A visit from The Lord Mayor of Bradford

To celebrate Parliament Week, Burley-in-Wharfedale Rainbows, Brownies & Guides were very lucky to enjoy a visit from the Lord Mayor of Bradford.  The Lord Mayor brought his mascot, a small teddy bear named Brad.  He came on three separate nights so he could see all our 200 guiding members.

The Lord Mayor talked to everyone about his role & what it entailed, then young members were able to ask him lots of their own questions.  There were many questions as the girls were fascinated by his robes, hat & chain!   The girls heard that he was Lord Mayor for a year & about his charity, which is the Bradford Cinderella Club.


We are very grateful to the Lord Mayor giving up his time to meet us, we really enjoyed his visit.

Parliament UK is an annual series of events in the United Kingdom that aim to inspire interest in parliament, politics and democracy and encourage young people engage with the UK’s democratic system and institutions.   This year it runs from 6th to12th November

Girlguiding Wharfedale holds Thinking Day celebration in Ilkley

Around 190 Brownies and Rainbows along with about 45 leaders and helpers from Girlguiding Wharfedale (Addingham, Ilkley, Burley and Menston) celebrated Thinking Day in the King’s Hall, Ilkley recently. World Thinking Day is an annual event held by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts across 150 countries. This event seeks to spread empowerment, friendship, and sisterhood among girls and to raise awareness on issues affecting girls and women from all walks of life. Each year, World Thinking Day has a different theme.

The theme for the day in Ilkley was taken from the 2023 World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) World Thinking Day activity pack with the theme “Our World, Our Peaceful Future”.Ann Peacock, PR advisor for Girlguiding Wharfedale said: “There were 15 activity stations for the girls to visit and create a craft or do a quiz. The theme was loosely based on nature to link with the environment and peace.

“All girls made pompoms in their meetings from crepe paper. Cheerleaders from Inspirations Dance based in Baildon and Otley choreographed amazing movements for the girls to take part in cheerleading prior to renewing the Promise which is always a big part of Thinking Day.

“Amongst other things, girls made ‘bug houses’ in old mugs, Lego trefoils and Herman worm and bead man. A lady from Ukraine demonstrated traditional flower painting and showed the girls how to make traditional wool dolls.

“Quote of the day came from Division Commissioner Sue Vint who said: ‘I think it was a brilliant afternoon. The girls and leaders alike were very enthusiastic and engrossed in all the activities. Lots of girls I asked said they were having a fun time. I felt there was a great guiding spirit’.”

Prickly Pigs Rescue Hedgehogs meet the Guides and Brownies

1st Burley Guides and 3rd Burley Brownies recently had a visit from Prickly Pigs Hedgehog Rescue in Otley. The girls met two of the hedgehogs – Rhubarb & Betty, and learned all about how they are looked after at the Centre.


The hogs were very lively and quite nosey, running around the HQ, sniffing and investigating us all. The girls had a wonderful time, many never having seen a hedgehog before. They loved it. The girls also learned how to encourage hedgehogs to visit out gardens, what they love to eat and how we can help them if we find a hedgehog in the day time. The Brownies & Guides collected tins & pouches of meaty cat and dog food to help feed the orphaned hogs.

The Prickly Pig Rescue Centre is run entirely by volunteers. They take in sick, orphaned & injured hedgehogs, and raises the public awareness of the plight of Britain’s hedgehogs.

Find them at https://www.pricklypigs.co.uk/?fbclid=IwAR0nX8AuinwMieKGFvGEv4tH6r1vyU2hSsa7okF7DEk4igrioxpLQt93KB4

or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pricklypigshedgehogrescue

Ukraine Fundraising by the Wharfedale Guiding Division

On the first week of April all Rainbows, Brownies, Guides & Rangers in Wharfedale Division abandoned wearing their uniforms & wore blue & yellow, the colours of the Ukrainian flag, to their meetings!  They raised money for the Girlguiding WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts) Ukraine Appeal by giving a donation for not wearing their uniform.  Wharfedale guiding covers Addingham, Ilkley, Ben Rhydding, Burley & Menston the twenty four units raised a staggering £1,200 for the Appeal.

