Two women from Leeds have received the prestigious British Empire Medal (BEM) at a special ceremony organised by the Lord-Lieutenancy of West Yorkshire.
Both women, well known in their communities, have given a total of 78 years of their time to their communities. The Lord-Lieutenancy of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, presented their awards.
Community worker Kim Milner, of Pudsey, and pub landlady Pamela Clarkson, of Rothwell, were honoured at the ceremony at Bowcliffe Hall, in Wetherby.
The British Empire Medal was re-introduced as part of the Honours Awards in 2012 and Kim and Pamela were just two of seven recipients in West Yorkshire.
Kim Milner has been a part-time recreation assistant and fitness coach at the Pudsey Leisure Centre since 1989. In that time, she has taken on a range of fitness classes for adults, mothers and toddlers and the Active Life Group for Over 50s, giving her time voluntarily for 24 years, since 1992.
The Pudsey Active Life for Over 50s offers aerobics, circuit-training, badminton and swimming. Kim realised that older people benefitted greatly if they could meet other people and make new friends through exercise.
She started to use her spare time to organise extra-curricular activities and holidays. The holidays began on home soil, but Kim was soon taking members of the group abroad.
From its humble origins numbers have now grown to over 150 members, with between 80 and 100 attending the twice weekly sessions and up to 50 attending Kimaerobic classes.
Also honoured was Mrs Clarkson, who, for the past 53 years, has served the communities of Morley, Rothwell, and Castleford.
She began fund-raising activities running raffles in her parents’ pub, The Ship Inn in Morley, raising-funds for the less fortunate local pensioners to enjoy high tea at Christmas and Easter.
Pamela went on to become the landlady of her own pub in Carlton, Rothwell, and she has been responsible for raising more than £25,000 for Wakefield Hospice, organising many community events, and in 1997 her pub was voted Community Pub of the Year.
Pamela has been a member of Rothwell Lions since 1996 and is a past president of the Club.
For the last 13 years, she has prepared Christmas morning coffee for 130 people, Christmas lunch and tea at Rothwell Parish Centre, raising funds to provide the meal, which she cooks herself with a team of volunteers.
Pamela also organises a summer day out to the coast. The award was collected on Pamela’s behalf by her daughter, Dawn Cockerham. as she couldn’t make the ceremony.