Guide leader Denise is made an MBE
Denise Burton, who’s lived in Thorney since 1980, has been made an MBE for Service in the Community and Guiding. Her team leader at work nominated her for this and Denise was completely unaware her name had been put forward, till a letter from the Cabinet Office dropped through her letter box on 3rd May. With great difficulty I should think, Denise had to keep this a secret, until it was announced officially on 8th June in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Denise told me her first reaction was one of shock and she still won’t believe it till she actually receives the award. At the moment she doesn’t have a date for the ceremony and doesn’t know if she will have to attend Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. Denise has also received a congratulatory letter from the Countess of Wessex, who is president of the Guides.
Her long association with the Guides started when Denise joined the Girls’ Brigade when her family lived in Cardiff. When she was eight she joined the Brownies and then progressed to the Guides where her mother was a helper. Later she also went on to help her mother who had her own Guide unit in Carmarthen and then became a Ranger with the Brownies. A Ranger is a young leader.
eing a guide leader means not only organising the weekly meetings with games, crafts, and working for badges but also taking the children away to camp. In 1976 600 children went to a camp in mid Wales. It was a very hot summer and many of them got sunstroke. There was also a trip to an army outdoor pursuits centre where abseiling, potholing and an army assault course could be tried out.
A course booklet has to be completed before a person becomes a leader. This covers all aspects of Guiding. It is then signed off and a warrant is awarded that lasts till the person is 65. In addition 15 hours of training per year have to be undertaken and the leader is also DBS checked.
When Denise and her family moved to Thorney she’d already decided she wasn’t going to continue being a Guide leader. However, the local Brownie group was in danger of folding due to lack of help so Denise got involved to help Janet Jary. and has continued ever since. Denise enjoys interacting with the girls, seeing them mature and make life long friendships, watching them change and gain confidence.
Denise plans to carry on Guiding at the present time. She would like to visit China’ where her nephew is an English teacher, and has put news of his aunt’s award on his blog.