Garstang Girlguiding volunteer is honoured with a prestigious award

A Garstang Girlguiding volunteer has been honoured with a prestigious award for her work supporting girls and young women over the last 36 years.

Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 7:12 am
Jukie Bell and volunteers

A Garstang Girlguiding volunteer has been honoured with a prestigious award for her work supporting girls and young women over the last 36 years.

Julie Bell, who is currently Girlguiding’s Deputy Chief Guide, a Girlguiding North West England Region Vice President and a leader of two Ranger units, was presented with her Laurel Award by Girlguiding Chief Guide, Amanda Medler, during a virtual meeting with County and Region Commissioners across the UK.

Julie thought the meeting was to be a general catch-up for Commissioners to provide updates on Girlguiding efforts during the lockdown period, but she was surprised and rather emotional to find that it was, in fact, a virtual announcement of her prestigious Laurel Award.

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Julie, 60, first became involved in guiding when she joined as a Brownie in 1966 and has been involved ever since. As well as holding roles in Girlguiding North West England, as Deputy Chief Guide for Girlguiding, Julie not only inspires girls and young women on a local scale in her weekly unit meetings, but on a national scale too.

Her highligts include leading the Girlguiding promise at Westminster Abbey and Wild Encounters, where Girlguiding North West England broke the Guinness World Record for the largest sleepover, with more than 2,000 young members sleeping in a marquee at Chester Zoo.

Julie said: “I am absolutely over the moon to have received the Laurel Award.

“I will treasure this award as it reminds me of all of the fantastic women and girls that I am privileged to share this great adventure called Girlguiding with. Volunteering for Girlguiding is such a rewarding experience and it has been wonderful to work with so many girls and young women over the years and to see the difference guiding makes to their lives.”

Katie Morton, a former member of Julie’s unit, said: “I have been involved in Girlguiding since I joined Rainbows aged five and have known Julie since I was a Guide at the unit she still leads today.

“Growing up, Girlguiding helped to boost my confidence and that’s because of volunteers like Julie. I am now 28 and know that I wouldn’t have achieved all the things I have or still be involved in guiding if it wasn’t for Julie. I feel very fortunate to know her and to volunteer alongside her.

“In truth, I always feel quite emotional when I think back to my time as a Guide…how much that time meant to me and how important Julie was in that.”

The charity welcomes volunteers of all backgrounds, ages, cultures, faiths and abilities. For more information about volunteering with Girlguiding, visit www.girlguidingnwe.org.uk