A New Adventure

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Girlguiding Profile

Published in TR11 magazine June 2015


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Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK. The guiding experience offers 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.

Christine Bunnett, the District Commissioner for the Falmouth area spoke to TR11 magazine: “There are 11 guiding units within Falmouth. We have a varied programme which is all girl led. They decide what they want to do.”

What do girls in guiding do?

Rainbows have fun

Rainbows are girls aged 5 to 7 and follow a programme called the Rainbow Jigsaw, through which they can take part in lots of different activities with girls their own age. Falmouth has two Rainbows units, both meet on Mondays, one from 4-5pm and the other from 6-7pm.

Brownies do cool stuff

Brownies are girls aged 7 to 10 who become a member of a Six and follow a programme called the Brownie Adventure. Brownies opens up a world of exciting challenges and the opportunity to try new things and to make brilliant friends. Falmouth has two Brownie units, two meet on Mondays and two meet on Tuesdays.

Guides make things happen

Guides are girls aged 10 to 14 who are given the chance to explore their individual skills and abilities and try out new challenges as part of a team. Girls can get involved in anything from adventure sports to performing arts, travel and taking part in community action projects. There are currently four Guide units in Falmouth, they also meet on Mondays and Tuesdays. However a new leader is needed for one of the Monday groups from September or the group will have to close.

The Senior Section explore more

The Senior Section offers young women aged 14 to 26 the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities through a flexible and inspiring programme which offers a huge variety of challenges, activities and opportunities for personal development. This group meet fortnightly on a Tuesday.

Why is guiding just for girls?

Our young members have told us that it’s important for them to have their own space where friends can explore the issues they care about and have the confidence to enjoy new experiences and learn vital skills.

Why do you still wear a uniform?

We feel as an organisation that it is important to have a uniform to develop team spirit and a sense of identity. With around half a million members, we have girls from very different social and economic backgrounds – having a standardised range of clothing helps girls relate to one another without embarrassment.

How is Girlguiding funded?

Our volunteers give their time completely freely. We are a charity which is funded through membership subscriptions, and other supporters – for example, generous individuals and legacies from supporters – as well as through gifts from trusts, foundations and partners.

We are always interested in talking to people or organisations who would be interested in supporting our work financially. Please contact the Fundraising and Marketing Team at supporters@girlguiding.org.uk for more information on ways to ensure guiding is the place that girls and young women choose to be for the next 100 years.

What is Girlguiding’s policy on accepting girls with disabilities?

We are an open and inclusive organisation and our programmes are specifically designed to be flexible enough for girls and women of almost any level of ability to participate. Many of our girls with disabilities say that guiding is one of the few places where they are accepted as ‘normal’.

The Falmouth guiding units offer a wide variety of fun, age-appropriate activities. If the weather is fine they might go geocaching or for a nature walk or visit a local park or have a barbeque and play games on the beach. Indoor activities include arts and crafts, cooking, playing games and science experiments.

Guiding units also get the opportunity to go on camps. This may be a weekend away under canvas such as the Condurrow camp near Truro where the girls can try out kayaking. Others are longer; a week away at a PGL camp offers plenty of adventure including biking, orienteering, abseiling, zorbing and zip-wiring. There are also day trips out to local places of interest such as a recent trip to Port Eliot.

Girlguiding in Falmouth is only made possible with the help of voluntary leaders, assistants, administrators and the members themselves. More girls and women are needed to keep these groups active. If guiding sounds like something you would enjoy doing, please get in touch to arrange a free taster session. We would love to hear from you.

Penryn Student Plans Alternative Holiday

Published in the West Briton May 29, 2014

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A student from Penryn is making preparations to spend a month of his summer break working in Malawi on a sports outreach programme.

Robert Banks, 22, a former  Penryn College pupil has just completed his second year at the University of Gloucester where he is studying towards a degree in Physical Education and Sports Coaching.

The Sport Malawi initiative uses sport as a vehicle for community development with particular emphasis on youth, inclusion and HIV prevention.  Mr Banks said: “I’ve done all the different lads holidays, I thought it’s time to put my degree to some use and give something back to the people who have been less fortunate than I am.”

Robert Banks after completing the Cardiff half-marathon. Photo source: Robert Banks

Robert Banks after completing the Cardiff half-marathon. Photo source: Robert Banks

A group of ten students accompanied by three lecturers begin their journey with a 16 hour flight to Lilongwe on 12 June. They will then travel north to Mzuzu, an eight hour journey on mostly dirt roads. “We’ll be staying in the old university chapel, basic accommodation.  We’ll have to cook on an open fire and the electricity goes off at night,” added Mr Banks.




The team will travel daily to schools in rural areas to hold sports activities and workshops for children aged five to 18.  The team supplies much needed sports equipment and kit to the schools.  They also help with community projects. “Last year they built a room to put the sports equipment in,” said Mr Banks.

Established in 2008, Sport Malawi expeditions have been running for seven years and have grown year upon year.  It is estimated that more than 2,500 Malawi participants have benefited from the activities. At the end of the expedition the Sport Malawi team plan to go on a safari and go fishing on the lake.

To raise funds Mr Banks has participated in a 24 hour sponsored cycle, cake sales and packed bags at supermarkets. He has set up a donation page available at:


Shelterbox to the rescue

Published in Flex Issue 4 February 2014.

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A Helston charity is providing vital support in the Philippines assisting families in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

Shelterbox, a humanitarian aid organisation, provides rapid response worldwide following natural and man-made disasters. David Crook, 63, a volunteer for the past six years said: “Our ethos is to provide shelter, warmth, dignity and hope in the shape of a green plastic box.”

The Super Typhoon tore through the Philippines archipelago on November 8 2013 with wind speeds reaching 195 miles per hour. Mr Crook added: “This is the largest storm to make landfall. We estimate 11 million people have been affected with 1.8 million people displaced. “We have 11 response teams in the area; three teams were already in Bohal responding to the earthquake of October 15. The building they were in collapsed around them.”

Shelterbox volunteer David Crook. Photo source: Julia Conway

Shelterbox volunteer David Crook. Photo source: Julia Conway

Volunteers at the warehouse on Water-Ma-Trout Industrial Estate pack boxes with equipment including a family size tent, cooking equipment, water containers and purification, blankets and a children’s activity pack. A team of ten can pack a typical consignment of 224 boxes in two hours.

Mr Crook said of one victim whose home was destroyed: “Jeremiah and daughter Jingle Heart have moved into a Shelterbox disaster relief tent. They had been sheltering from torrential rain under a sheet of tarpaulin, but now they can keep dry.”

Shelterbox was founded in 2000. Their first consignment of 143 boxes was deployed to help earthquake victims in India in January 2001. Since then they have worked in 85 countries, responded to more than 200 disasters and provided temporary homes for about 1.25 million people.

To find out more about fundraising, voluntary work opportunities or to make a donation contact www.shelterbox.org.