Chairman's Report
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Chairman's Report

Chairman's Report
First of all we were saddened to hear of all the flooding that occured and affected Cumbria North and South and parts of Lancashire. This caused problems with travelling to meetings and even finding alterneative places to meet. We had letters of sympathy from South West Region with offers of financial help as they had been affected by flooding in the past. Most areas are almost back to normal, but it has been a long process.

Again, I can report a busy interesting year.
The first Region event was the Annual Meeting held in Southport in March, with 400 members attending, and more were disappointed not to obtain tickets.This was a very successful meeting, the speaker was informative and amusing, and the event was excellent, with the local team working hard to acheive a very well organised event. We also said thank you to two retiring members who had worked hard for the Region over the years,Mrs. Tricia Wilson, Programme Advisot and Mrs. Pat Turner the Elected Member.

In April, 52 members from across the Region went to Foxlease for a break from Monday to Friday. We were very lucky with the weather, with rain either side the break, we were blessed with blue skies and sun. The outing to Beaulieu and Lymington proved to be interesting - the motor museum bringing back many memories and the grounds and buildings were a delight. Several blankets were knitted by the participants for the Ray of Hope - a charity for premature babies. The wine tasting proved to be popular and some members did very well!! Overall, a very successful event.

The National Annual Meeting was held in Harrogate, Yorkshire, a lovely spa town with the renowned tea shop called Betty's. Needless to say, this was well patronised by members of the Trefoil Guild. The event was well coordinated by members of NE England with lots of stewards around the town to help with any queries re: directions. The meeting went well, ending with a brilliant talk by Gervase Phinn. What a great raconteur - the hall was filled with laughter for most of his talk.

Region Outdoor Day at Waddow in October attracted 80 participants. The weather was good and one member raised nearly £100 from a bucket collection by doing three adventurous activities that she had never done before. Prior to the event, she had obtained sponsors from her County members and raised £1,250 in total to donate to KIDSCAN. Well done Joan. The day was enjoyed by all who took part.

Training Day in November saw over 100 members of County teams attend a training day at Corpus Christi School in Preston. The feedback from the day was very positive. We had the three National Advisors - International, Programme and PR plus the National Treasuruer, hold their respective sessions plus and in-house trainer and myself leading the Secretaries and Chairmen. The participantsfound the sessions useful and the afternoon discussion time worthwhile. I do hope that the County Teams wil benefit, and communication also improve.

Our numbers have stayed pretty constant and although we have closed some Guilds, new ones have been opened. However, we must keep working to attract new members - younger ones if possible too.

There have been some fantastic trips during the year.
21 members from Manchester stayed at Hautbois in Norfolk, and went to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.
47 members from Lancs East went to Scarborough for 5 days, with visits to Whitby and York.
Greater Manchester West had a long weekend in Chester.
Cumbria North went to Netherud in Se4ptember for an activity weekend, and later in the year a group went to India taking ni the Golden Triangle and Sangam.

Many day trips have been arranged, including a trip on a tram from Fleetwood to Lytham, a trip to a nature reserve with birdwatching, a trip to Sizergh Castle, Dunham Massey in Cheshire, a Buddhist Temple in Preston, Waddow, Salford Museum and Art Gallery, the Wedgwood Factory, cruising on the Leeds/Liverpool Canal - with food, various theatre trips to see Jesus Christ Superstar, The Mousetrap, Brief Encounter.One group went to the Lowry to see "The Girls" based on the Calendar Girls - an excellent show- highly recommended. Another trip went to the East Lancs Railway from Bury to Rawtenstall, with afternoon tea of course. One trip that you could take is how far can you get on your bus pass as one group did, but don't forget that you have to get back. Stockport had an outing to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Three members from Merseyside went to the Queen's Garden Party. Several Trefoil Members attended the Thanks and Recognition service at Westminster Abbey in November.

