An inspirational young woman from Matlock has been presented with the Girlguiding movement’s higest award at a ceremony in Westminster.
Dawn Hutcheson, 26, was presented with the Queen’s Guide Award at the House of Commons on Saturday, November 25, following three years of work in areas such as social action, volunteering and travel.
Fewer than 150 young women out of the hundreds of thousands of Girlguiding members are presented with the award each year.
She said: “The award has increased my confidence and helped me to develop new skills. It has shown me I can do anything I put my mind to.
“It has also allowed me to do things I may not have done without taking part in the award and deepened my passion for Girlguiding.”
As leader of the 2nd Matlock Brownie and Guide units at All Saints’ church hall, Dawn’s projects included leading a week-long stay at Walesby Forest Activity Centre to gain her camp licence.
She also launched a mobile phone and printer cartridge recycling project and planned a tour of all the significant Girlguiding sights in London.
In addition to pursuing the award, Dawn has taken on a role as a leadership qualification mentor for the Guides’ district, and an advisory role at county level.
The award was presented by deputy chief Guide Sally Illsley, who said: “It was a privilege to hear about the challenges these inspirational young women overcame to complete their projects, and make a difference in their communities and beyond.
“Dawn has demonstrated true resilience and passion. Attaining the Queen’s Guide Award is no mean feat and she should be incredibly proud of her achievements.”
The awards audience also heard from physiotherapist and explorer Justine Gosling, a former Brownie and Guide.
She spoke about a gruelling 5,000 mile expedition through 16 countries for charity, volunteering as an emergency disaster responder in Haiti, and building projects in Africa.
Justine said: “It was an honour to be here and to meet the young women who have worked hard to complete the award and celebrate their achievements.
“The best part was hearing all the different stories about the projects, which have led these women to become such amazing role models.”