A Girl Guide leader has been honoured with a secret retirement party following 62 years of service.

Elspeth Mitchell has been with Clydebank Girl Guides for over six decades and is leaving her last role as Rainbow unit leader.

A surprise retirement party with special guests and gifts was held to commemorate her work on May 22 at Tower Centre next to Kilbowie St Andrew's Church, Melfort Avenue.

Elspeth started Girl Guiding as a captain and thereafter went on to hold various roles including commissioner, treasurer, and outdoor advisor and she is currently a unit leader with the Rainbows.

During this time, she also worked full-time within the social work department at Glasgow City Council.

Elspeth, affectionately known by her Rainbows as Robin, will now leave her post working with children from the ages of four to seven.

Although she will be retiring from volunteering, she will not give up guiding completely and will remain a member of the Trefoil which is guiding for adults.

Her fellow leader, known as Blackbird, arranged the party as a secret surprise and invited guests from the community and organisation.

In attendance was West Dunbartonshire provost Douglas McAllister, Scottish Chief Commissioner for Girl Guiding Elaine Rough who travelled from Aberdeenshire, Divisional Commissioners, District Commissioners and local Guide Commissioners.

Also, Marie McNair MSP was there to present a motion of extraordinary service from the Scottish Parliament as well as local councillor Sophie Traynor, Girl Guides and Elspeth Mitchell’s close friends.

Janice Blair, lead volunteer for volunteer experience at Girl Guiding Scotland and unit leader at Clydebank, said: “It’s been quite emotional, she has been in my life ever since I’ve been a Brownie. She was commissioner at the time. I've known her since I was very young.

“She’s an expert in the outdoors and had a very big influence for lots of girls and women in Clydebank.

“The party was a complete celebration – she had an absolute ball. We get people doing long service but not in the same weekly service. She's been here every week. She usually takes her holidays within the Guide's holidays too.”

Douglas McAllister added: “It was my great privilege to present Elspeth with a commemorative gift on the occasion of her retirement on behalf of West Dunbartonshire and to thank her for her quite outstanding contribution to Guiding over 62 years and to recognise her service to our community over all these decades.

“It was great to have the opportunity to offer her my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for her volunteering over all of these years and recognising that she would have inspired thousands of girls across our community.

“It was lovely to be part of the surprise secret retirement party and it was also an opportunity to recognise all of our local guiding volunteers as we approach the upcoming volunteer week from June 3 to June 9, 2024.”