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NEW YEAR’S HONOURS: Wargrave Guide leader ‘speechless’ over award

Tamsin Phipps

A GIRL Guides leader from Wargrave said she feels “very humbled” to receive an MBE for her life-long commitment to community work.

Tamsin Phipps, 61, was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for her Girl Guiding leadership and work on British waterways — and she says she’s still a bit speechless.

“I’ve always done community work, ever since I was a young girl,” she explained. “And I’ve always been a Girl Guide or involved in Guiding.

“When my daughter was quite young, I got involved in Rainbows and led her unit.

“As she grew up, I followed and opened up a Girl Guides unit, and then a Rangers group.”

Ms Phipps work for the Girl Guides has taken her all over the world, to places including Switzerland and Canada.

Tamsin and her daughter Amber

She hopes her dedication to the Movement has helped many young girls in a positive way by opening up greater opportunities.

But that’s not all Ms Phipps is receiving an MBE for. She has also been recognised for her work promoting greater public access to rivers and waterways.

“I’m also volunteer for the Canal and River Trust,” Ms Phipps explained. “I’m an active canoer and I’m very keen to promote the outdoors.

“I even helped rebuild Reading Canoe Club in 1998 to get young people involved in canoeing.”

Ms Phipps also spearheaded the Rivers Access campaign as government and public affairs manager for British Canoeing, which calls for more inland waterways to be accessible to the public.

Now, she hopes her award will encourage other people to do something good for their community.

“I’ve always been inspired to volunteer because I found it so much fun when I was younger,” she said.

“And it feels very humbling to be awarded an MBE; it was a real honour for someone to do that.

“I really recommend volunteering to people because it’s brilliant fun so please go out and make a difference.”

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