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    This is the time of year when the County calendar would be full of County activities, events and training sessions, instead we are in unprecedented times and we are all having to adjust to a new way of life and Guiding. 
    Everyone one of you is in a different situation, some leaders are keeping in touch with their girls, some delivering activity packs or just pointing their parents in the direction of the Activities at Home resource on the website.   Leaders who feel able are holding virtual meetings and we have even seen a virtual sleepover. 
    This is all amazing work and we thank you for the time and effort you have given to make this happen. 
    Others are not able to do any of this for various reasons and we really want you to know this is just fine.  The clear message from Guiding is “its ok to just be” and we want to reinforce you must not feel under pressure to do anything.  The most important thing is to look after yourself, its ok to say no, its ok to take a break from volunteering. 
    We are really excited about the launch of the new County Website which Rudy Boddington has worked hard to create.  We hope you find the information on there useful so please have a look and as things start to change, we hope it will start to fill up with the events and training that will take place in the future. 
    Hopefully the good weather will return as life is always easier in the sun.
    Best Wishes
    Carol and Cathie

    Unit subscriptions
    Many of you may be worried about how to handle unit subscriptions during this unprecedented time.  Headquarters have put four templates on the Girlguiding Website which are letters you can adapt to reflect your units circumstances. You can find these templates here.
    A big thank you to everyone who paid their unit census especially in the circumstances towards the closing date.  As from the 1st April Cambridgeshire West had paid 92.83% of their invoices and we have received further payments since then.  We do understand getting the signatures on cheques at the moment is difficult but just keep the County Office updated so we can get the final few settled once the restrictions are lifted.
    The trip to the European Jamboree in Poland this year has been postponed until 2021 and the County still have some spaces available.  If any of your girls are interested please get in touch with the County Office on [email protected] for more details.
    Anglia region have challenged us all to come up with a Rhymes, Riddles and Rambles! More details can be found here this is for all sections including leaders and Trefoil Guild so everyone can get involved.
    Hautbois have also adapted their challenge badge some some clauses can be completed at home. To get the challenge pack email them at the region office on, [email protected]
    Don't forget the new challenges to come out weekly from HQ too which are some great challenges to pass on to members they can be found here.
    Virtual guiding
    Cath Warman has created a great guide on how to use Zoom for anyone who feels they may be able to offer virtual guiding. You can find this in the facebook group, which is linked here.
    Lucy Knights our County Special Needs adviser has also created us some top tips for making sure all members are included when running virtual guiding. They are:
    • Send out your plan to parents ahead of the meeting to give the girls time to prepare themselves and be aware of what you are doing.  If you use social stories in your meeting place then continue to use them.
    • Ensure one of the leaders is available via mobile messaging so the parent/carer can let you know if a girl is feeling anxious and you may need to skip over her.  
    • Give the girl time to talk and if needed mute other people so they don't interrupt
    • Ensure all leaders talk clearly straight into the camera.
    • If possible try to have a plain background and make sure you are well lit so you can be easily seen. 
    • Allow more than one form of communication, Ie send details of the meeting via email to parents.
    Safe Space training
    Don’t forget to complete your Level 1 and Level 2 Safe Space online.
    Level 1 and Level 2 Safe Space can be completed online. You don't need to login to GO, you just need to find the e-learning on the website and add your membership number at the end (so that your GO record is updated). It takes about 30 minutes including an online questionnaire.
    All volunteers need to do Level 1. This includes Young Leaders, DofE volunteers, Admin roles, occasional helpers in fact everyone on GO.
    Unit Helpers, Assistant Leaders, Leaders, Leaders in Training and Young Leaders need to do Level 2 including the online questionnaire.

    I hope you are able to help each other to complete Level 1 and Level 2.

    If you need any help, please email Julie Barker on "[email protected]",
    Safe space training link
    New website
    We are now ready to launch the new website. Thank you to all those who helped us test and tweak it. Please have a look around, hopefully you will find everything you need if not please let Rudy have any ideas you may have. It will keep evolving so please do keep checking back!
    The website address is now

    County standard
    We are having the county standard reproduced in sew on blanket badge form. If you would like to pre-order one they will be £2 each and you can do so on the website, which can be found here.
    We are running a virtual quiz night as part of the 2.6 challenge being run by charities across the country. This is to raise funds for Girlguiding HQ at a time where most fundraising opportunities have been cancelled or postponed for the year.
    To join us make a donation on our Justgiving page (suggested donation £2.60) and that will send you a link to join us via Zoom on the night. The winner will get a virtual trophy too!
    Gather the family, grab the snacks and enjoy the fun! It's not restricted to Guiding people either so you could challenge you friends to see who gets the better scores, the more the merrier!
  2. Hello all,

    We are both delighted to be appointed joint County Commissioners for Girlguiding Cambridgeshire West and we feel this will give us a fantastic opportunity to work with the County team and yourselves to take the County forward.

    We, and I am sure all of you, would like to extend our thanks to Helen for the last five years and we wish her all the best in her next adventure.

    We both carry out our Guiding in Ramsey District, St Ives Division and between us we have 40 years Guiding experience. We both bring different skills and experiences to the role including being unit leaders with Rainbows, Guides and Rangers, Finance up to County level, roles as District and Division Commissioners and Training.  We hope we can put these skills to good use and with your help and support continue to make Cambridgeshire West the amazing County it is.

