Ceremony to honour BEM awards

The Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire & BEM Recipients. Photo by June Essex
The Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire & BEM Recipients. Photo by June Essex

A Brownie Leader from Toddington was presented with a British Empire Medal by the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, at a special ceremony.

The medals awarded in the New Year Honours 2018, were handed over on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, at the ceremony at The Sculpture Gallery in Woburn. A BEM is awarded to someone for their service to the local community.

The medallists honoured were Melanie Parker, for services to Girlguiding and the Royal British Legion; Alison Bradbury, for services to the Clophill community and Andrew Marshallsay for voluntary service to the Fire Cadets Unit and the Fire Service Youth Training Association.

Melanie, 55, of Toddington, has belonged to the Guiding Association as a Brownie Leader for over 30 years. She started as a Pack Leader and progressed to Leader of the Toddington Brownies.

As a Leader she gives her time and in addition to running an active Brownie pack, she also looks after the Guide building in Toddington,

After news broke of her award earlier this year Melanie said: “I feel extremely privileged to have been named on the New Year’s Honour’s List, it was a very proud moment.

“I have been doing it for nearly 40 years and I enjoy doing it.

“It is great to see the look on the girl’s faces when they achieve something new or accomplish something they didn’t think they would.”

Melanie has also organised many fundraising events and is an active member of The Royal British Legion and since she joined the Toddington Poppy Appeal its total has increased every year – in the centenary year of the First World War she helped to raise £14,000.

Mrs Nellis said after the ceremony: “It has been such a delight to meet with the wonderful people of Bedfordshire who have received honours and awards this year.

“The range of contributions that have been undertaken demonstrate what can be achieved when people are prepared to go the extra mile. Each individual represents the very best of great citizenship and each has played a major part in building strong communities here in Bedfordshire and nationally.”