Sunday, 14 December 2014

Help Maddie Reach Vietnam

While wandering around last weekend trying to take in as many of the Christmassy delights on offer in Worcester Park, I happened upon a small stall within the Christchurch with St Philip Christmas Fair where a young girl guide was trying to raise money for a trip to Vietnam. Being of the nosey-parker variety, I asked what this was all about...

Maddie Taylor, the girl in question, was the youngest girl to be chosen to join a group of guides to be part of a Girlguiding LaSER Trip to Vietnam in July 2015. This will not be a holiday. Whilst there she will be helping to paint and decorate an orphange and will be teaching in a local Vietnamese children's centre.

Maddie is with the 2nd Worcester Park Guides which meet at Christ Church with St. Philip on Monday evenings. She was chosen out of thousands of girls and was the only girl to be selected from her unit. She is currently in Year 8 at Cheam High School and will be 14 when she leaves for Vietnam next July.

Maddie needs to raise £2,800 to cover the cost of the 17 day trip trip. To raise the money, Maddie has already organised several fundraising projects including:
  • Selling sweets at Guides
  • Bag packing at her local supermarket. 
  • Designing and making a challenge badge that will be sent to various districts for them to sell. 
  • A cake sale at her school. 
  • A quiz night on 17th January 2015 to be held at the church. 
  • A disco in February 2015 for the local Brownies and Rainbows.
Maddie added:
"I can’t wait for the experience to begin and being able to help others who perhaps do not have the opportunities that I have. I feel that I would be inspirational in speaking to others, particularly on how Girl Guiding has helped me gain confidence and also given me an awareness of others around me and spreading the word that girls matter.

All I am asking is if it would it be possible for you to help me out in any way – would you be able to provide some of the funding costs, provide any suitable kit or donate a raffle prize towards my quiz night? Anything that can help me reach my target, would be gratefully received.

If you would like to support me please send any raffle prizes, kit or donations (which should be made payable to 2nd Worcester Park Guides) to my Guide Unit at: 2nd Worcester Park Guides, Christchurch with St. Phillips, Ruskin Drive, Worcester Park. KT4 8LG or donations onto my just giving page"
I am very keen to see these sorts of trips being undertaken. Having travelled myself, both as a child and a young adult I have seen first hand how such experiences really do help people to grow and mature. To say they 'broaden one's outlook' is a huge understatement. When I arrived back in the UK after three and half months backpacking around Europe, my grandparents thought I looked taller. And on my first trip back to Australia after moving to the UK in 1997, a friend of mine remarked, "You've been gone two years and come back 10 years older".

And of course over and above the benefits to Maddie of such a trip, will be the benefits to the children in Vietnam she is helping to improve the lives of.

So please help if you can in the various ways that Maddie has suggested. And also please help support groups like the Scouts and Guides, all of whom help our kids to be better people not only through programs like this but through the many activities and experiences they give them. They are all run by volunteers and could all use an extra hand.