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Guides celebrate gaining gold awards
FIVE girl guides are celebrating striking gold after their hard work led to top achievement awards.
The girls from Horizon Ranger Guides in Kidlington worked for up to 10 years to be presented with Duke of Edinburgh gold awards.
To gain the high honour they had to complete six expeditions, volunteer in the community for 18 months, learn a new skill, and keep up with a physical exercise.
Before this they had to work for six months for the silver and three months for the bronze award.
Group leader Nette Clarke said: “It is quite unusual for so many of one group to get the gold award at once.
“They were proud to get their awards after so many years of work.
“It takes a lot of work. It is a lot of commitment.”
Cheryl Birdseye, 21, from Witney, has been involved with Brownies since she was four, and started working towards the DofE award when she was 16. She took singing lessons and has performed in the Oxford Gang Show for more than five years.
She said: “It is big relief. Most of it was fun. The expeditions were really tough – but in a good way.”
She feels she is now more confident and better prepared for life.
“My leadership skills are a lot better,” she said. “And I am better at organisation.”
Suzanne Dooley, 25, from Kidlington, who started working for the DofE bronze award when she was 15 and volunteered with the village Brownie group, said the four-day expedition on Dartmoor was the toughest part.
She said: “It was definitely worth it but it was a lot of work. Especially the expedition.
“I enjoyed volunteering with the Brownies which is something I wouldn’t have got in to if it wasn’t for the Duke of Edinburgh.”
Also presented with the honour by Girl Guiding county commissioner Andrea Oughton were Alison Miller, Clare Richmond and Lizzie Clack.