Rainbows group looks back on thirty years of guiding young girls

A Rainbow unit celebrating their 30th birthday has looked back over three decades of girl-guiding.

The Rainbows celebrated their 30th birthday last week
The Rainbows celebrated their 30th birthday last week

Lilleshall's Rainbows formed 30 years ago in April 1993, just six years after the national section was founded.

The Rainbows celebrated their 30th birthday last week

Ever since, hundreds of young girls aged four to seven have promised to be kind and helpful, built dens, tied knots, painted and played.

Last week, the leaders and Rainbows celebrated with a birthday party and a trip down memory lane.

One of the groups first meetings in 1993

Joining the celebration was an ex-Rainbow and two former leaders, including Sue Deighton, who started the unit 30 years ago.

Sue, now 68, started the unit after moving to Newport. She explained: "I've been in guiding most of my life, it's a huge part of it. I always say if you cut me, I'll probably bleed guiding blue.

Lilleshall Rainbows celebrating their sixth birthday in 1999

"Back then, Rainbows as a unit wasn't very old so we could do absolutely anything! There were no badges or goals, it was very interesting.

Lilleshall Rainbows celebrating their 10th birthday in 2003

"Over the years it's changed a lot, I think everyone realised Rainbows were more capable than they had given them credit for."

In 2008, they celebrated their 15th birthday

Last year after 29 years at the helm, Sue handed over the mantel to fellow Newport resident, Rebecca Wilkes.

Rebecca, 30, has been in guiding much of her life, and witnessed the changes first hand.

"I think people sometimes think of guiding as somewhere girls come to learn to bake. But when I was younger it really moved away from that and focused on the opportunities it could provide for girls, how it could keep up with how girlhood was changing, how guides could keep up with that and stay relevant.

"The breadth is wider, of course we still craft and bake but do so much more - last week we all turned into palaeontologists for the night and excavated fossils. The breadth is huge, but the core values have stayed the same.

"We're teaching them skills for the future, providing them a safe, girls-only space. We teach them girls can do anything."

Sue added: "I've found there's a tendency that when boys and girls are together, boys try to take charge. We let girls take charge.

"Girl-guiding opens up so many possibilities to them and has done so much for so many women and girls."

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News