Guiding’s top award for Brownie boss

A Girlguiding member from Toddington has been awarded the charity’s ultimate accolade – the Queen’s Guide Award – which recognises her exceptional leadership and service.

Assistant Brownie leader Klaire Wagstaff, 26, has proved herself a powerful force for good in the community, having spent several years completing a series of demanding challenges to achieve the top honour.

An assistant tax manager at a Milton Keynes accounting practice, she was presented with the prestigious award by chief Guide Gill Slocombe at special ceremony in the Goldsmiths’ Hall in London.

Klaire said: “I lost my mum to cancer in 2008. Completing my Queen’s Guide Award without her there cheering me on, without being able to share my experiences and achievements with her, was really difficult.

“But it also made me more determined to keep going and keep pushing myself because I knew how proud she would have been of me.”

The Queen’s Guide Award is open to young women aged between 16 and 25. It encourages them to make a positive difference to the world around them while boosting their aspirations, leadership skills and confidence.

The programme sets members a raft of trials including a four-day expedition, community action project and devoting a year to cultivating a skill of their choice.

Klaire took part in a gruelling week-long expedition across the Brecon Beacons, worked as a backstage runner at Girlguiding’s Big Gig at Wembley Stadium and attended a World Scout Moot in Kenya.

Chief Guide Gill Slocombe said: “The Queen’s Guide Award embodies all that’s best about guiding.”