Meet our President and Vice Presidents

Message from Judy Fuller - County President                                      

Dear All,

As a County we have formed ‘Grown’ another Team, namely your County President and four County Vice Presidents. A small but very eager team who are aiming support Lisa, your new County Commissioner.
We are looking forward to giving her the help she may need in visiting units, districts and division as and when we are able (please note not all of us together!) in this way we can not only support Lisa but also support all of you.

I look forward to meeting many of you over the coming months.

Meet the County Vice-Presidents

Claire Brittain

I am
very honoured to have been asked to be a Vice President of Girlguiding Sussex Central and am looking forward to supporting our new County Commissioner and being involved in events throughout the County.

How did you become involved in guiding?

I first got involved in Guiding when I was 7 and joined Brownies in London. I went on to be a Guide and then had a break while I was studying. In 1970 the minister of the Church in Burgess Hill which I attended asked if there was any-one who could help with the Guide Unit, as Judy Fuller was running it on her own and would have to close the Unit if no help was forthcoming and there I was back in guiding!

What is your greatest personal achievement within guiding?
I think my greatest achievement in Guiding was to start a new Guide unit in Hassocks in 1976 which is still running. We travelled abroad and around the UK, camped every year, did lots of adventurous activities, and had fun. I’ve done lots of other things in guiding but this was the best. It was a privilege for me to see the girls mature into confident young women and to share so many good moments with a great bunch of girls. That’s what I like best about guiding as well as the many friends I have made over the last 46 years.

What would be your ‘top tip’ for a new Leader?

Listen to the girls, support them as they plan their activities and have fun with them.

Christine Cheesmur

I was surprised, honoured and ’chuffed to bits’ to be invited to be a County Vice President and I promise I will do my best to live up to the expectations you have of me!

How did you become involved in guiding?

I joined 1st Copthorne Brownies when I was 8 and I’m still here! I have been a Leader with Brownies, Rangers and Guides, and have helped out with Rainbows on occasions.

What is your greatest personal achievement within guiding?

This is a tricky question to answer as its not something I’ve ever really thought about. I suppose I don’t think about what I achieve – its more about helping others to achieve and I hope that over the years I have helped young members and Leaders alike to achieve their goals in guiding. I’m not one of those people who set out to earn every badge in the book and there was never any danger of achieving the Queens Guide – that would have meant doing laundry and ironing and household tasks that I don’t do too much of even now. Looking back I did some odd badges – aircraft for instance. I remember making a wind sock and demonstrating with an airfix model how a plane banks and stalls! That must’ve been quite an achievement and I’ll never know how Captain managed to find someone to test me!

What do you like best about guiding?

Camping! There’s nothing quite like camping and being out in the fresh air, cooking on open fires, seeing the Guides take part in outdoor activities, no mobiles (not that I have one!) I like any kind of residential – with or without the Guides, in tents, indoors, home or abroad, it’s the best way to have fun, learn and get to know people.

What would be your ‘top tip’ for a new Leader?

Don’t get bogged down in paperwork, enjoy being with the girls but also look out for and join in the opportunities for adults in guiding.

Deborah Phillips

It is certainly an honour to have been asked to be a Vice President of Sussex Central.

How did you become involved in guiding?
I started in Brownies at the age of 7 and continued onto Guides. After gaining my Queen’s Guide, I joined Rangers and was also a Young Leader. The only three years I have not been in guiding was when I was at Teacher Training College!
After college, Findon District asked me to help at a Guide Unit and within three weeks I seemed to be running it! I stayed there for nine years, also opening and running a Ranger Unit. I then moved from Sussex West to Sussex Central and helped at Hurstpierpoint Guide Unit, and then Rainbows, and I also became District Commissioner. When I moved to Plumpton I became involved with the Brownies and later opened a Ranger Unit in the village. I was delighted when they asked me to become Division Commissioner for South Down and to return to Sussex Central, although I did continue with the Ranger Unit in Sussex East!

What is your greatest personal achievement within guiding?
I was then extremely honoured to have been asked to be County Commissioner for Sussex Central, that is possibly my biggest achievement in guiding.

What do you like best about guiding?
I love the fun and friendships that Guiding offers to all those involved.

What would be your ‘top tip’ for a new Leader?
Enjoy it - what you put in you will get out, and don’t get despondent about the paperwork! There are always people around to support you.

Janet Samuel

I have loved (almost) every minute of my guiding life so far and now feel very privileged to be sharing the role of Vice President of the County - thank you for yet another opportunity!

How did you become involved in guiding?
My very dear friend Sharon didn’t want to join Brownies on her own, so asked me to go along. Unfortunately as I was six months older than her, it meant I was almost Guide age and Brown Owl told me I’d have to wait to join Guides, which I did. Eventually Sharon and I joined the Forget-Me-Not patrol in 6th Merstham Guides, or was it the 1st or 4th - it was such a long time ago!

What is your greatest personal achievement within guiding?
Difficult to say, I feel really proud to have recently been presented with the Laurel Award but having had the opportunity to lead Sussex Central as County Commissioner, especially during the Centenary Celebrations has to have been probably the best 'job' ever!

What do you like best about guiding?
Being part of an amazing organisation, knowing you have 'friends' who share my values in not only our County & Region but also in so many countries, working with amazing adults but mostly having fun with the girls

What would be your ‘top tip’ for a new Leader?
Remember guiding is FUN and take every opportunity available, not only for your girls, but also for yourself. Also despite what we sometimes say, it is ok to say 'No' sometimes! To quote Sylvia Smith our past President - “Family first, career second, guiding next!”

(C) Girlguiding Sussex Central

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