Eastleigh guide gets top award

Natasha Jarvis

Natasha Jarvis receives award from Chief Guide

A young woman from Eastleigh has risen to the challenge to achieve the highest award in Girlguiding.

Natasha Jarvis, 25, was presented with her Queen’s Guide Award at the House of Commons on Saturday 11 June by Chief Guide Valerie Le Vaillant, Girlguiding’s most senior volunteer.

Adventurers and former Girlguiding members Anna McNuff and Sarah Williams were invited to the celebration to meet the award recipients and both gave speeches about the incredible dedication and achievements of the young women.

To achieve the prestigious award the young women took on a series of personal challenges in areas such as social action, voluntary work and travel and these had to be completed before they turned 26. Fewer than 150 Girlguiding members are presented with the award each year.

Natasha took 17 months to finish her challenges and these included organising an exploration trip to Cardiff and training as a peer educator. Through the latter project she has so far run 25 sessions teaching girls about body confidence.

Natasha said:

“Completing the Queen’s Guide Award has caused me to believe more in myself that I really can do something if I put my mind to it. I’ve really been able to develop my organisational skills as well as time management and the award opened my eyes to all the opportunities in Guiding there are.”

Like the Queen’s Guides, speakers Anna and Sarah know how to rise to a challenge. Last year Anna spent five and a half months running along New Zealand’s Te Araroa trail, covering almost 2,000 miles in the process, while Sarah recently completed a gruelling six marathons in six days in the Sahara Desert.

Girlguiding’s Chief Guide Valerie Le Vaillant said:

“It was a real privilege to present the Queen’s Guides with their awards. This group of young women are truly inspirational and they have done exceptionally well to achieve the Queen’s Guide Award by taking positive action in their communities and beyond. They are our next inspiring female role models who have proved they are a force for good. They should all be very proud of their achievements.”

For more information about how to get involved with Girlguiding, the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, visit www.girlguiding.org.uk.