Brownie leader nominated for helping others

Tess Bettle, from Leighton Buzzard, nominated for Yopey. PNL-150207-164639001
Tess Bettle, from Leighton Buzzard, nominated for Yopey. PNL-150207-164639001

A Leighton Buzzard teenager who helps run a brownie unit has been nominated for an award.

Tess Bettle, 16, of Carina Drive, was nominated by Kim Mead, leader of the 4th Leighton Buzzard Brownies, who meet at the Scout Hut in Hockliffe Road, every Wednesday.

Tess has been nominated for the Atlas Young People of the Year in Bedfordshire - known as the YOPEYs - and considered as the Oscars for young people who help others.

She has been with the Guiding movement since joining the 4th Leighton Buzzard Brownies as a seven-year-old. At the age of 12, while with the guides, she became a volunteer helper with the brownies, and then two years later a young leader.

Now she is also a young leader with the 9th Leighton Heath Brownies who meet at Beaudesert School, Appenine Road, Leighton Buzzard, on Tuesday evenings.

She attends activities or events that both units run, including at weekends and brownie holidays.

Tess has gained her youth leadership qualification and is now working on her Queen’s Guide award, the highest in the movement. She has completed well over 800 hours of volunteering since she was 14.

Kim said: “Tess was very quiet, but has grown massively in confidence. She works well with small groups or the whole of the 28-strong brownie unit. Anything that I ask her to do she will happily and willingly do. The youngsters love her.”

Tess said: “I liked the guides for all the different activities that they put on. I also like passing on skills to the youngsters and I enjoy games with them.”

Tess will be travelling to Ethiopia next year as part of a 12-strong group from her school, Van Dyke Upper School, in Leighton Buzzard, through an expedition company.

They will help improve a school by building furniture and painting classrooms, and help deliver water to the village by laying pipes. “I’m looking forward to the trip and to helping the local people,” she said.

She has so far raised £1,000 towards the £4,000 total needed for her part on trip. She has done bag-packing, selling cakes that she has made, and through sponsorship by local companies. Now more activities are planned.

Kim said that Tess is so popular that one of her group, Amy Newman, sold her playhouse for £40 to help raise funds. “It’s really sweet of her and I’m so grateful,” said Tess.

“There is no limit to what Tess would do to help people,” added Kim.

>> Do you know a young person, aged 10-25, who deserves the title Young Person of the Year? To nominate visit or write, enclosing a stamped-addressed-envelope, to YOPEY, Woodfarm Cottage, Bury Road, Stradishall, Newmarket CB8 8YN for a paper entry form. Entries close on July 31.