A girlguide who dedicated three years' hard work to achieving a top award has finally received her prize.
Lorna Newman has been awarded the Queen's Guide Award - a feat achieved by only a handful of Girlguiding's half a million members.
The charity's top accolade is given to Girlguide leaders who tackle a series of demanding tasks aimed at improving other people's lives.
The girl-only challenges saw Lorna embarking on an ambitious four-day outdoor adventure, overseeing a pair of ground-breaking community action projects and devoting a year to cultivating new skills.
The 22-year-old from Haywards Heath also went on a three-day hike and organised a trip into central London with a group of 14 to 25 year olds.
Bosses at Girlguides say the Queen's Guide Award empowers young women to broaden their horizons, raise their aspirations and develop vital leadership skills.
Lorna, who is a Leader with the 8th Haywards Heath Brownies, agreed.
She said: “Doing the Queen's Guide Award has helped me to build so many skills, from teamwork and organisation to being able to work with children. I have known for a long time that I want to work with animals but guiding has shown me that I also want to work with children so I now aim to be an education officer with a zoo.
“As a Brownie leader I love seeing the girls I lead develop.
“We get these shy quiet girls that come in and suddenly they come out of their shells and you see them enjoying life, learning and growing. I started with the Brownies when I was seven and have met friends for life through them.”
Laura received her award from Baroness Hilary Armstrong and Chief Guide Gill Slocombe at a special ceremony in the House of Lords on March 11.
She added: “The House of Lords was brilliant to see. It was a bit of a rabbit warren but I was privileged to have been there to receive my award.”
Gill Slocombe, chief guide, said: “Girlguiding's research shows most girls aged 16 to 21 - 58 per cent - aspire to take on leadership roles in their future careers, but they need to see more inspiring women at the top to give them the confidence to do so.
“The Queen's Guide is all about showing young women that this is possible, that they have the potential to take on any challenge the world throws at them and become tomorrow's leaders in all walks of life, so they can go on to inspire the next generation to aim high.”
Baroness Armstrong added: “The young women who have achieved this extraordinary award should be very proud. I have no doubt they will use the skills and experiences they have gained to make a huge positive difference to their own lives and the lives of others.”
Hundreds of heroes go almost unnoticed in our local communities.
But The Argus is determined to give them the recognition they thoroughly deserve.
We have teamed up with housing repair and maintenance company Mears to launch our weekly Local Heroes Award.
We are inviting readers to nominate their candidates and tell us why they have put them forward for the award.
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