Some units also held raffles, cake sales & had an honesty donation box.

WAGGGS have thanked us & shared with us with how the money is being used for the Ukraine Emergency Appeal. See below.

“Your donation is being used to support 500 volunteers to work in refugee camps and at the border of Ukraine. The work, activities and the care of volunteers in the field require various technical and material equipment, and training. You are helping to provide suitable conditions, supplies and transportation for Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting volunteers to deliver for refugees as they flee the war.  Pop up kitchens have offered a warm welcome to refugees with a warm meal & a place to rest.  Some Girl Guides have shown cartoons on a wide screen to keep children occupied while the parents are dealing with documents and the state institutions. 

The Polish Girl Guides Association have developed a project to support local Girl Guide leaders and units to provide psychological support for all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts providing a service for refugees. In addition, the project will provide training for all Girl Scout and Girl Guide units hosting Ukrainian children for activities to ensure they feel welcomed and involved. It will allow unit leaders to learn how best they can support Ukrainian refugee children and the struggles they will be facing.

Additionally Polish Girl Guides Association will use some of these funds to replenish all camping equipment that was distributed to Ukrainian refugees since the war began. Selflessly they shared all their equipment they had with refugee centres and now their own Girl Scouting groups have no equipment for their events, camps and activities ahead this summer. Your donation will be used to ensure Girl Scouts in Poland are still able enjoy the Girl Scouting experience.”

We all had loads of fun raising the money as you can see!

Well done everyone in Wharfedale, that is an awesome total!

Girlguiding Hero Award


Sue Vint, Burley Group Guide Leader and a Wharfedale Guiding Commissioner is the first to be presented a Girlguiding Hero Award. This is an award for members or friends of Girlguiding who have done something special, and Sue definitely fits into that category!

After a very difficult year for everyone and circumstances we could never have imagined, now is a good time to show our appreciation to members or friends of Girlguiding who have done something wonderful that has in some way helped others, and that’s why this Girlguiding Hero award has been created. The certificate was signed by the chief guide, chief commissioner and county commissioner to show that throughout the organisation Sue’s efforts are truly appreciated.

County Commissioner Kay Bolton said: “Sue has been Guiding for over 25 years. She has been a constant support to all of her Leaders and volunteers in her roles as District and Division Commissioner, especially during lockdown. With her excellent communication skills she has encouraged all units to continue to meet safely, helping to complete extensive risk assessments and ensuring they are up to date with all the relevant training and information. Her constant dedication and commitment is remarkable.”

Congratulations Sue – very well deserved, from all of us here in Burley.




Summer update – what’s new and happening

As COVID restrictions have eased, many of the Burley-in-Wharfedale Scout and Guide groups have already returned to face to face activities. Throughout the last few months all leaders have been planning safe and enjoyable programmes, operating within the parameters of national guidelines. The young people involved have been loving the opportunities to take part in activities, seeing other members of their groups, and having fun.

Guiding units are continuing to meet face to face: some inside, some outside. Where possible, units are also using other venues around the village to prevent clashes with units who want to use rooms at the HQ at the same time.  Groups have used Wynches Activity Centre, Sun Lane Nature Reserve, Burley Park & the Recreation ground.

The Guiding units have been engaged in a variety of activities such as litter picking in Burley, geo-caching and run a village treasure hunt. Meanwhile the Rangers have resumed Duke of Edinburgh’s Award activities with expeditions for Bronze & Silver level.
Looking ahead, assuming restrictions are not tightened, 1st Guides are going on summer camp to Waddow at the end of July for 5 days, with over half the guides planning on attending.

