TWO women who have devoted a combined total of 70 years of service to the Girlguiding movement between them have been awarded with long-service medals.
Sandy Tout and Sherrie Durrant were presented with long service awards by The Duchess of Norfolk at a special event, which was held at Arundel Castle.
Both joined the organisation as Brownies before progressing on to become Guides.
In receiving a 40-year service award, Sandy’s Guiding career began in 1972 when she became Assistant Brownie Guider and worked alongside Lancing Guiding stalwart Joan Hunniball, before taking over as leader of 1st Lancing Guides.
She served as Commissioner for Lancing District for ten years and currently runs 4th Lancing Guides.
Sherrie’s 30 years of Guiding began when she became an adult leader, in 1982. Since then, she has run Rainbow, Brownie and Guide units and served as Commissioner for Lancing District for seven years.
She currently runs the 2nd Lancing Rainbows and the 2nd Steyning Guides.
She is also arts adviser for Adur Valley division.
Both leaders have encouraged international experiences for Guides, including trips to Switzerland and America.
Annabel Gray, county commissioner for Sussex West, praised the two for their work with the organisation over the years.
She said: “Sandy and Sherrie have shown great commitment to Girlguiding in Lancing and Sompting.
“It was a privilege to reward them along with other Girlguiding adult volunteers with these long service awards.
“We are very fortunate in our county to have so many leaders who give up their time for the benefit of young girls, as we seek to give girls a voice and provide a unique, girl-only space where they feel comfortable just being themselves”.
Girlguiding is the country’s largest youth group for girls and provides a safe environment for young girls and young women to meet, learn new skills and have fun.
More than 14 per cent of six-year-olds are in Rainbows, while adult volunteers give, on average, 120 hours of their time a year.
Girlguiding UK has half a million young members aged four to 25, while approximately a quarter of all eight-year-old girls in the UK are Brownies.
One in ten of all 11-year-old girls in the UK are Guides.
Members take part in a wide range of activities from abseiling to party planning and from circus skills to survival.
Anyone who would like further information on Girlguiding and the opportunities it gives to women and girls should log on to the website www.girlguiding.org.uk
Alternatively, they can call 08001 695901.