Saturday August 24 2019



In Full . . .

Leader of the pack

Posted on September 20 2013 at 11:40:34

Nikki and daughter Megan

Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands . . .

An Oakalls mother was so frustrated by the long waiting lists across Bromsgrove for local Brownie packs that she decided to set up her own.

Her group, the 14th Bromsgrove Brownies, launched in September with weekly meetings taking place at The Methodist Centre, in Bromsgrove.

Nikki Marston, from Kentmere Road, had been a volunteer helper when her daughter was in the Rainbows (a pre-Brownies group for girls aged five to seven years). She decided to study for her leadership qualification and became a Brown Owl (Brownie pack leader) this year.

Nikki is running her pack, which caters mainly for the Oakalls and Finstall area, with the help of a Tawny Owl (Janet Coffey) and Barn Owl (Louise Wood). They are all volunteers and need more helpers, to allow the group to grow and accommodate a greater number of children.

“We have 19 girls registered and there’s already a growing waiting list,” says Nikki. “We desperately need more volunteer helpers – so please get in touch!”

Anyone interested in helping or registering their child should contact Nikki by email on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit

Brownies, aged seven to 10 years, are part of Girl Guiding UK, a leading charity for girls and young women.

Through a varied programme of exciting activities and challenges, children gain valuable life skills in a safe, female-only environment. They are encouraged to make a positive difference to their lives and their communities.

Codie Darby


Atalented dancer from Osborne Road is one of the youngest people ever to be offered a place at a prestigious performing arts school.

16-year old Codie Darby (pictured right) has just started a three-year course at the prestigious Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama in Nottingham, having been selected via a rigorous audition process.

Codie was merely looking to gain audition experience when she attended the selection process and was amazed to be chosen.

“She’s living a dream. This is all she’s ever wanted to do and although it’s hard work she is loving every minute,” says her mother, Dena Darby.


Oakalls resident Dr Sabiha Azmi, an employee of Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, has won a Values in Practice award for her work in increasing the accessibility of healthcare for a very vulnerable and marginalised section of the community. 

Dr Azmi’s research identified a need for learning disability services to support family carers in a more sustained and culturally sensitive way.

As a result she developed a very successful bilingual group programme for families and carers of adults with severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.

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