A "REMARKABLE" volunteer has been bestowed with a Queen's Birthday Honour for undertaking a role which has empowered hundreds of girls and young women.

Janet Wood, an honorary Girlguiding president for the Bury South division, has been honoured for her services to Girlguiding and to young women across Lancashire.

Janet, aged 77, has dedicated more than 60 years to the national guiding organisation — a feat which was recognised with the presentation of an outstanding service award in November 2017.

Now Janet, who is a unit helper at 14th Radcliffe (St Thomas’s Church) Guides, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) by the Queen in honour of her inspirational efforts.

"At first, I could not believe I had been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list" Janet said.

"I feel overwhelmed by the kindness of the people who put me forward; it has been wonderful to work with so many young women and girls over the years and see the difference guiding makes to their lives."

Janet attended the first ever meeting of the St Thomas Guides in 1954 and is still volunteering with the unit today.

The Parish of St Thomas and St John with St Philip extended their congratulations to Janet, stating that "The sheer number of girls and volunteers who have passed through her care over the past six decades is staggering."

Janet, who lives in Salford, first became involved in guiding in 1954 when she joined a unit at the age of 13. Just three years later she progressed to become the leader of her own unit, which was aimed at 10 to 14-year-olds.

Since then, Janet has been involved in Girlguiding across the North West within a variety of roles, including as a district commissioner, region trainer, and division leadership qualification mentor.

Most recently, she was appointed the honorary role of division president for Bury South Division.

On November 16, 2017, Janet was presented with the Laurel Award from Girlguiding — the highest national award that can be given — during a special ceremony at the Bolton headquarters in Shepherd Cross Street.

“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", Janet said. "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 fulfilling her ambitions.

"I was so pleased to see how guiding had given her the courage to seize the opportunity."

Girlguiding North West England is supported by a team of more than 11,000 volunteers who help to give girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build friendships, gain lifeskills and make a positive difference to their lives and communities.

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

The 30-year-old added: "The encouragement she gave me was second to none and the commitment she continues to gives to many is very special. It is hard for me to put into words just how special she is and just how much of an impression she made on me."

Rebecca Minors, County Commissioner for Lancashire Border, added: “I want to say congratulations to Janet; 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."