Helen Hunt looks at those deserving Wirral people who have been rewarded with New Year Honours
A MUM-of-two from Wirral who helped hundreds of young people complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award was awarded an MBE.
Tracey Fisher, 46, from Bromborough, who has dedicated the past 28 years of her life to volunteering for the scheme, is among the latest to be recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
Today she said it had been an absolute pleasure working with younger people and vowed to continue volunteering for the scheme.
She said: “It’s brilliant. I am so very pleased. I was very surprised to be told I had been awarded with an MBE.
“Volunteering for the Duke of Edinburgh award is something I really enjoy doing.”
Tracey said that working with young people was rewarding in itself and also fulfilled her love of the great outdoors.
She said: “I enjoy working with the young people who are aged between 13 and 25.
“We have an opportunity to help them grow and mature. When they come along and do their bronze they are quite young and then when you help them through the levels, by the time they do a gold they have matured into lovely people.
Tracey, who is mum to Emma, 20, who has achieved her gold DofE award, and Graham, 15, who has just got his silver, has helped around 500 young people a year through the scheme for the past 28 years.
She is looking forward to seeing the Queen, saying it would be a “wonderful” experience.
Mrs Fisher has been heavily involved with the award since the 1980s, including developing a training programme for new leaders.
Her MBE is for services to Young People through The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Wirral and towards the community in Eastham.
A Wirral pensioner who has devoted nine decades of her life to the Girl Guide movement was also recognised in the New Year honours list.
Ivy Gardiner, 90, joined the Brownies in 1929, the year of the Wall Street Crash that plunged the world into depression.
But she has brought smiles to the faces of thousands of young girls over the years, rising up through the ranks to become District Commissioner for Wirral, where she lives. She is still involved in the movement to this day.
Mrs Gardiner said she was given the news that she was to be made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in November, and struggled to keep it to herself – as sternly instructed by the letter from Downing Street which notified her of the accolade.
She said: “I had to be so careful not to tell, but in the end I had to tell my daughter. I just couldn’t keep it a secret, but I only told her.
“I’ve been involved in the Brownies and Guides for years and have enjoyed every minute of it. In a way I can’t really understand why I should be honoured for doing something I love to do.”
One of the highlights of her time in the movement was when, on taking the Brownie oath in 1929, she took a salute from Scout Association founder Lord Robert Baden Powell and the then Prince of Wales, Edward VIII, who were on their way to the first Scout Jamboree in Arrowe Park.
During World War II she assembled Jeeps and Doughty bombers at the Lever Brothers factory in Port Sunlight.
Her MBE was officially for “services to young people and the community in Wirral”, where she has been a Sunday school teacher and school governor during her time.
She added: “At first I couldn’t believe I’d got it, I just put the letter away in the drawer, but then it sunk in.”
Fundraiser Bernard Hollywood was also awarded an OBE for charitable services.
Born in Liverpool in May 1959, Bernie’s passion to help others less fortunate than himself has driven him to raise in excess of £2m pounds for UK charities over a 20 year period. Investing countless hours of his own time helping others, Bernie has striven to bring happiness into lives by the work he does with Wallace & Gromit's Children's Foundation, Barnardos, British Heart Foundation and Save the Children.
Bernie said: “Receiving this award underscores my long held belief that ordinary people can produce the most extraordinary results both for themselves and other people less fortunate. I am both moved and truly humbled that the work that I undertake for these important causes has been recognised in this way.”
Other people to receive awards include Joseph Peter Roper, for services to Education and to the community in Birkenhead (MBE) and Christine Ann Allan, chief executive of Forum Housing Association, for services to the community (BEM).