Queen's birthday honour for inspirational Girlguiding volunteer from Manchester

Local volunteer recognised for her role empowering hundreds of girls and young women. 

A Girlguiding volunteer from Manchester has been recognised in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her work supporting girls and young women over the last 60 years.

Janet Wood, a unit helper at 14th Radcliffe (St. Thomas’s Church) Guide unit, was awarded the British Empire Medal by Her Majesty the Queen in honour of her inspirational efforts.

Janet, 77, first became involved in guiding in 1954 at the age of 13 when she joined a local Guide unit. At 16, she became the leader of her very own unit and has been providing amazing opportunities for girls and young women ever since.

Janet’s engaged in a variety of roles during her time with Girlguiding North West England as a district commissioner, region trainer, and division leadership qualification mentor, to name a few. Recently, she was appointed the honorary role of division president for Bury South Division.

Janet said: “My most precious memory is of meeting a girl who came from a troubled background but continued to get involved with Guides despite unfortunate circumstances. Sadly, she left us at aged 18 to work in another town. She visited our unit a few months later to tell us all about her progress and how she is truly fulfilling her ambitions. I was so pleased to see how guiding had given her the courage to seize the opportunity.

“At first, I couldn’t believe I had been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. I feel overwhelmed by the kindness of people going through the effort to put me forward. It’s been wonderful to work with so many young women and girls over the years and see the difference guiding makes to their lives.”

Holly Currie, 30, District Leader in Chorley said: “Janet thoroughly deserves this award; she is a remarkable lady and assisted me in my early guiding whilst I was in the senior section.

“The commitment she gives to everyone is very special and the encouragement she gave to me was second to none. It is hard for me to put into words just how special she is and just how much of an impression she made in my guiding journey. She will always be mentioned when I talk to young girls about doing their leadership qualification so they too, can lead their own unit and make a difference to girls’ lives.”

Rebecca Minors, County Commissioner for Lancashire Border, added: “I want to say congratulations to Janet today, this award is well deserved. We are thrilled for her and very proud in Lancashire Border as she and all our fabulous volunteers continue to help each girl to find her voice.”