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Sudbury Brownies group could be forced to close due to lack of helpers

Sudbury Brownies.
Sudbury Brownies.

After 20 years, Sudbury’s last remaining Brownie pack leader is about to step down – and is struggling to find a replacement.

Lynn Neill, of New Queens Road, has been running Sudbury Brownies at Tudor Primary School for the last two decades.

The 56-year-old is about to retire from her job as a nurse, and will be swapping her Sudbury home for life on a canal boat.

With assistant leader and long-time friend Kay Chaplin also leaving, the group desperately needs at least two new volunteers – or the town’s final Brownie pack will close.

“I think it’s terribly sad,” said Mrs Neill. “There were three of four groups when I started.

“It’s the only place where girls can do their own thing as it is just for them.”

“We just can’t get volunteers. People don’t want to do it. I can’t do anything about it as I’m moving.

There are thought to be 50,000 children waiting to get into various scouting organisations across the UK, yet Sudbury no longer has a Rainbows group and only has one Guides group left.

Mrs Neill has contacted local Scouting organisations, while Tudor Primary School is publishing leaflets appealing for volunteers. Unless new leaders are found, the group will have to close.

Despite an ever-changing society, Mrs Neill said the way the group was run was still the same as over previous decades, with the girls working towards different badges.

“It’s just girls being girls, learning new skills, getting on with others and doing things for other people,” she said.

“You get to see the young girls blossom. They come in at seven and they are quite shy. By the time they leave at 10, they are really enjoying it and are very different.”

To volunteer as a leader, or to find out more about the group, email lynn.neill@uwclub.net.

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