Having spent the past 15 months meeting via Zoom, 14th Stoke on Trent GB community group were able to meet face-to-face in their church car park for the last 4 weeks before the summer holidays – and were blessed with good weather. They finished the term with an awards night to celebrate all the badges the girls have completed via Zoom sessions and their commitment to GB, pictured below. They invited along a local children’s worker to speak and a worship leader to lead them in worship.
Team Leader Amy Rome says ‘I wasn’t sure how it would all work but, reflecting on it, what a witness it was to sing and share God’s work in the open air! Our church car park has houses backing onto it and a boy appeared, watching and listening to what was going on. On a previous week my daughter’s teacher told me she’d driven past and seen us too.
‘We’ve had 3 core families attend throughout the pandemic and they’ve shared how grateful they are for GB continuing to engage their girls, and how we have kept them going as parents. Looking back, I think it would be fair to say, even via Zoom, GB has kept some routine and connection with others for us as leaders – both those of us with children and those alone, all of us were furloughed. The relationships we have with those families is now stronger and deeper, we share in the joys and sadnesses of life, especially the frustrations of isolating!’
Like many other groups, 4th Nottingham wasn’t able to hold an annual awards evening for the girls this year, but leaders did manage to enjoy an evening of celebration with Mia Brown who achieved her Queen’s Award, pictured below. Lorna Bown, Nottinghamshire’s District Team Leader presented the award to Mia speaking highly of her and thanking her for all she does for Girls’ Brigade. Members of Mia’s family were able to join them to congratulate her, which made the evening very special. The group are planning to hold a full awards evening in September when they finally get to meet face-to-face to celebrate all the girls’ achievements over the past two years.
For the last meeting of the year at 18th Sheffield GB community group, the group met outside in the garden at Woodhouse Trinity Methodist Church. There were many activities for the girls to choose from and games to play. It was a lovely end to a very disruptive year enjoying being outside, all ages together. At the end of the evening all the girls received a certificate recognising that they had taken part in GB during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group, pictured below, also received the news that they’ve been awarded a £1,950 boost grant from Lloyds Banking Group’s Community Fund. The money, which is for new computer equipment, was awarded after the group was nominated by Jenny Howis, a Leader at 18th Sheffield who also works for Lloyds.
Good causes that are put forward by bank staff for potential funding are then voted on by colleagues. There was more than 100 applications this year for different community groups across the region and 22 were successful in getting their funding. The opportunity to purchase IT equipment will create some brilliant new experiences and opportunities for the young people and leaders in the new school year – exciting times!
Traditionally 1st Hawkwell GB community group hold an annual awards evening in their church, inviting family and friends to see the girls perform and receive their awards. Last year they had to hold a Zoom awards evening instead and this year, with restrictions still in place, they borrowed a local church with a garden area to the rear and set out some summer fair type activities such as hook-a-duck, a buzzer game, a human fruit machine and the most popular of all – a candy floss machine! Many of these items were generously loaned from two other local churches. The group had a lovely sunny evening with the girls enjoying the activities before settling down to clap each other as they received their awards, picture below.
Team Leader Sally Claydon says ‘It was such a lovely, chilled, evening that we think we might keep the format for next year, with hopefully parents being allowed to join us again in future.’
An awards night with a difference was also organised by 2nd Leigh Park GB community group. Families were sat in groups of six and each group had a box on their table containing their child’s awards and some sweets.