Talks to members during meetings have been so diverse and sound very interesting. They may give you some ideas for future talks in your Guilds. Talks mentioned include Owls of the World, the Chauffeur to Eric Morecambe, a visit to Napal at the time of the earthquakes, a Guiding visit to Japan, Peer Education, local churchyard, the Knot Tiers Guild, the Salvation Army, Landmark Trust, A butler to several high profile figures,Guide Dogs to the blind, Mission to Seamen, a chocolatier and master baker, local Scouts about a trip to Greenland and Search Dogs UK. I am sure that there have been many more. Jim White, the son of the TV vet 'James Herriot', gave the talk at Cumbria South Annual Meeting. This was very interesting and funny - giving insight into the work of a country vet in Yorkshire and their farmer clients. 
One Guild held a Shakespearian Evening where a local theatre group performed.

You have also had lots of different activities within Guilds and Counties. A Flower workshop, an Archery and Shooting day, beetle drives,napkin folding, cosseting your feet, BBQs and campfires, curling, an inter-guild bowling competition, crown green bowling, painting porcelain, Tai Chi, handbell ringing, and several games nights. Lots of events, often including lunch or afternoon tea - or both, to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday were organised either at County or Guild level. One Guild provided the narration for a Nativity Play. Carol Services were held at Christmas all over the Region, and needless to say many festive meals were eaten. One Guild entered the Poulton Town Quiz and won. Well done.

The International challenge has proved popular and many Guilds have incorporated it intio  their programme.

It is pleasing to see that the Trefoil Guild has been supporting Girlguiding throughout the year.
The Isle of Man supported a Guide on a trip to Iceland, Wirral served drinks to 800 Rainbows/Brownies at the County Christmas Cracker weekend, Greater Manchester West helped Brownies doing a bag pack, Sefton Trefoil have helped at a County Day & at a  County Guide Camp in June. Many helped at Gang Shows in various ways.
Wirral also helped to fill Goody Bags for the girls who enjoyed an evening at the cinema to raise mney for the County Campsite & and also were stewards at the event.
Lancs East supported two Senior Section girls who went to Armenia.
£250 was raised for a County camp/activity centre by selling tea and scones and £250, for the same cause, from sponsorship for a 15 mile coastal walk.
Lancs East supported Guys Farm at a quiz and bingo evening.
A coffee morning in aid of Sangam raised £250.
I also know that lots of members go to camps, help in Units and at special events put on by Counties and Divisions throughout the year.

You are all very good at raising money for Charity or stepping forwards when help is needed.
Eight members from Lancs East bag packed for the East Lancs Hospice.
Hats have been knitted for the Salvation Army. Several Counties have filled shoe boxes. Help was given at a Fun Dog Show & Spring Fair to raise funds for Senior Section and Guides in Sale. Money was raised for a young Trefoiler to attend a Gold Expedition to Cambodia. The ladies of the Isle of Man knitted blankets for Residential & Nursing homes in Ramsey.Lancs North West Jam Jar collectioncollection raised £55 for Unique Kitz.
Southport Lifeboat Fund, NW Air Ambulance and Life for African Mothers were supported by Sefton
Wirral provided rucksacks for Mary's Meals.
Pat Mayle from GM West has introduced & coordinated the making and filling of Comfort Bags for hospitals.The idea has been taken to Region, and Girlguiding are also taking part and the number involved is going from strength to strength.

Lastly, the Voyage Award participants are increasing month by month and congratulations to all those members who have completed their Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. Many interesting activities are taking place and lots of support being given.

I think you will all agree that we have more than fulfilled the four Key Points; we have Found Friendship, Given Support, Got Active, and Got Involved and most of all had fun.   Thank you to all the people who organise the talks and events, and officiate at meetings.

Please let our PR Advisor have photographs and articles about what you do so that we can put our exciting activities onto the website. Put them in your reports to County Girlguiding to promote the Trefoil Guild.

Next year is our 75th Anniversary and we will be celebrating in style. I look forward to another vibrant year and interesting events to raise money for our chosen charity Riding for the Disabled.

Thank you

Aileen Higgs

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