Two guiding members from Fenland honoured at gala dinner in Cambridge

TWO guiding members from Fenland, Paula Syred and Sheila Otter, were honoured for their service and contribution to Girlguiding UK at a gala dinner in Cambridge.

Paula, from March, was presented with the prestigious Anglia Brooch, one of guiding’s highest awards, by county commissioner Sue Carpenter.

The award is given to those who have gone beyond the call of duty to provide exciting opportunities for girls involved in guiding.

Paula has been involved in guiding since she was a Brownie and has volunteered as a leader in March since 1986. She was lucky enough to celebrate Girlguiding UK’s Centenary last year by leading a group of Guides to a fantastic week-long adventure to Switzerland, joining 600 others.

Over the past seven years, Paula has been instrumental in the development of guiding across Fenland through her role as Division Commissioner for the area. During this time, Girlguiding Fenland was the recipient of a Big Lottery fund grant, called SWITCH, which was designed to take guiding to new areas and Paula played a key role in ensuring its success in Manea village.

Meanwhile, Sheila Otter, a guiding member from Wisbech, was also presented with her 50-year Long Service Award.

The award recognises Sheila’s exceptional contribution and dedication to guiding. For much of this time, Sheila was a Guide leader with the 3rd Wisbech Guides, and has taken them camping and on numerous international trips to Switzerland.

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Sheila’s contribution goes beyond the unit though and she has also held roles as Assistant County Commissioner and a trainer, as well as being involved with guiding at a regional level.

Sheila continues to support local guiding as a mentor for new leaders, a unit administrator and a member of the committee of the Robert Hall Guide and Scout Centre.

Ms Carpenter said: “Both Paula and Sheila have given so many girls and young women the opportunity to try new things and reach for new goals through the activities and events they have organised.

“They have both shown exceptional commitment and dedication to guiding, not only volunteering weekly with their units but also by supporting and encouraging others.

“I’d like to congratulate both of them on their richly-deserved awards on behalf of everyone in the county”.

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