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What Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers in Suffolk have been getting up to in lockdown

PUBLISHED: 19:35 12 July 2020 | UPDATED: 19:36 12 July 2020

A member of the Melton Brownies with her sock puppets for the ODD SOX unit meeting activity online. Picture: GIRLGUIDING SUFFOLK

A member of the Melton Brownies with her sock puppets for the ODD SOX unit meeting activity online. Picture: GIRLGUIDING SUFFOLK

Archant

Leaders at Girlguiding Suffolk took to the Internet as soon as lockdown was announced and have been coming up with great activities to keep their members connected, having fun and staying healthy.

Beccles Brownies youth leader Owl attending the virtual Beccles District Legoland NOT a sleepover, which drew 56 brownies and leaders. Picture: GIRLGUIDING SUFFOLKBeccles Brownies youth leader Owl attending the virtual Beccles District Legoland NOT a sleepover, which drew 56 brownies and leaders. Picture: GIRLGUIDING SUFFOLK

Jo Dixon has been involved in guides since the age of ten and has been a leader for nearly 36 years so was gutted when overnight all physical activities were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However the Suffolk County outreach worker decided to go online straight away and has been committed to providing a slice of normality for all the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers and volunteer leaders during lockdown.

“I have had such a positive experience with girlguiding and much of it is still the same as when I started all those years ago,” she explained.

“When lockdown hit overnight we had to change how the unit was run and I went on Facebook and started a live video right there and ran an activity.

Jo Dixon has been involved in girlguiding since she was 10 years old and is a Suffolk County Outreach Worker as well as a guide leader for Martlesham Heath. Picture: GIRLGUIDING SUFFOLKJo Dixon has been involved in girlguiding since she was 10 years old and is a Suffolk County Outreach Worker as well as a guide leader for Martlesham Heath. Picture: GIRLGUIDING SUFFOLK

“It just makes it more alive to have videos and we are trying to get them involved without that face to face contact.”

In her duties as a guide leader for Martlesham Heath where she lives, Jo has taught surfing moves, run games and exercise activities for keeping fit and healthy.

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Sisters from Martlesham District Guides Units watering young fruit trees in Birhgt's Orchard in Martlesham. Picture: GIRLGUIDING SUFFOLKSisters from Martlesham District Guides Units watering young fruit trees in Birhgt's Orchard in Martlesham. Picture: GIRLGUIDING SUFFOLK

One leader from Woodbridge St Mary’s Guides hadn’t used Facebook before but now runs a weekly Zoom meeting, and Beccles Rainbows post a weekly activity and song in its group.

Beccles Brownies have been baking and held an Easter-themed bingo night online while guides from Felixstowe, Ipswich, Beccles and Martlesham have taken part in quizzes, scavenger hunts, made mug cakes and armpit fudge.

Traditional activities such as knotting, semaphore, blitz cooking and community action projects have gone ahead with the addition of camping events which have seen members sleeping out in their own gardens.

One parent from 1st Tostock Rainbows said he daughter always asks when Wednesday is as the day she gets to see her friends.

Teatime on the Melton Brownies virtual pack holiday. Picture: GIRLGUIDING SUFFOLKTeatime on the Melton Brownies virtual pack holiday. Picture: GIRLGUIDING SUFFOLK

“She looks forward to her Rainbow zoom every week,” she said. “Thank you so much for all the support and activities you provide for the girls.

“It keeps them going when schoolwork isn’t happening and has given them a varied learning throughout this time.”

Members have also kept in touch via phone, email and letters.

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