The founding member of a girl group in Blackfen has retired after 27 years in the role.

Alison Hope, 60, formed Blackfen Rainbow Unit and her daughter Louise was one of the first intake of young Rainbows.

Since then, Alison has been the leader - overseeing the unit of 20 which has a long waiting list.

Mrs Hope, known as Bluebell to the kids, has decided to take a step back from her illustrious Girlguiding career.

She said: "I will always have a deep affection for the unit and all of the hundreds of girls who have passed through on their journey into GirlGuiding. Many of them have grown up and their own children have joined the unit and some have gone on to become leaders themselves.

“I am not leaving Girlguiding and hope to be around if I am needed for many years to come, and I know that my own daughter Louise, who I enrolled all those years ago and is now a leader at Blackfen Rainbows, and Nikki Farrell who has been a leader at the unit for six years will bring added dynamism to the meetings and it is great to know that I am leaving the unit in such capable hands”.

Louise Matthews, her daughter who she enrolled as one of the founding members, and Nikki Farrell will become joint Leaders at the unit.

Mrs Hope joined 1st St Mary Cray Brownies at the age of 7, and after leaving Brownies to join the 1st St Mary Cray Guide Company, she also took on the role of pack leader at the Brownie Unit, where she helped out from the age of 12.

She then became a member of 1st Orpington Ranger Unit and assistant leader at 5th St Mary Cray Brownie Pack, taking the pack over two years later.

In 1985, Mrs hope took on the role of leader in charge at the 1st St Mary Cray Guide Company, leaving only in 1990 to move to Sidcup where she formed the Blackfen Rainbow Guide Unit. She became district commissioner in Lamorbey District Guides in 2011, a role that she held for five years.