A GIRL Guide leader originally from Purton who started her 63-year long association with the youth movement in Sharpness has received her British Empire Medal.

Pamela Cottle, 82, was given the award in the New Year’s Honours List for services to children and young people this year and received the medal from Lord-lieutenant of Gloucestershire Dame Janet Trotter at Gloucester Cathedral at the St George’s Day service.

The president of the Girlguiding UK’s Gloucestershire West Division was also a former head teacher of Paternoster School for disabled children in Cirencester and taught at the Shrubberies in Stonehouse.

She became a leader of the Sharpness Guides in 1951 at the age of 19 after starting in the group when she was 15-years-old.

The former Lister worker would arrange visits of the Guides to Paternoster and would also take the pupils out on day trips.

“It was such a lovely evening,” she said.

“There were lots and lots of people I knew that were there. I felt really proud and it was a lovely service.

The octogenarian admitted she was nervous about the event, as she felt she was representing the Guiding movement and other youth groups she had worked with over the years.

“I shouldn’t have it because I have just been enjoying myself all this time. I have put in a lot of work but you get what you put in,” she said.

Ms Cottle, who now lives in Minchinhampton, said the medal does not yet have a place of honour on the mantelpiece just yet as she is always being asked to bring round the special gift to show friends and family.

The popular figure has also been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace on June 3.