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HONITON: Top award for Honiton Girl Guide Sophie

Thursday, 27 March 2014

A Girl Guide from Honiton is poised to make her mark on the next generation of leaders after earning the movement’s highest accolade – the Queen’s Guide Award.
Sophie Chalmers, 24, who is leader of the Otter and Sid Valley Senior Section, has dedicated three years to working toward Guiding’s top prize – a feat achieved by only a handful of Girlguiding’s half-a-million members annually.
The Queen’s Guide Award empowers young women aged 16 to 25 to broaden their horizons, raise their aspirations and develop vital leadership skills to help them improve their own lives and the lives of others.
Participants are set a series of challenges, including an ambitious four-day outdoor adventure, overseeing a pair of ground-breaking community action projects and devoting a year to cultivating a new skill.
For her award, Ms Chalmers raised more than £1,000 for The Monkey Sanctuary – a charity that aims to stop the primate pet trade.
She also carried out a research project on the treatment of animals in zoos and aquariums.
She received her award from Baroness Hilary Armstrong and Chief Guide Gill Slocombe, at a special ceremony in the House of Lords on Tuesday, March 11th.
Ms Chalmers, who works as a casual school librarian at Woodwater Academy in Exeter, and is also a member of the Honiton and Ottery St. John Ambulance Division, said: “The Queen’s Guide has helped me realise that I am good at leading and should not shy away from opportunities.
“It has also made me more determined to stand up and do the right thing in whichever career path I choose.
Chief Guide Gill Slocombe said: “Girlguiding’s research shows most girls aged 16 to 21 – 58 per cent – aspire to take on leadership roles in their future careers.
“But they need to see more inspiring women at the top to give them the confidence to do so.
“The Queen’s Guide is all about showing young women that this is possible, that they have the potential to take on any challenge the world throws at them and become tomorrow’s leaders in all walks of life – so they can go on to inspire the next generation to aim high.”
Baroness Armstrong added: “The young women who have achieved this extraordinary award should be very proud.
“I have no doubt they will use the skills and experiences they have gained to make a huge positive difference to their own lives and the lives of others.”

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