Colourful rainbows mark special birthday

YOUNGSTERS from Ipswich joined in with national celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rainbows Guide movement.

YOUNGSTERS from Ipswich joined in with national celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rainbows Guide movement.

A special birthday party was staged at St Augustine's Church Hall to celebrate the milestone of the organisation which caters for girls aged between five and seven.

The organisation was set up in the mid-1980s by parents frustrated that their daughters were too young for the Brownies.

District commissioner Yvonne Williams said: “There were mums bringing their older children to Brownies and not knowing what to do with the younger ones.

“So the Rainbows were created and now there are thousands of young members across the county - and around the country.

“There are a wide range of activities which they get involved in, but the emphasis is on having fun and everyone seems to have a wonderful time.”

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Among those at the special party, attended by about 80 Rainbows from across east Ipswich, was one of the original group members, Hannah Earrey.

Now 24, she went right through the Guide structure and is now leader of a group of Brownies and Guides at St Augustine's.

Hannah, of Ascot Drive, said: “I love being part of the Guide movement, and I've been right through the different levels. I'm now getting ready to take my first group away to Guide camp.

“I'm now working with Helen Schmuecker, who was my first leader at Rainbows all those years ago!

“Rainbows is a great way to introduce young girls to the guide movement. They always seem to enjoy themselves - I remember having a wonderful time with them.”

Helen said she had always loved working with the Rainbows - and could remember Hannah as a young member of the group.

“It's nice to be working together with the Guides after all these years,” she said.

And today's Rainbows also seem to enjoy themselves as much as ever.

Chloe Hart, five, from the Cauldwell Hall Road area was at the event with mum Lorna, who is also a helper.

“I think it's great fun and I've made lots of friends,” she said.

Were you a Rainbow? Do you have memories of your Guiding years? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk