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March 2014


Brownies ‘rock’ as 100 years celebrated ‘BROWNIES Rock’, ‘it’s lots of fun’ and ‘Brownies are great’ are just some of the comments written in letters to the Chronicle as part of the charity’s 100th birthday celebrations. 2014 is a big year for the Brownies as it celebrates 100 years helping girls discover new interests and take part in activities, as well as build up their confidence for later years. The Brownies are one of the junior sections of the Girl Guiding network, and caters for girls aged between seven and ten years old before they move up to the level of Guides. As part of ‘The Big Brownie Birthday Challenge’, Sara Ward and the rest of the leaders at Movilla Abbey Brownies asked their girls what activities they would like to do from the list

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available. One of them involved writing a letter to their local paper, and that is what they did. Along with challenges, such as making a giant piece of art outside, making a Chinese dragon boat, swapping roles with their leaders and a sponsored silence, they also wrote to the Newtownards Chronicle’s editor, Mark Bain, telling him why Brownies is great. Mark said: “I was delighted to see so many letters arrive on my desk. It’s great to see the girls getting so involved in their activities, and, by the looks of things, there may be a few budding journalists as well.” The Brownies have been running at Movilla Abbey for over 30 years and are still as popular today as they ever were - so much so they now hold two units each week. Carly Dalzell, District Commissioner for the Movilla District, said why she believed it has lasted so long: “We’ve moved with the times; we’re modern; we’re relevant to today’s girls. They do the things they want to do now - it’s not knitting and sewing. “The girls are into what’s going on in their locality. They want to know what’s going on and be able to make decisions and influence things, even though they’re quite young, so it’s good that they’ve got that medium to do it.” She also said it is a good place for them to grow: “It gives girls a safe space to try new things. It means they can just concentrate on just being a girl and there’s no pressure to compete with boys. So they can try things - they can go climbing, they can go do archery, they can get themselves all mucky, and they don’t have to worry about what boys think of them or compete with them. That’s one of the big successes. “The other thing would obviously be the leaders, who give the girls the opportunities, because, if you don’t have enthusiastic leaders,

Movilla Abbey girls get letter-writing as part of centenary project

Leaders and members from Movilla Abbey 'A' which they wrote to the Editor. J21-13/2/13 then the girls wouldn’t do anything exciting.” Carly said Sara and her team are a great example of that, bringing in fresh ideas while being close enough to the girls’ age to be able to know what interests them. Carly also believes Brownies offer the girls ‘free thinking opportunities’ that they may not get elsewhere because of family time constraints or schools being geared towards examination results. She added that while the units are held in a church it is an ‘unofficial integrated place’ open to girls from all backgrounds and beliefs. However, the camaraderie does not end when the young women reach 18 years old. A

Brownie Pack pictured holding up the letters number of the ladies who originally introduced Brownies to Movilla Abbey now run the Trefoil Guild. It is a group for ex-Brownies, along with ex and current leaders, who have formed a network of friends that still hold to those same Girl Guiding principals of helping each other. The charity is looking for new leaders across North Down and Ards. There are so many girls wanting to join but they have to be restricted because there are not enough leaders available. If you are interested in becoming a leader visit


Out with the Old and in with the New at McGrady’s

Newtownards Accountancy Firm Pioneer New Online Service M B McGrady & Co. Newtownards have invested in a unique online service that allows companies to reduce the time spent on the more arduous elements of their accounts, a first for the Northern Irish accounting industry. This online accounting system allows for SMEs to always know exactly how their business is performing every month by uploading their accounts online for the experts in M B McGrady to review. M B McGrady & Co has introduced this service to their organisation, with over 60 years of experience in the accounting industry in Northern Ireland with offices in Newtownards, Downpatrick and Belfast and a wide base of clients in each of these areas. Now the firm has this service to add to the already wide range of professional expertise in consulting, taxation and auditing, M B McGrady & Co are looking forward to integrating this bespoke service with their current and prospective clients. As part of a monthly subscription, SMEs can upload their online banking data directly to the accounting experts in M B McGrady & Co and have their accounting needs dealt with in real-time. One of the most helpful and innovative aspects of the service is its ability to remember repeat entries each Roy Creelman, Seamus McLernon and Conaill McGrady month and categorise them accordingly, saving more time for the business owner. Roy Creelman, partner in MB McGrady & Co said: “This is an affordable programme we have brought into circulation here in Northern Ireland to help SMEs and business owners cut costs and save some very valuable time, yet still increase the quality and efficiency involved in a very important area in any business’ remit. We have worked with a number of existing clients who have used the programme and appreciate the bespoke nature of the service for each individual business. Each organization requires a different input, result and amount of accountancy provided and that is what this service provides. Roy added: “We’re the first company in Northern Ireland to be providing this online service and we’re very excited about the prospect of helping more and more SMEs all over Northern Ireland get to grips with their accounts and give them more time to concentrate on other aspects of their company.” The online accounting service can be tried by your company by visiting and signing up for their 30 day free trial.

Chronicle extra march 2014  
Chronicle extra march 2014