A woman from Ampthill was among a group receiving Girlguiding’s highest award at an event in Parliament with action-adventurer Sally Kettle.
Helen Jenkings, 22, joined the celebration at the House of Commons where she was given the award by Chief Guide Gill Slocombe and the Guinness World Record-holder Sally, who has twice rowed the Atlantic.
Helen is following in her mum’s footsteps as they are both holders of the Queen’s Guide Award.
Helen took two years to complete the tough Queen’s Guide Award, a personal collection of challenges which must be completed before the age of 26.
Trailblazer Sally gave a speech at the celebration about the amazing dedication of the Queen’s Guides. Fewer than 200 Girlguiding members complete the award every year.
Helen, who is the lead volunteer for growing guiding and recruiting more girls and leaders in Bedfordshire, selected personal challenges in fields including volunteering, social action, developing new skills and travelling to a new place. Helen’s personal challenges included organising a group trip to explore Dublin, campaigning on the issues of homelessness and organising a sleepout fundraiser at her university campus.
Helen said: “I’m happy to be carrying on a family tradition. My mum got her Queen’s Guide award when she was younger, so I wanted to follow in her footsteps! I’m really proud of taking groups of guides away on camp, and progressing to running international trips for girls. I’ve gained the highest award I can possibly get within guiding. There aren’t a huge amount of people who complete the award, so it feels very special.”
Chief Guide Gill Slocombe said: “It’s been fantastic to meet the Queen’s Guides here today. I’m proud of these inspirational young women who have achieved the Queen’s Guide Award by setting themselves incredible challenges and taking positive action in their communities. They are our next inspiring female role models who have proved they are a force for good.”
Sally said: “It’s a great pleasure to meet the young women who have given so much time and commitment to complete their Queen’s Guide Award. It takes a huge amount of courage, as every element of the award pushes these young women to test themselves and to try something new and different.
“It’s testament to their resilience and hard work that the Queen’s Guides will be receiving their award at the Houses of Parliament. I’m extremely proud of them, and I hope they realise what fantastic role models they are to everyone they meet.”