Author Archives: FOSUK

Junior Friends of Sangam (UK) Weekend!


Sangam 50th LogoVisit the Elton Campsite, Nottinghamshire between 15-16th October 2016 and you might see a massive celebration!

As Sangam turns 50 that weekend, Junior Friends of Sangam (UK) will be celebrating in style, bring your Brownie, Guides or Senior Section members to celebrate this moment in Sangam’s history.

When: The weekend will run from Saturday 15th at 10.00am until Sunday 16th at 3.00pm. You can come for the weekend or for a day visit.

Cost:  £7.00 per day for Indian activities and a badge plus £10.00 per person for camp. Supper and breakfast provided for campers

Who: Brownies upwards with a leader, for day visits and Guides and Senior Section may camp.

Contact: Susan Westwood- for more information.

More detail and application form can be downloaded here!

autumn sangam camp flyer (1)


2016 AGM and Gathering – Bookings are open!

Whitby 2016 Our 2016 AGM and gathering will be held at Sneaton Castle Centre, situated on the edge of the historic, picturesque seaside town of Whitby.

We have booked Bede Hall for our activities and standard rooms which are well serviced with bathrooms, showers and toilets.

The total cost of the stay will be £120 and a non-returnable deposit of £25 will need to be paid by 30th April 2016 if you wish to attend. With the full balance due by 1st July 2016.

If you wish to attend please complete this form and return it with your deposit and a SAE to : Jean Sutherland, 87 Colburn Lane, Catterick Garrison. N.Yorks DL9 4NX.

We look forward to seeing lots of you in Whitby! Whitby 2016_2

AGM and Gathering – Colchester 2015

FOS Gathering 2015A glance at the application form for the weekend might have lead you to believe that you would be staying in a small half timbered hotel with associated primitive facilities. However this was a picture of the Old Siege House, one of the many historic buildings in Colchester.

The  Marks Tey Hotel, a Best Western, was very different! The rooms were spacious and comfortable – I have never seen curtains draped quite like those in our room – and there was plenty of parking. Tina had made several planning visits and double checked all the details while we were there but it did seem that the Management team did not communicate with their staff “at the coal face” and there was some confusion about our community rooms. This made it very difficult for Tina to carry through her original programme plans.

On Friday evening we shared a dining room with a coach party from Swansea. Consequently we could not use this room for our evening activity and, as our numbers were small, we took the opportunity to chat and catch up with Friends in the lobby. Our new member, Marcos from Brazil, told us a little about Scouting and Guiding in his home town.

We enjoyed a cooked hotel breakfast and, after some confusion, the hotel staff rearranged the room into Annual Meeting format (including a table for coffee!). A few members, including 3 year old Willemena, joined us for the day taking the number attending up to 29. After the AGM we were moved, again, as we were to be joined for lunch by another group. We now had a small “conference” room with not many chairs, but it was ours for the rest of the weekend. Tina had organised a wide game but the space did not really lend itself to that – perhaps this was a “Narrow” game! We started with a quiz which appeared to be mathematical, to Hilary’s concern, but was really more logical with a twist in each question. After that some people managed to pack over 50 items of clothing into a small rucksack while others completed Word Searches and Dingbats.

In the tradition of the Sangam gathering we donned our Indian garments for lunch and must have caused a stir amongst our fellow guests. The hotel was also hosting two weddings! After an Indian lunch many members did their own thing – including walking nearby and swimming in the hotel pool.              

FOS Gathering 2015_2The evening meal was again shared with the coach party from Swansea, but this time the hotel had managed to lay up the right numbers for each party and the staff were very attentive. After dinner we retired to the small conference room and some of us stayed up for a Sangam Song book sing song. The weekend then closed after breakfast on Sunday leaving us time to explore Colchester before we set off on our journey home.

The numbers attending the weekend were far fewer than those attending in recent years but most of us agreed that it did give us a chance to chat with more people and get to know each other better. We all have Sangam in our hearts and this weekend gathering presents an opportunity to re-live past visits and to hear of updates in India, to renew friendships and make new ones.

