Julie Barton, the High Sheriff of Cumbria, recently presented Sarah Beale, County Commissioner for Girlguiding Cumbria South, with the High Sheriff of Cumbria Special Recognition Award.
The award is made to “a volunteer, voluntary group or individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the community in Cumbria during the difficult circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic”.
In her tribute, Julie Barton praised Sarah for “the excellent support you have given to your local guiding community across South Cumbria and to their families. You have worked selflessly in setting up a virtual guide camp for all sections in April, which was enjoyed by so many including me. You have led a team to put together the Cumbria Challenge, the cupcake competition for the Alzheimer’s Society, a Virtual Olympics and a Virtual Ticket to Travel activity for summer.”
The High Sheriff mentioned Sarah’s thoughtfulness which “has given so many young people a sense of engagement, purpose and fun. You have made such a positive difference to the lives of many people”.
On receiving the award, Sarah commented “This isn’t just an award for me. Lots of people have worked exceptionally hard over the last few months to keep guiding in the county going. The award is as much theirs as mine.”
The efforts of the Girlguiding community have certainly been appreciated: Parent Paula Craig Pearson from Milnthorpe stated that her “daughter’s wellbeing was hugely helped by Guiding over the past few months”.
Among her many other roles, Sarah is Girlguiding Cumbria South’s arts adviser. Most recently , despite the difficult current circumstances, she has supported a number of young members in completing their Arts Awards from Trinity College, London. One of these, Kate Asquith, leader with the 8th Kendal Brownies, achieved the prestigious Gold Arts Award.