SAGF Newsletter

It has been another year of restricted activities due to the pandemic and as we enter, into the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year it is hoped that everyone will be able to participate in the celebrations.

Some members will already have been involved in tree planting linked with the development of the “Queen’s Green Canopy” there could be a way that you can support Guides or Scouts in your area who may be adding to this tree planting initiative.

Since the last edition of the Newsletter members of the Committee have attended various events which were held at the Girlguiding Activity Centre, Waddow Hall. By supporting events they were also supporting girlguiding.

Audrey Mc Naughton writes:

Has the world returned to normal? It had a jolly good try the other weekend when Trefoil Guild joined Lancashire West County Weekend at Waddow Hall.

Fourteen of us “Ladies in Red” enjoyed our very own programme and had a wonderful time catching up with old friends and making new ones.

The highlight of the weekend was an indoor campfire, (Weather was atrocious) accompanied on the guitar by our very own Norma Allott. In celebration we all took our camp blankets and paraded them on the beautiful sweeping staircase in the hallway at Waddow. So many memories of international camps alongside Guides and Scouts from all over the world seen in the badges on display, and many stories of why they were there.

Altogether a thundering good weekend. Can’t wait for next year. 

Helen Watson writes:

After a COVID-enforced break, the annual Heritage Group Christmas Tree Festival at Waddow Hall Girlguiding Training and Adventure Centre was back and as colourful as ever. Lots of community groups, and local Rainbow, Brownie, Guide and Trefoil groups displayed their wonderfully decorated “back to the future” themed trees. There was even a TARDIS and a Dalek – different programme, but still time-travel!

Our very glittery camp blanket-styled tree covered in SAGF & ISGF badges proved a great talking point, with visitors to the Festival reminiscing nostalgically about Guiding trips abroad, ISGF conferences in the 1980’s, and lots of international songs shared around the campfire. There was a real determination to pick up the threads of international friendship once the current crisis is over, with everyone getting back to doing what they love, and looking forward to a much brighter future.

Keep an eye on the Waddow Hall website for the 2022 Festival dates, there will be a warm welcome (and a mince pie!) while you browse round the stalls and enjoy all the trees.

SAGF Christmas Tree 2021

Remembrance Sunday 2021

An official Scout and Guide Fellowship UK Poppy wreath was laid at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorial at the West Road Cemetery, Newcastle upon Tyne during the Service of Remembrance, November 2021, organised by the Newcastle West Branch RBL.

The occasion was especially poignant as our late member, Dave Mowbray, had served the RBL branch for many years as Chairman and as President and had often led the parade. Our thanks go to Debbie Owens who arranged for our wreath to be SAGF badged. The Wreath was formally laid during the service by Peter Short, Treasurer, on behalf of SAGF-UK.

Peter Short

On Remembrance Sunday our Chairman Muriel Rayner joined the Congregation of her Parish Church in placing a cross, on behalf of the Scout and Guide Fellowship.

Chairman Muriel Rayner

Fellowship Day 2021

Fellowship day provided us with another opportunity to link with our twinned Guild in Kampala Uganda. Around a dozen members from Uganda, including the Kampala Guild chairman, joined us on phones, laptops and computers often in gardens and in the dark where a signal was strongest. We also joined up with ISGF members from Australia, Norway and many parts of Britain.

The evening began with a reflection on the advantages of Twinning. Our twinning with Uganda has led to us being able to help financially with Kampala’s rabbit enterprise and will hopefully lead to more projects in the future. Matthius was able to show a power point presentation on how scouting works in and around Kampala and how the rabbit project is helping with educating children in animal husbandry as well as giving adults business opportunities. We do have regular updates on how the project is going – even if some of the safety issues around makeshift ladders frighten us!

All attendees renewed their Promise in their own language prior to a brief history of Fellowship Day and how it is celebrated round the world. Sadly, David Mowbray, a SAGF member but also a life long supporter of scouting in Uganda, had died in September, and part of the evening was dedicated to hearing about his links with scouting and the impact he had made in both countries. David organised many a Gang Show and the evening finished with a fitting tribute to him – a snip showing scouts and guides singing –‘ Riding along on the crest of a wave’

Look out for other opportunities to join members from around the world on zoom in 2022

David at the in Uganda
The Building for the Rabbit Hutches

Virtual World Conference

On 26th and 27th February 2022 ISGF took a major step forward and held a virtual World Conference with a one-and-a-half-hour session on each day. The 29th World Conference goes down in history for two reasons it was postponed due to COVID 19 restrictions worldwide and it was ISGF’s first virtual Conference. Sadly, numbers were limited, and each Member Country could only have one delegate, but this did mean that some countries were represented who would not always have been able to travel to a Conference held in another country.

Due to time restraints, it was a strictly a business Conference; New members were welcomed from 18 Countries, I think that this was the first time so many countries were welcomed at one conference. Two countries resigned from membership Hungary and Turkey.

The Conference chairman was Martine Levy, from France and the Vice Chairman was Cecile Bellet from Belgium the only other person on the “platform” was Nathalie Henrard the Secretary General. It is hoped that the recording of the conference will soon be on the Web site so everyone can share the experience.

The three members elected to the World Committee were; Ana Rodrigues, (Portugal) Vanessa Hoogenbergen (Curacao) and Prosper Bani (Ghana). The new World Committee Chairman is Elin Richards from Iceland and the two Vice Chairmen are Ana Rodrigues and Vanessa Hoogenbergen. An official report of the Conference will be published soon.

The Rabbit Project

Work has continued building the hut and the hutches for the Rabbits at St Joseph’s Secondary School, KAkindu, Mityana District Uganda.

This is part of a joint project with the Kampala Guild and SAGF to provide a micro enterprise for the scouts at the school.

In February we received an update from Uganda concerning the progress of the project:

  • The rabbit hutches have been built
  • The concrete and floor work was to be done in a weeks’ time (early March)
  • The main doors were due to be fixed
  • Gutters to be fixed
  • Water collection point to be put in
  • Assembling of the drinking water system
  • Then when all is complete the rabbits would be bought.

Annual Meeting

The SAGF Annual Meeting will take place on Saturday 23rd April 2022 in Chester

The venue is the District Scout Headquarters and we hope that this year we will be able to meet together and share experiences and catch up on news from the last two years. It is a matter of Third Time lucky as the two previous meetings were cancelled due to the pandemic. The programme and details will be on the Web site. https://www.sagf.org.uk.

International Activities

As the year develops various Sub Regions are organising Gatherings, one that might appeal is the South Sub Region which is holding its Gathering in Cyprus in 24-29th October with an option of a post Gathering 3day tour.

Western Region Gathering will be a Zoom Gathering on 11th September, No travelling involved!

In July 2023 there will be the Europe Region Conference in Ranum, North Jutland, Denmark the dates are 30th July to 3rd August. Catch up with the Conference Newsletters on the ISGF Web site. The Venue is a Folk School which has more than 400 young people, from 28 different countries, during term time. The Conference theme is Togetherness – Inspiration – Sustainability.

Ukraine

At this time we think about the members of the Central Sub Region who are working to support Refugees from Ukraine. WAGGGS and WOSM have opened appeals for Ukraine and the Central Sub Region also have an appeal for work with refugees. Below two pictures from the latest Newsletter from the Sub Region.