Big thanks go to Tina for arranging the weekend and keeping calm when we were being moved from pillar to post.  Despite the small numbers the sales and tombola raised over £500.

Judy Paginton

New Trading Items!

We have some new FOS (UK) items for sale. For information about these and other items you can buy, please read on…

Kinetic Torches in Blue, Pink, Purple and Red (size 5 x 3 x 10cm).

Price £2.50 (No running costs!).

Postage is £2.80 for up to a box of 12. The size of a torch means we have to use the small package rate even for one torch.


blue neck purse

purple neck purse

Neck purses (17×12 cm)

Purple with the Junior Friends logo and blue with the Sangelee logo. The neck tie has a clasp which allows you to thread it through belt loops too.

Price £2.00 plus postage at 65p




We still have a few pens available.

Price £1 each plus postage at £1.50 for up to 12 pens or a stamped addressed envelope for one.


To purchase any of these items please send your order with a cheque made payable to Friends of Sangam (UK) to: G Shepherd, 73 Springfield Road, Southwell NG25 0BS or you can email any enquiries to

2015 AGM and Gathering

The 2015 AGM and Gathering is being held from the 11-13th September at the Marks Tey Hotel in Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town. The cost of the weekend is £120 for those sharing a twin bedded room and includes full board, from dinner on the Friday evening, to breakfast on the Sunday morning. If you would prefer a single room this will be an additional £40 for the weekend.

For those  who would like to come as a day visitor  on the Saturday, the cost is £24, and will include all activities and lunch. Additionally details of other places to stay in the area, including Scout sites, are available upon request.

We have deliberately not included Sunday lunch in the cost because of how much there is to see and do, in the area – e.g. walking, bus tours of the town, visits to Constable Country or Beth Chatto’s famous garden. It was felt members would welcome the chance to explore in their own time (and make their own food arrangements) rather than having to ensure they were back, for their meal. Venue suggestions will be included, with your booking confirmation. If anyone would rather eat in the hotel, though, both bar snacks and the full restaurant menu would be available.

To secure your place, please post, or e-mail your details, as set out in this booking form. You’ll need to pay a non-refundable deposit of £20 per person, by 31st May 2015. The balance is then to be paid by 31st July 2015. If anyone would like to spend longer at the hotel (either before, or after, the Gathering), please indicate this when you book.

Save Sangam’s Pool

Sangam’s swimming pool has been operational since 1974 and is a great place for volunteers, guests and staff to relax and connect! Since then repairs have been undertaken for various issues, but the pool still has the original concrete shell and is finally showing its age.
Currently the pool is leaking water along a major crack that has developed through the width of the pool and Sangam now needs to completely rebuild the pool. In 2014 Sangam launched a campaign to raise funds which Friends of Sangam (UK) has been actively supporting.

More information about the campaign can be found here, and there are several ways you can support this campaign, some of which we’ve listed for you here…

A donation of £100 will buy a tile in the virtual Sangam Pool

We are selling Junior Friends multi-writer pens for £1. The pens come in four colours: blue, red, pink or purple and have three coloured inks (red/black/blue) in one stylish pen. You could perhaps use them as gifts for your units or Leaders.

Junior FOS UK pen

If you could like to order any of these pens please contact Gill Shepherd, 73 Springfield Rd, Southwell NG25 0BS. In your order you will need to include the number of pens you wish to order and the colour. Please also enclose a cheque payable to Friends of Sangam (UK) including the cost of P&P. This is £1 for up to 8 pens and £1.50 for 16 pens.

Update: So far we have been able to buy three tiles for the pool by selling these pens and we are hoping to have bought another three by September!

Save Our Pool badge


Friends of Sangam New Zealand have written a Pool Challenge badge. If you would like a copy of the challenge badge please email Gill on We also have the badges available to purchase by contacting Gill.