In other news, Guide leader Cara Woods gained her Queens Guide Award in Feb 2020. The Queen’s Guide award is the highest award you can work towards in guiding. Although originally awarded to Guides, it is now only attainable by members of the Senior Section (including Rangers, Young Leaders and Leaders) aged between 16- 25. It is a challenging programme comparable to the Queen’s Scout and higher than Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Since the awards creation 60 years ago 20,000 young women have gained the award. Unfortunately due to Covid she has not been presented with it, so there will be a presentation in the grounds of our HQ for a small number of invited guests. Congratulations & well done Cara!

Guiding activities

The Scouting groups have been similarly active. Most recently the Beavers been to Wynches Activity Centre in Burley for some outdoor fun, and the Scouts have been out at Reva Scouts Water Activity Centre near Bingley. Meanwhile the Explorers have got an overnight camp planned (in hammocks!) at Sconce. They are also planning on undertaking Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award activities in October.

Scouting & Guiding in Lockdown…there’s more going on than you think!

Girlguiding during lockdown

Guiding has continued in 8 of the 9 units since lockdown. Indeed some units have been extremely busy indeed. To thier credit, the units are still following the Guiding programme activities despite no face to face contact. Skill builders, theme, bronze, silver & gold awards have been all been earned at Guide, Brownie & Rainbow level. Many have also done Interest badges & many other fun activities. Parents of younger units Rainbows do not want regular activities, just special spontaneous activities, so they are doing a little less.

1st Burley Brownies are having zoom meetings every week & most of the other units are giving girls the opportunity of guiding activities via email, facebook & delivering items to girls’ homes.

8 out of 9 units took part in Northumberland Scouts world record breaking Virtual Camp over Easter. We had over 100 girls who took part

The World breaking virtual “Camp at Home”.

Northumberland Scouts challenged all young people in Scouting & Guiding to take part in their world record attempt of Largest Virtual Camp. It was a month long Virtual Camp across April from 1st April until the 30th April, ending with an attempt to set the world record for the Largest Virtual Camp on 30th April 2020.

Rules were varied depending on age – girls were challenged to:
• Build a den, pitch a tent, make a bivvi, hang up a hammock (whatever you can)
inside or outside in the garden
• Sleep in your shelter of choice for a night
• Make a dinner or breakfast
• Make a snack to have in your tent
• Take your camp blanket & teddy & don’t forget to sing a couple of camp songs

95,000 Scouting, Guiding & other participants from 68 counties took part & made the largest camp ever!

Burley Rainbows, Brownies, Guides & Rangers had enormous fun pitching tents or building dens & sleeping out. Not to be kept out, parents also joined in the fun, as did the leaders. Over 100 girls took part in Burley in the record-breaking attempt. Several parents later thanked us for inspiring their girls to take part – they were struggling with no school & no friends, & this really caught their imagination.
A great way to spend lockdown!

Scouting During lockdown

The Scouting units have been busy during lockdown by walking to the moon and back to raise money for BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief, supporting those most affected by COVID-19

Hike to the Moon
On 23rd April, BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief got together for their Big Day In on Radio and their Big Night In on TV. This was a massive fundraising special to celebrate the incredible people making a difference in communities across the UK, and to support people who need it most during the coronavirus crisis. Scouts, along with friends and family, collectively walked more than 240,000 miles (the distance to the Moon), raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for the event. Eleven of the twelve people who’ve walked on the Moon were Scouts. It’s where we feel most comfortable (second to Earth). Those taking part didnt need to leave thier homes for this: 2,000 steps around the garden or 20 minutes walking on the spot is about 1 mile

The money raised will be split between Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need, and will go on to support local charities and projects in the UK


Meanwhile Beavers have had virtual sleepovers, cubs have worked on their International Badge – an activity designed by an Explorer for her Queens Scout Award.

Explorers have had a successful Bronze DofE awarded. Leaders have been working on their mandatory training. We are all busy planning camp and activities for 2021 and look forward to welcoming all of our young members back soon