Jack Petchey Foundation
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Kent Guides safari experience a roaring success

9 Guides from the 4th Welling Rangers (Greater London Kent Guides) aged 15 - 23 were fortunate enough to have an overnight safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent.

The trip was possible thanks to a £750 Small Grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation. The Small Grant was made available after Alexis Bodycomb won a Jack Petchey Leader Award for her long-standing commitment to the Girlguides. Phyl Gynn, the 4th Welling Ranger's Jack Petchey coordinator says "Alexis works full-time but always makes sure that the Rangers have a completed and varied program."
 
However, Alexis says it was the Rangers’ suggestion to organise the extremly varied safari trip. “They thought it would be useful to widen their knowledge,” says Alexis. “They were also excited to think that they could use their experience to create an evening of activities with the Rainbow and Brownie units.”
 
Port Lympne Reserve is run by the Aspinall Foundation – a registered charity committed to conservation through captive breeding, education and reintroduction. The Reserve offers unrivalled access to some of the world's most rare and endangered species – in Kent!

The girls were fortunate enough to go on a day safari across 600 acres of land with hundreds of animals - including gorillas and the largest heard of black rhino in the UK – a triumph given their ‘critically endangered’ status. "You could regularly hear the girls oohing and aahing about the amazing work the Reserve is doing with rescued animals," says Alexis.
 
The group leaders hope that their first overnight trip will not only encourage others to sign up to the vast benefits of Girlguiding but also create lasting bonds. "One member called Ellie said 'my face hurts from smiling’. I think that speaks volumes about what this weekend meant to the girls," says Alexis.

"We are all so very grateful for the opportunity that this grant has allowed us. May we express our deepest gratitude to the Foundation and, of course, Jack Petchey himself for the amazing things he enables groups like us to do. Thank you so much."

The Small Grant application deadline is on 31st March 2015. Click here for more information.


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