British Citizen Award for Julie’s dedication to Girl Guiding

Julie Bell accepts her award from Alison Eddy
Julie Bell accepts her award from Alison Eddy

A Garstang woman has been recognised at the House of Lords for dedicating her life to supporting her community.

Julie Bell has been awarded a British Citizen Award - one of the country’s highest accolades – for 35 years of volunteering with Girlguiding UK.

She has been volunteering with the charity since the age of 15 and has, contributed to numerous local events including The Children’s Festival.

She is the county commissioner and regional Chief Commissioner for North West England, responsible for nearly 65,000 members, 10,000 of which are adult leaders.

Julie, 56, said: “It’s such an honour to be awarded the British Citizen Award. I was totally amazed to be a medalist, I never expected it.

“I had no idea I was being nominated and it makes it even more special being nominated by the people I work with.

“I’m inspired by the leaders I volunteer with and it’s a privilege to work with the young women and support their achievements and adventures.

“It’s a joy to watch them progress and I want these young women to be the best they can be.”

Leaders in the girl guiding council act as advocates and spokespeople and run sessions on ‘Free Being Me’, a worldwide girl guiding initiative on self-esteem and mental health.

Julie, who works for Lancashire County Council as head of services for libraries, museums, culture and registrars, said: “I’m constantly looking at opportunities for grants and gaining equipment for activities the girls like to be involved with. I got so much out of this organisation when I was a young girl, so I want to give the same opportunities to other young women today. Our main message is to encourage these girls to stretch way beyond what they believe they can do.”