Meet Amy, the queen of Guides

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A YOUNG Rugby woman has been awarded the highest honour a Guide can receive in recognition of her remarkable work with children.

Amy Thorne’s achievements range from taking a group of young people with physical and learning disabilities on a pilgrimage to Lourdes to performing Highland dances at a number of Guiding events.

And now she has been presented with the Queen’s Award, the highest accolade bestowed by Girlguiding UK.

Amy, of Fellows Way, Hillmorton, said: “I feel I am part of a wonderful Guiding family and completing the Queen’s Guide Award just before the organisation’s centenary made me realise what a fantastic organisation Girlguiding is.”

Amy, 20, is a leader of the 1st Hillmorton Brownies, having previously been a founder member of the 7th Rugby Rangers.

But even with such experience, the former Princethorpe College pupil found the pilgrimage difficult at times.

She said: “The most mentally challenging aspect was a week-long residential camp.

“I was overcome with emotion because of the amount of work done by the volunteers before the trip could take place and how much it meant to the children we accompanied.”

And Amy, who is in her second year at Salford University, where she is studying English and creative writing, said winning the award will spur her on to do even more as a Guide.

She plans to help with the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and wants to start a Guiding unit at university.

Amy added: “Getting involved with Guiding was one of the best decisions I have made. I have made a number of very close friends over my 13 years in Guiding and hope to make many more.

Chief Guide Gill Slocombe, who presented Amy with the award last week, said: “Over the years the Queen’s Guide Award has given many young women an amazing sense of empowerment and confidence.

“I hope they will serve as an inspiration to many more young women all over the country who are thinking about getting involved in guiding. I’m sure the experience of the presentation itself will be just one of the happy memories they will look back on in years to come.”

Girlguiding UK has around 530,000 members and volunteers. Half of the women in the UK have been involved in guiding at some stage in their lives. We run Rainbows (5-7 years), Brownies (7-10 years), Guides (10-14 years) and Senior Section (14-25 years), enabling girls and young women to develop their potential whatever their ability or background. We are striving to offer new opportunities to a broad diversity of communities through our expanding network of over 61,000 trained volunteer Leaders.

At Girlguiding UK we seek to give girls a voice and provide a unique, girl-only space where members feel comfortable just being themselves. Our members, challenged by a girl-led programme that extends beyond badges, enjoy a spectrum of activities from international travel and outdoor adventure to pop-concerts and community action.