Girlguiding Isle of Wight leaders from across the Island joined together recently for an Awards Ceremony hosted by Island Commissioner Linda Stone.

Proceedings were commenced by Linda welcoming local dignitaries to the event- these included the Honorable Mrs. D. Nicholson DL, Kay Marriott JPThe Island’s High Sheriff and her husband Brian, Claire Critchison, Chair Isle of Wight Council, Girlguiding Isle of Wight President Gioia Minghella-Giddens and her husband Richard.

In her opening speech Linda recalled many Girlguiding Isle of Wight activities over the past year saying how pleased she was that Girlguiding had kept running during the COVID-19 pandemic via zoom meetings. However, as soon as restrictions were lifted leaders and girls were out and about again enjoying the countryside and helping within their communities.

As well as the regular weekly meetings for Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers several special activities had been undertaken throughout the year. These included an all Island get together for Rainbows at Puckpool Park, special cooking competitions and camps for Guides, girls taking part in local carnivals and some Rangers attending a special camp in Norfolk. Girlguiding IW had really celebrated the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with Shanklin Brownies presenting a park bench to Shanklin Town Council, a very special beacon on top of the Downs at Shorwell, Rainbow Leader Charlotte Young being selected to attend the official parade in London and well over 100 girls and leaders supporting the Newport Town Parade. More recently members had attended church services to commemorate the late Queen’s life as she had been the long-time Patron of Girlguiding. Girls and leaders had been selected to represent the UK on international trips in 2023 with fundraising on-going for this.

Stepping up to commence the award presentations, Didi Nicholson, Kay Marriott and Gioia Minghella-Giddens presented Girlguiding’s Hero Awards to five members. These Awards are only presented in special circumstances to those who have shown extra endeavour or bravery. Sisters Grace and Kate had undertaken a sea trip around the Island to raise money for local charity Kissy Puppy. They had raised over £2,000. Imogen and Tessa had helped the community whilst leader Gemma Honey had saved a life with her first aid knowledge.

Gemma with Mrs. D. Nicholson DL.
Imogen with Kay Marriott- IW High Sherriff
Tessa with Kay Marriott.
Kate and Grace with Gioia (GIW President)

Many Awards were presented in the Long Service category with service ranging from 5- 30 years. During this section there was a surprise for Claire Critchison when she was presented with her 5year Service Award.

Claire (IW Council Chair) with Linda Stone.

Nominated by others, Island Awards and Standard Awards were also presented to those who have ‘gone that bit extra’ both within Guiding or their community.

A ‘Good Service’ Award was given to Jim Walls of Ryde for his contribution to Girlguiding over decades. As he was unable to attend this event so Jim was presented with his Award at a unit meeting- (Picture below).


Emily Sparrow- Standard.
Emily Knight- 10 years + Standard.
Donna Sanders-20 years + IW Badge

Gallery of Awards:

Alice Blyth- Standard.
Kerry Hiscock- IW Badge
Sharon Burch- IW Badge
Anne Watson receives her IW Badge from IW Council Chairman.
Emma Bryson receives her IW Badge from IW Council Chairman.

Following refreshments, a raffle was held. This was organised by two Guides, Emily and Keira from 1st Carisbrooke (Princess Beatrice Own) Guide Unit who have been selected to represent the UK on an International Adventure to Austria and formed part of their fundraising for the trip.

Going to Austria!
Jim Walls.