THE vice president of Girlguiding North Wiltshire association, who has gone above and beyond for the organisation for nearly 70 years, has been named on the Queen's New Year Honour's list.

Susan Mary Coates, 76, of Toll Down Way, Burton, was awarded an Member Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire (MBE) for services to girlguiding this evening (Friday) for the exemplary assistance she has given to the organisation since her first venture as a Brownie aged seven in 1948.

"I found out on November 27 by letter and I was absolutely amazed," the 76-year-old said. "I enjoyed my time as a Guide and I wanted to give something back to the other girls. I have carried on working with the girlguides out of love for the job and the support I want to give to the girls, so I never imagined I would receive something like this.

"It has been really hard to keep it from my family. My husband Graham knows but I couldn't wait to tell my daughter Catherine and my son Martin. I'm sure we will go out and celebrate!"

Mrs Coates, who also served as a Guide and an Air Ranger, worked her way up the leadership ranks, boasting titles such as district commissioner, county commissioner, mentor, and president and more over her 69-year career, and she's not planning on stopping any time soon.

"I had a heart attack two years ago, so I have slowed down a bit but I am still involved and happy to help where I can," she added. "Girlguiding is so important for the girls as it really helps with their development.

"It's an all girls organisation and it gives them the opportunities for success and a chance to build their confidence up. You really hope you have an impact on their development but you don't find out unless they approach you years later.

"There are so many leaders out there, so to be awarded an MBE for doing something I enjoy is an honour."