Dromore Brownies were last week welcomed to No.10 Downing Street, where the Prime Minister presented their leader, Brenda Herron, with a Points of Light Award for volunteering.
The Dromore girls were among 100 Brownies from across the UK to pass through the famous front-door as part of the organisation’s centenary celebrations.
The First Dromore contingent introduced PM David Cameron to the concepts of giant games and armpit fudge as they explained the range of activities open to modern Brownies, from archery to plate-spinning.
“It was fantastic to go to Downing Street,” said local Brownie, Catherine Black (9).
“The Prime Minister told us his job was a bit like being a Brownie – because you have to be kind and helpful to everyone.”
For his part Mr Cameron thanked the Brownies and Girlguiding’s 100,000 volunteers for their dedication to giving girls all over the UK a head start in life.
Delighted, he said, to be celebrating the Brownies’ 100th birthday in Downing Street, the Prime Minister said the promise to give back and serve others was at the heart of what it meant to be a Brownie.
“In this centenary year,” he said. “Brownies have been volunteering across the UK as part of the Big Brownie Birthday Badge Community Challenge.
“Happy 100th birthday and here’s to another great 100 years ahead.”
During the party, each of the Dromore Brownies wrote down her hopes for how girls’ lives might change in the next 100 years.
These birthday wishes - taking in everything from wider access to education to the prospect of every Brownie getting to cuddle a panda - were gathered in a book to be kept by Downing Street for viewing by visitors, dignitaries and decision-makers.
Meanwhile, there was a special surprise for First Dromore’s Brenda Herron, a 33-year veteran volunteer leader whose team has masterminded all the big Brownie birthday events in Northern Ireland this year.
Presenting Brenda with a Point of Light Award, Mr Cameron hailed her as a shining example of the volunteers who made the Brownie movement so succesful. “As a Brownie Leader for 33 years, Brenda’s pack has been so popular with girls in Ulster that she has had to set up an extra night of activities,” he said. “I’m delighted to make Brenda the 76th UK Point of Light.”
“Guiding plays a huge role in my life and it’s something I’m very passionate about,” she said. “I get so much out of working with the girls; they have brilliant ideas and so much energy and enthusiasm and I get to help them fulfil that potential.”