Girls show community spirit to restore Calverley flower beds

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By Danielle Brearley

Rainbows, Brownies and Guides came together for the second time for a spot of planting in Calverley’s Victoria Park.

The girls took over one of the flower beds in the park in 2022, as part of First Calverley Brownies centenary celebrations, with volunteers planting spring bulbs and winter bedding plants.

This time they returned to tackle the weeds that had sprung up and were threatening to take over the bed, as well as plant new summer perennials and some exciting edibles.

This was thanks to the generosity of Ian Short at Morley Glass, who through the Green Vision scheme awarded them a grant to cover the cost of the flowers, and Palmer Plants, who kindly supplied and delivered the plants.

The girls – from First Calverley Rainbows, First and Second Calverley Brownies, and First and Second Calverley Guides – took part in the planting as part of the North East England chief commissioner’s #growshoutandshare challenge for 2023. This looks at GROWing up through guiding; SHOUTing about guiding, and learning to SHARE with communities.

A spokesperson said: “Meeting together as all of the different age groups within guiding helped to show the girls what their time in guiding could look like, taking part in an activity within the community to raise the profile of guiding helps them shout about it.

“And as part of the promise every girl and volunteer takes to be a member of Girlguiding to give something back to the local community and in learning to share they planted two fruit trees, a cherry and a damson, and four blueberry bushes – including an exciting pink variety – in the hope that members of the community will come and help themselves to some of the fruit in the bed when it ripens for years to come.”

First Calverley Brownies have also taken part in a challenge from the Leeds County 50th birthday challenge 2023.

They completed three activities in one by going to the highest accessible point in the area, Woodhall Hills, and learning about how many landmarks they could identify from the board there, before collectively travelling 67.2km on a bluebell walk down the public footpaths onto Shell Lane in Calverley and back to the Brownie Hut.

They also learnt about sustainable foraging with some of the girls taking home some of the wild garlic growing along the footpaths.

The girls will be doing further challenges this year including the Leeds Owl trail, donating 50 items to a local foodbank, and completing 50 random acts of kindness within the community.

Appeal for volunteers

Guiding in Calverley only happens because of the kindness of the volunteers and helpers who give up their time to run the units and provide opportunities for girls to become Rainbows, Brownies and Guides.

Currently waiting lists for each of the units are stretching into the end of 2024 and beyond, and there is a real risk that without more volunteers that girls will miss out.

As well as people to help at sessions they also need people with skills or professional expertise who can give up some time, such as for help with unit accounts, gardening, building, painting, fundraising, anything you can offer they will find a use for.

If you know anyone who can help, e-mail Calverleyguiding@gmail.com.

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