Norwich Brownie leader Sarah completes challenge of Queen’s Guide Award

Sarah Shailes, 25, with her Queen's Guide Award. With her is county commissioner, Pat Pinnington. Pi

Sarah Shailes, 25, with her Queen's Guide Award. With her is county commissioner, Pat Pinnington. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

An assistant Brownie leader has been presented with a top Guiding award as she prepares to take part in a project in Africa.

Twenty-five-year-old Sarah Shailes, of the 34th Norwich Brownies, was on Wednesday presented with the Queen's Guide Award, the highest award that can be worked towards in Guiding.

Ms Shailes, of Mile End Road, Norwich, was given the award by Norfolk County Commissioner Pat Pinnington at the 34th Norwich Brownies weekly meeting at the church hall in Cambridge Street.

Ms Shailes, a research scientist at the John Innes Centre, said: 'I joined Brownies when I was eight-and-a-half years old, went to Guides and when I finished I decided I wanted to be a Young Leader, so I just never left!

'I decided I wanted to do the Queen's Guide Award because it is the highest award you can achieve and I like a challenge.'

She spent three years working towards the accolade. To achieve the award she has taken an active role in guiding including organising events, worked on a coppicing project at Lower Wood in Ashwellthorpe, improved her piano playing and performed in public, been on an international Girlguiding weekend, and taken part in an outdoor challenge in the Lake District.

Helen Munday, the 34th Norwich Brownies Brown Owl, said everyone was very proud of Ms Shailes' achievement.

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As well as yesterday's presentation, she will also attend a national ceremony in London later in the year.

Ms Shailes has also been selected to take part in a Guiding Overseas Linked with Development (GOLD) project in The Gambia.

In October she will spend three weeks in the African country and work with other adult Guide leaders to run training sessions with members of The Gambia Girl Guides Association. The sessions will be focussed on leadership skills and guiding development.

Ms Shailes is now fundraising to go on the project and needs to raise £2,000. The 34th Norwich Brownies have held a sponsored silence to support her and Ms Shailes is also planning a sponsored cycle ride from Norwich to Aylsham and back again along the Marriott's Way.

• To support Ms Shailes' fundraising visit