Robyn Downer (26) leader of The Bay Rangers, part of Girlguiding IW Senior Section has gained her Queen’s Guide Award- the first member of Girlguiding IW to do so since 2003.
In an introduction to the presentation Senior Section Commissioner and Queen’s Guide Advisor Hannah Pothecary said, “This prestigious and challenging award empowers young women aged 16 to 25 to develop vital leadership skills, raise their aspirations and broaden their horizons.”
Robyn said: “Doing my Queen’s Guide Award has helped me to gain confidence when meeting new people and speaking in front of them”. Putting this into practice Robyn introduced a presentation to an invited audience which showed the various tasks she had undertaken over a period of 3-4 years.
Being the leader of the Bay Rangers gave Robyn the opportunity to show her leadership skills in a number of ways which culminated in Robyn gaining a full leadership qualification for the unit as well as camping and catering qualifications. Running a Guide Unit at Shanklin where she helped Guides gain BP Awards also played a big part in the Queen’s Award.
Robyn organised and planned a special event for Island girls when a visit to Cadbury World was undertaken, a long and enjoyable day but full of chocolate!
An e-learning course has proved very successful for Robyn resulting in a qualification in Girlguiding branding. Choosing the New Forest for a 4 day/3 night exploration of this area with other Girlguiding members proved very interesting with visits to Beaulieu, Bucklers Hard and Exbury Gardens. Robyn said, “At Beaulieu we enjoyed the House and the Motor Museum’s Top Gear exhibition and as it was Spring when we visited, the flowers at Exbury were full of colour.”
Helping the community also forms part of the Queen’s Guide Award and Robyn, together with some of the Rangers, painted the Railway underpass at Lake Station. After planning a design showing an outline of the Island with some of the Island’s ‘wonders’ Guide badges were added and to support this practical work Robyn did research into urban Graffiti particularly the works of Banksy.
Choosing Bell Ringing for her ‘Personal Interest’ was a natural choice for Robyn who has been ringing church bells since the age of 5. Her aim for this Award was to undertake longer peals. For her grandfather Alf Downer’s 90th Birthday last year the peal at Whitwell Church took 2 and a half hours and Robyn has completed several other long peals.
Congratulating Robyn and presenting her with her badge and certificate was Shirley Saunders Island Commissioner for Girlguiding IW and the ceremony took place at St. John’s Annex, Sandown. The certificate is signed by HM The Queen and The Island Commissioner.
Chief Guide Gill Slocombe says: “Girlguiding’s research shows most girls aged 16 to 21 – 58 per cent – aspire to take on leadership roles in their future careers – but they need to see more inspiring women at the top to give them the confidence to do so.
The Queen’s Guide Award is all about showing young women that this is possible, that they have the potential to take on any challenge the world throws at them and become tomorrow’s leaders in all walks of life so that they can go on to inspire the next generation to aim high.”