Sangam AGM and Gathering – Waddow 2014

Members couldn’t have wished for a sunnier welcome to Waddow Hall on a perfect autumn day, but even the autumn colours outside paled when the doors opened on the incredible décor in the hall garlanded and draped in saris of many colours with a male and female manikin again beautifully attired in Indian dress it really was the most impressive entrance. Following a traditional Lancashire hotpot dinner members gathered in the Three Counties room to hear Hilary Taylor relate tales of the witches of Lancashire.

SWelcome Ceremony Pujaaturday was yet another beautiful day with the sun blazing through the windows adding to the colourful assembly of members in their saris and Punjabi suits. Liz Aveston explained the significance of the welcome ceremony before members received the symbols of turmeric, rice, coconut and sugar from the puja tray.

Margaret Wellock then opened the AGM with a prayer. President Jane Wardropper gave her address and reviewed the past year. The Trustees were introduced to the assembly as some had commented they were unable to put names and faces together. Jen Barron, World Centre Manager at Sangam, and Friends of Sangam from overseas had sent greetings which Liz placed on the notice board for all to read. As the various trustees gave their reports it became apparent how even though many of us have not been to Sangam in the recent past the spirit is still very alive in FOS (UK) members.

Birthday CakeAfter a delicious Indian lunch the stalls were opened and we were able to spend, spend, and spend. There was an opportunity for catching up with friends and acquaintances over a welcome drink and a piece of Sangam’s 48th birthday cake.

The staff at Waddow really excelled in the food they presented so when the evening’s entertainment began some of us rather wished we hadn’t eaten so much – but it was hard to resist. Our entertainer entitled his act as Dance Around the World and took us firstly to India and then to America and Brazil. We then joined in the inevitable Conga and ended with the Hokey Cokey.

Sunday was another brilliant autumn day which was fortunate as Margaret Wellock had organised a variety of local walks, a visit to the castle or a trail and quiz. All too soon it was time for lunch, which was, what else but roast beef and all the trimmings. How quickly the weekend had passed and it was time for the closing ceremony followed by many goodbyes and see you next year. There was no doubt that the gathering had been a memorable event and we give our sincere thanks to Margaret Wellock and her team.

 We look forward to seeing you next year in Colchester.

  Written by Barbara Graham



Sangam Challenge Badge!

If you haven’t already completed the Sangam Challenge badge and purchased your badge, you can download the pack here! How about completing it with your unit? And at the same time you will be raising money for Sangam through purchasing your badges. We look forward to hearing from you!

Download: Sangam Challenge Badge Pack

Girlguiding Celebrate event!

Over Thinking Day weekend, Girlguiding hosted a two day event at Alexandra Palace in London in celebration of Thinking Day and the Big Brownie Birthday. The event, Celebrate, was attended by nearly 8000 members of Girlguiding and had a wide range of activities for Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, members of The Senior Section and Leaders to take part in. Activities ranged from climbing walls, a silent disco, science experiments to playing musical instruments, girls thinking about who their role model would be and international activities.

FOS (UK) at CelebrateOver the weekend 7 members of Friends of Sangam ran Indian themed activities in the ‘Passport to Adventure’ area at the event. These activities included henna designs on biscuits, Warli art luggage tags and card as well as henna with facepaint. All of these activities proved to be very popular with everyone, from Rainbows to Leaders! These activities proved to be a great talking point for the FOS (UK) members to talk about their experiences at Sangam, and to encourage others to hopefully visit Sangam in the future. Even one Rainbow said she would like to visit one day!

A very big thank you goes to those FOS (UK) members, Jane Wardropper, Trish Robinson, Susannah Hodge, Barbara Peart and Liz Aveston for all of their efforts in organising and running the activities over the weekend, and a special thank you to Jane for all of her involvement in getting FOS (UK) involved with this great event.

For more information about the event, please have a look at this page on the Girlguiding website.

Henna biscuit designs The FOS (UK) team! View from Alexandra PalaceWarli art luggage tagsWarli Art

2014 Update!

The Executive Committee will be meeting in March and the next annual gathering and AGM will be being held at Waddow Hall, Lancashire in October.