    We are at present going through a very unsettling time and we hope you and your families are keeping well and safe.  We look forward to resuming guiding in the County so you can all continue doing all the amazing things you do for the girls.  

    They say in Guiding that “strangers are friends who have not yet met”! so we are both looking forward to making lots of new friends over the coming 5 years.

    Cathie Catterall and Carol Dalton

    E mail – [email protected]

    Training update
    • Why not complete your Level 1 and Level 2 Safe Space whilst you "Stay At Home"? Level 1 and Level 2 Safe Space can be completed online. You don't need to login to GO, you just need to find the e-learning on the website or click on the button below and add your membership number at the end (so that your GO record is updated). It takes about 30 minutes including an online questionnaire.All volunteers need to do Level 1. This includes Young Leaders, DofE volunteers, Admin roles, occasional helpers in fact everyone on GO. Unit Helpers, Assistant Leaders, Leaders, Leaders in Training and Young Leaders need to do Level 2 including the online questionnaire. I hope you are able to help each other to complete Level 1 and Level 2.
    • We have cancelled First Response Training on Sunday 26th April due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
    • We are likely to cancel Safe Space Level 3 on Saturday 6th June, First Response on Saturday 13th June and First Response Refresher on Saturday 4th July due to the risk of coronavirus. We will contact leaders who are booked on these courses in due course.
    If there are any questions please contact Julie Barker.
    Click here for e-learning module Safe Space level 1
    Virtual Guiding 
    We have designed a badge to commemorate all the hard work and virtual guiding going on out there! There are no requirements to earn it, you as leaders can award it for whatever you see fit. We are running it as pre-sale until the 21st of April. Badges are £1 each, please fill out this form to order.
    We thought we would use this newsletter to introduce you to the new Cambs West County Executive team.
    Assistant County Commissioner - Julie Cox
    Julie is continuing in the role of Assistant County Commissioner. She said "I’m a working Mum of one, I’ve been Guiding for 30 years and have a very understanding husband!
    I started my Guiding career as a Brownie (there were no Rainbows when I was 5!) and worked my way up to be a Leader in the late 80’s. I became an Assistant Leader and then took over another Pack where I have been Brown Owl for the rest of the time. I’ve been very lucky to have had a dedicated team throughout that time and we’ve supported each other through the highs and lows of life. I’ve also been a District Commissioner, Division Commissioner and now Assistant County Commissioner. I work at Peterborough City Hospital for Progress Health and we ensure the behind the scenes services of the hospital run smoothly whilst working closely with the hospital Trust. In my spare time, I love walking in the countryside and escape to the coast or the Lakes as often as we can. I look forward to the next 5 years as ACC in this wonderful Guiding family that we are and I’m sure I will meet most of you during that time."
    Media and Communications - Rudy Boddington
    Rudy is joining the exec team, after standing down as Guide adviser after completing her term. She has been guiding since she was 5, works in ICT and runs a small sewing business where she learnt all her social media skills. She said "I'm looking forward to shouting from the rooftops what a brilliant organisation we are part of, and creating communication to help leaders be part of our big county team. I'm also recruiting for the Media and Comms team so if you or someone you know would like to join me please contact me"
    Events Chair - Liz Zeintek
    Liz's role is changing to Events chair, she said "I am a Brownie and Guide leader in Huntingdon, part of Hinchingbrooke Division. I joined the County Team 4 years ago as Holiday Adviser, part of the Programme and Adventure Team and was the lead organiser in the Camp Skillsbuilder Day last summer. Two years ago I took over as Chair of the Programme and Adventure Team. With the new programme came the need for change in the team structure and I am pleased to have been asked to lead the new Events Team. The aim is provide a County Event for each section each year. Anyone is welcome to help with the planning of an individual event or for several events as part of a Rainbow, Brownie, Guide or Ranger team. If you have an idea or would like to help with an event please contact me!"
    Membership support chair - Liz Elmore
    Liz is joining the team as the new membership support chair, she said "like most of you I volunteered to help out "occasionally" when my daughter joined Brownies almost 30 years ago. I soon found myself as an assistant Guider for 1st Farcet guides, taking over the unit when the leader left, working with various leaders and girls in Guides and Senior section at Farcet for the next 20 odd years.
    During that time I held a number of roles from District and Division Commissioner, through to a variety of outdoor roles both locally and at Region level. I have participated in a number of CHQ initiatives as well as taking girls to many events at home and abroad, a large number of which I played a part in the organisation of. All of this experience has led to my current role as chair of the Membership support group"
    County Adviser Responsible for Training - Julie Barker
    Julie is now in the role of CART, she said "I was a Brownie, Guide and Ranger and went straight on to being a young leader then Assistant Guide Leader with my old Guide unit. I am still in contact with my Guide Captain and District Commissioner! I left guiding for a while and even joined venture scouts in my 20s. I came back to Girlguiding when my two daughters became involved with Brownies. I then became Brown Owl then Assistant Guide Leader before District Commissioner, Assistant County Commissioner and now County Adviser Responsible for Training. This means that I organise the training programme for the County liaising with our Trainers. I am here to answer any training needs. Just email me on [email protected]"
    Outdoor activities Adviser - Carol Warren
    Carol is joining the exec team as the new Outdoor activities adviser, she's looking forward to organising another large campfire. She said: 'I joined Girlguiding in 1974 and not left yet. My guiding name is Daffodil. I work as a support worker for adults with Prada Willi syndrome and learning difficulties.'