We finally managed to bring friends together to celebrate with Val Hickmott and Margaret King who both received awards during Covid.

Val Hickmott was presented with the Laurel Award in celebration of her excellent service.  In awarding this award to Val, our Chief Guide Amanda Medlar wrote ‘We admire what you have done and the impact you’ve had on the girls, volunteer and wider community in LASER and the UK.  Thank you for being so generous with your time and talents, energy and commitment over the years.’

Nominations for the award came from Guiding friends, many who have volunteered with her over 30 years.  They recounted her commitment to Brownies in Ashtead as leader, to the county in supporting training and recruitment and in many of the major events: the Guiding Centenary, where Val headed up the team to organise a Brownie day at Port Lympne in Kent. As Region Brownie Adviser, she was involved on the organising committee for a Brownie weekend for 3000 Brownies at Butlins in Bognor Regis. In 2014, when the Brownie section turned 100, where she joined the team of leaders organising a day at Painshill Park for 1000 Brownies.  More recently Val has been part of the team managing the complete rebuild of Faurefold (our County residential site) and has been instrumental in improving the site and maintaining the old building whilst helping to raise the £500,000 required to build the new holiday house that we can see today. Overall, Val’s contribution to Girlguiding locally has been mammoth over the years.

It was a double celebration as Margaret King received the Region Chief Commissioner Award.  Over 40 years ago Margaret became the leader of 1st Westcott Guides.  During the centenary period, Margaret was on the organising team for the Now and Then 2010 camp and headed up the logistics dealing with transport of people and equipment.  She also took on roles in the organising the Opening Ceremony at Lingfield Park.

On the Faurefold Committee, she does a fantastic job in her role as Secretary and is a keen fundraiser. Margaret works tirelessly to keep everyone informed. Margaret can be seen regularly manning the fundraising stalls at events, creating craft for the girls to purchase and also helping at the Faurefold working days.  Margaret also helps with organising the Brownie and Rainbow Fun Days.  Outside of Guiding she supports a group in Horley that helps children to address their Cynophobia (fear of dogs). Whatever Margaret does it seems her approach is totally selfless, she always thinks of others before herself, and delivers results with hard work, good humour and surrounded by friends.

We congratulate Val and Margaret for everything they have achieved in Guiding and for the opportunities that they have created for thousands over many years.