County May 2020 newsletter

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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!

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