MORE than 50 youngsters turned out to give a fond farewell to their Rainbow unit leader last week.

Charlotte Rose, a teacher at a primary school in Haydon Wick has led the 1st Cricklade Rainbows for six years after setting it up in 2007, and now more than 50 girls, aged five to seven, take part in the adventurous activities the unit offers.

The unit gave a special send-off to their leader with a pirate-themed party at the end of the term, and presented her with a crystal vase to say thank you for all her hard work.

Charlotte said: “I’ve had a fantastic time with all the girls over the years and its great to see them all as they go to Brownies and Guides.”

For the time being the unit is being run by Bev Blunden, District Commissioner, as three new potential leaders complete their training.

Bev said: “I’m pleased we have found willing volunteers who will be able to offer girls the opportunity to experience fun activities at Cricklade Rainbows in the future.

“I’m a little sad really to see Charlotte go because she’s put a lot of time into starting Rainbows and setting it up. She’s a very good leader and it’s sad that she’s leaving. I’m just glad that we’ve found three volunteers to take over.”

The farewell party included a number of different games, such as musical statues and musical bumps and was followed by a picnic feast.

The unit had been facing closure at the end of the summer term, as a result of Charlotte’s decision to start working full-time from September, but has been saved by three volunteers, who all started with the unit in April.

It is hoped that the volunteers, Charlotte Parkin, Cathy Brown and Amber Ponting, will have completed their training by Christmas.

The increased number of adult volunteers also meant that the unit was able to welcome five more girls to their ranks, swelling the group to 15 youngsters aged five to seven.