A woman who has volunteered her time for many years for Girlguiding in Ponteland has received a prestigious accolade.
Lucinda Porter now has 46 years of continuous service in Guiding. She is also a regular swimmer at Ponteland Leisure Centre.
In recognition of her efforts, Ponteland Town Council presented her with its Meritorious Service Award at its annual meeting of local government electors.
She was not a Brownie and did not join 1st Ponteland Guides until she was 12 in 1964. She was a Ranger for a while before becoming a Young Leader with 4th Ponteland Guides.
Lucinda became Assistant Guider with 4th Ponteland Guides in 1972 and in May 1986, she became the Leader.
She was District Commissioner for Ponteland South between 1990 and 1995 – there were three districts then and this has now been combined to become one division, Castle Ward, that encompasses Ponteland, Belsay and Stamfordham.
She is currently Division Badge Secretary, Division ID Verifier and Division Administrator.
The information supplied by her Guiding colleagues, which was read out by Mayor Alan Varley, also included the following: ‘In 2012, Lucinda was awarded the North East England Chief Commissioners award.
‘This is awarded for an outstanding contribution within Girlguiding North East England, for outstanding service in the face of adversity, or displaying exceptional courage or initiative.
‘In the same year, she was invited to attend a special service of thanks at Westminster Abbey to celebrate her 40 years of service.
‘She has run the 100 Club for the county for 16 years, raising funds for Guiding in Northumberland.
‘She helped with organising the craft activities at the three International Camps held at Powburn.
‘In 1987, she went to Grindelwald in Switzerland with a group of Guiders and Guides from Ponteland.
‘Whilst there she visited Our Chalet, which is an international Girl Guide/Girl Scout Centre and one of five world centres of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
‘When she first started Guiding we had nine Brownie packs and seven Guide units in the Village.
‘Today, we only have three Brownie packs and one Guide unit, plus one Rainbow unit – these did not exist when she first started running 4th Ponteland Guides – in various venues across Ponteland.’
Lucinda always went along to Ponteland United Reformed Church in Darras Hall during her years of service until last year, when her venue changed to Ponteland Middle School.
She said: “It was a nice surprise to receive this award.
“I really enjoy being involved in Guiding and I’m looking forward to reaching 50 years of continuous service in 2022.
“We do a lot of fun activities and the girls can just be themselves in a relaxed environment.
“I hope this year that new leaders come on board because we really need more of them.”
Comments made about Lucinda by her Guiding colleagues included the following.
“Lucinda works so hard for guiding. I’m thrilled that she is being honoured by the village.”
“She is always amazingly positive, sensible and great fun to be with. She never misses a Guide or Division meeting unless she has to and she doesn’t seem to have lost any of her enthusiasm.”
For more information about the local Guiding roles, email firstname.lastname@example.org