THE future of a Guides group hangs in the balance as its two leaders prepare to stand down.

Janet Shackleton and Jane Hewitt are retiring from their roles with 1st Wiveliscombe Guides in July due to other commitments.

A new leader is prepared to take over on the condition she is assisted by one or two adults each week.

Dr Hewitt, who took over the unit in 2006 when it also faced closure, said it is thriving with a waiting list of girls aged between 10 and 14.

She added: "I’ve loved running Guides despite never having been involved in my youth.

"Highlights of the past 12 years include trying all sorts of activities I’d never have dreamed of such as high ropes, dragon boating, lots of campfires and laughter, making new friends from different walks of life and seeing the girls grow in confidence and simply having fun together."

Mrs Shackleton, who joined her nine years ago, having been a Guide as a youngster and a leader for several years in the 1980s, said: "Girlguiding had changed hugely since my earlier involvement and continues to adapt so that it is always relevant to the girls of today.

"Like Janet I’ve loved the opportunities and laughter, particularly zorbing down a slope at Girlguiding’s Wellies and Wristbands Festival, kayaking on the River Tone and at Weymouth, attending The Big Gig pop concert - wearing earplugs - and even visiting world centre Sangam, India last year.

"Sadly, for Janet as a busy GP and part-time farmer, and for me with growing family and other commitments, the time has come to hand over the reins.

"We both intend to stay involved and occasionally help units in our division when needed."

Anyone interested in helping out to see if they would like to become involved with 1st Wiveliscombe Guides should contact Jane Hewitt on 01823-401154.