Sue Carpenter, a Rainbow and Ranger leader in Ely, is celebrating after receiving the prestigious Laurel Award from Girlguiding.
The Laurel Award is a national award given in recognition of outstanding service to guiding and exceptional leadership to members who have made a significant contribution to supporting and developing guiding for both girls and adults.
Sue has held a variety of roles in her many years of faithful service to Girlguiding, including County commissioner, arts adviser for Girlguiding Anglia, Brownie leader, mentor to new leaders and trainer. She developed Girlguiding Cambridgeshire East’s first safeguarding training and ensured that each volunteer was trained in it from before this was the norm for youth organisations. Through all this, she always been known as someone who ensures the focus is the girl in all that she does.
A member of her Ranger unit, Eleanor, commented, “As a leader, Sue is someone who never fails to make her girls feel included, safe, happy, and confident. Her support and warmth ensure girls feel free to be themselves, to get involved,”
Grace Bristow MBE, former County President, said that Sue was “just as much at home leading silly songs at huge campfires as she is dealing with serious safeguarding issues.”
A number of those nominating her mentioned how much they had benefited from Sue’s cheerfulness, positivity and sensitivity in dealing with difficult situations.
Over 140 members and supporters of Girlguiding Cambridgeshire East, including Julie Spence, Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and Andrea Oughton, Deputy Chief commissioner for Girlguiding Anglia were present to witness a surprised Sue receive her award from Carol Roberts, Chair of the Girlguiding Anglia awards committee, during the annual Thanks and Recognition afternoon tea, celebrating the amazing contribution of guiding volunteers.
Carol informed the audience that, “Sue is a much-respected member of her county and region. She is incredibly multi-talented, which has led to her having an impact on thousands of girls and adults in guiding so far. As mentioned in so many letters, her caring nature and great sense of fun really stood out – things that make people want to be a part of her team.”
Sue said, “I was totally overwhelmed to receive the Laurel award. It is an honour to be recognised in this way by my fellow volunteers and to know that the time I spend in guiding encouraging girls and young women to become the best they can has made such a difference. Guiding has given me many opportunities through the roles I have had and I love seeing a Rainbow at the start of her journey move through the sections and become a leader in her own right.”