The Girlguiding movement in Cornwall has spoken of its pride in a leader based in the south east of the county.

The voluntary work carried out by Cheryl Smith has been described as ‘amazing’.

Cheryl, 41, from Saltash, has been praised by the movement in the county after gaining a British Empire Medal (BEM).

Girlguiding Cornwall county commissioner Sue Harris said: “Cheryl has worked tirelessly with multiple organisations, including social services, to give children outside of Girlguiding the opportunities which they would otherwise miss, by running a week’s camp every year, just for them. 

“She has gathered a strong, dedicated team who return year after year to help. 

“Her well-deserved award recognises her amazing hard work and dedication.”

The BEM, which was awarded in the New Year Honours List, has been given to Cheryl to mark her voluntary service to young people and her work supporting girls and young women over the last 24 years.

Cheryl is a leader with 1st Saltash Brownies and is Girlguiding Cornwall’s Camp K  co-ordinator.

Cheryl first became involved in Girlguiding when she joined 1st Saltash Rainbows in 1988 as the first Rainbow unit in Cornwall opened. 

A Girlguiding spokesperson said: “Since then, Cheryl has helped hundreds of girls know they can do anything, through fun, challenge and adventure.

“Cheryl’s highlights with Girlguiding include hundreds of nights away, organising a promise party for all of Cornwall’s members and two world scout jamborees.” 

Cheryl said: “I’m extremely proud and overwhelmed to receive this award. It’s been a wonderful time to reflect on all of the experiences I have had in Girlguiding, the lifelong friends I have made and all the inspirational people who have helped me on my way. I love my Brownies on a Monday night, their energy and enthusiasm is contagious. They love nights away and this is the best time to watch them grow and achieve. 

“My biggest passion is Camp K. It’s a camp very different to the norm. I have an amazing team of adults and we support 24 teens to work one-to-one with 24 primary age, underprivileged ‘little people’. 

“Our little people often come with very sad stories and we give them a week’s holiday, making sure they can forget their stresses and worries for just a short time. The week is full of fun, laughter, unforgettable memories and friendship.”