.

Added on: 26th February, 2018 by Derek Hope - Kent Photonews

Girl Guiding Stalwarts recognised for over 70 years of service.

Girl Guides Thinking Day

Last Updated:
Tue, 27 February 2018

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Between them, two Girl Guiding stalwarts have been recognised for over 70 years of dedicated service to the Girl Guiding movement. Presentations were made to the pair when members of the Girl Guiding community in Lamorbey District gathered on 24th February to celebrate Thinking Day, the joint birthdays of the founders of the Scouting and Girl Guiding movements Lord Baden-Powell and his wife Olave . The event, held at Holy Redeemer Church, Sidcup welcomed girls from Rainbows (Aged 5-7) Brownies (Aged 7-10) and Guides (Aged 10-14) for a day of activities and fun and to remember the roots of Girl Guiding.

The first presentation was to Dulcie Austin-Smith (Left) who Alison Hope said that prior to her recent retirement from active Guiding had devoted over 30 years to Guiding, been the leader at a number of units, Division Commissioner for Hurst Division, District Commissioner for Lamorbey District, a mentor to leaders and a friend to all in the local Guiding community. She organised trips abroad for leaders and taken part in numerous Guiding activities. Stories, pictures and anecdotes about her Guiding life were obtained and compiled by a committee formed from members of Lamorbey District, Alison Hope, Louise Matthews, Melissa Wilson, Helen Benford and Jan Scales. The resulting material was made into a red book “Your Guiding Life” by Rainbow Guide Leader Louise Matthews. Louise was among the first intake of five year olds when Dulcie, helped Louise’s mother, Alison Hope set up Blackfen Rainbow Unit in 1991. Dulcie later became a Leader at the unit and the book contains tributes and remembrances of Dulcie’s work with Guiding provided by Leaders and ex Leaders and friends in the Girl Guiding community.

There then followed another surprise presentation, this time to Alison Hope herself who has been an active Leader for over 40 years and been a member of Girl Guiding for more than 50 years. Anita Munns, County Commissioner for Greater London Kent visited the event to make the presentation of the 40 year long service award and certificate. “I had actually forgotten all about my own award” said Alison afterwards “The date came up in my reign as District Commissioner, and although it was always in the background, I never got around to my own presentation”.
Alison recently completed 27 years service as Leader in charge at Blackfen Rainbow Unit and for five years was Lamorbey District Commissioner. Alison remains a keen member of Girl Guiding in the role of District Supporting Leader and District Treasurer, and like Dulcie is a Trefoil Guild member. Trefoil Guild is for adult members from age 18 upwards.

Picture shows:- Dulcie Austin-Smith (left) with her Big Red Book which details her Guiding life with pictures and tributes collected in a period of over 30 years. Next to Dulcie is Rainbow Guide Leader Louise Matthews who made up the book, and was one of the first Rainbows to be enrolled into the Blackfen Rainbow unit when Dulcie helped to form it in 1991. On the right are Anita Munns, County Commissioner for Greater London Kent presenting Alison Hope with her 40 year long service award and certificate for services to Girl Guiding.

Other pictures by Derek Hope-Kent Photonews, show :-

The art of deportment, demonstrated and practiced by girls from the Blackfen Rainbow Unit.

In the Switzerland section, these Guides from 1st Lamorbey Guide Unit, Neve Doorgapershad, Holly Lineham and Charlotte Hall show their skier models made from Pegs, lollipop sticks, pipe cleaners, cocktail sticks and polystyrene.

A picture from the Photo booth set up on the India section. Every girl was presented with a photograph of herself and friends in Indian attire montaged into a souvenir picture.

In the Switzerland corner, Alison Hope taught the girls how to yodel.

If you would like to know about volunteering with Girl Guiding, go to

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