JUNE Wilson, who was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List, says she has volunteered all her life because it is in her nature.

The 74-year-old grandmother-of-six was responsible for setting up the Brampton Memorial Day Centre for the over-55s when she arrived in the area during 1977 because she believed there was a need for a group to help the elderly population.

More than 35 years later that group is still going strong and Mrs Wilson is a leading light of the community, being involved in organising brownie and guiding activities and serving as a former Women's Institute president.

Yet despite all her volunteering, she never imagined for a second that she would be honoured by Her Majesty The Queen.

“After I got home from the day centre one Tuesday, my husband casually said there was a letter for me,” said Mrs Wilson, of Elizabethan Way, Brampton.

“I read it once and I had to read it again. I then just burst out crying.

“I was overwhelmed. You don't do these things for any reward, so I never dreamt it would happen.”

She added that it was “lovely to be recognised” for her years of service to the community.

“It must be my background but I've always wanted to help people,” she said.