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Solihull Guiding News

• Solihull Times, 18th February, Janice bidding a fond farewell

Photo of the news article

A much-loved volunteer, who was a founder member of the Solihull Guide Shop, has retired.

Janice Addison, aged 70, has been an adult member of the guides for half a century.

The shop, which Janice set up 30 years ago, along with Joan Thompson and Muriel Gravely, was one of the first of its kind.

It has done a roaring trade since 1981, with the idea being taken up by other guiding branches nationwide.

"We decided to open up somewhere in Solihull, to save people trekking all the way to the official shop in Birmingham," said the mum-of-two.

"It's now got to the stage that people who bought their uniforms there are coming back with their children."

Based in Catherine-de-Barnes, the branch has had customers from as far afield as Australia, Poland and Abu Dhabi.

It started life at premises near Solihull Hospital before moving-out to its current home in Henwood Lane.

Though she has stopped volunterring at the shop, Janice, from Olton, said that she would keep involved with the guides.

"I'm someone who joined as a brownie and never left, I've been an adult member for 50 years," she said.

Alison Jones, division commissioner of Solihull Widney, will be taking over as shop manager.

• Birmingham Evening Mail, Monday 21st February, Guiding light retiring at 70

Photo of the news article

A Girl Guides volunteer whose pioneering Midland shop design was replicated around the country has retired after more than 30 years.

Janice Addison, from Olton, began running Solihull Guide Shop with fellow Guiders Joan Thompson and Muriel Gravely.

Her shop started life in a small room and later grew into a purpose-built venue in Catherine De Barnes, and has since supplied international camps as well as prestigious events during Centenary Year of Guiding.

The Rainbows, Brownies and Guides of Solihull wished 70-year-old Janice a happy retirement with a special coffee morning earlier this month, presenting her with a commemorative vase thanking her for her support.

Mother-of-two Janice was part of a team that started offering Guiding uniforms for sale out of a few boxes in Solihull during October 1981.

She said: "I had been a Brownie and a Guide myself from about the age of eight, and I really enjoyed all the things that you learn and the confidence it gives you.

"I wanted to carry on giving that back to the girls. We felt it would be useful to have the resources locally, instead of having to go to and from Birmingham."

Once in its own building, the Solihull shop was decked out using funds the team had raised.

And the manager of the Trading Division of Girl Guiding was so impressed when she saw it that the layout was later copied in other branches, from Lancashire and the New Forest to Norfolk.

Customers visit the shop's website from all over the world, including Poland, Abu Dhabi, Australia and Ireland.

Janice said she felt "a bit lost" to have retired from volunteering but said she had received lots of messages of support from the people she has helped over the years.

Her daughter, Clair Ellinor said: "When I look at what mum has achieved I am immensely proud. She's always been so entrepreneurial."

Alison Jones, Division Commissioner of Solihull Widney, has taken over as the Solihull shop manager.