Joan keeps her promise for more than eight decades - The Worcester Observer

Joan keeps her promise for more than eight decades

Rob George 29th May, 2021   0

WORCESTER care home resident Joan Ford, who is believed to the UK’s oldest Brownie, renewed her Brownie promise 88 years after first reciting her pledge.

The 96-year-old is a Brownie leader at Perry Manor Care Home on Charles Hastings Way and in making her promise she became one of the oldest people to do so.

Joan became a Brownie in 1933 in Kent, joining the same pack as Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn.

During the Second World War, she became a Voluntary Aid Detachment Nurse, later working for the Red Cross and running a cadet unit. She returned to the Brownies as a First Aid Instructor, and took part in many camps, including an international camp in Malvern in 1967.

In the late 1960s, she joined 7th Worcester Guides as a Guide Leader, then went on to become the District Commissioner. Throughout her years as a leader, she took her unit on a host of camps, both in UK and abroad, including Wales, Scotland and also Switzerland.

After Joan retired, she joined the Trefoil Guild, another branch of Girlguiding, working with groups across Worcestershire and raising funds for local causes.

When Joan renewed her promise with a Perry Manor team member, who runs a local Brownie group, she received a new shirt and badge, and took part in a craft session with fellow residents.

Katherine Matthews, home manager at Perry Manor, said: “From the moment she joined her local Brownies group as a child, Girlguiding has been an integral part of Joan’s life – and I know the team enjoys hearing her stories of the camps she’s organised throughout the decades.

“Knowing how important this was to her, one of our team members, who runs her own Brownie group locally, offered to help her renew her promise. This was a very emotional moment and a great opportunity for Joan to reminisce and look back on those happy years.

“We were delighted to be there for Joan on this special day – we think she may be one of the oldest Brownies in the country! We hope her lifelong dedication to Girlguiding will inspire many others to join and do some good in their community, just like Joan did for so many years.”



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