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Guernsey Health Volunteer Awarded BEM

A leading Guernsey charity campaigner has been presented with her British Empire Medal in a ceremony at Government House.

The British Empire Medal (BEM) recognises people who have made a significant difference within the community.

Pat Child moved to Guernsey from the UK to teach infants in the early 1970s.

She told Island FM she only intended to stay in the island with her husband for two years.

However, she went on to become the Deputy Headteacher of Vale Infant School and Headteacher of Hautes Capelles Infant School.

After her retirement she remained active within the community, becoming the island-wide Personal, Social, Health and Economic Coordinator and Early Years Adviser.

Mrs Child was one of the founding members of Home-start Guernsey, which supports islanders with young children, and she launched Bright Tights, which helps patients with gynaecological cancers.

She also volunteers for H.O.P.E., the Walking for Health scheme, and the University of the Third Age.

She says she would have never expected to be singled out because of her work:

"When I first got the message, I was delighted and surprised.

In fact, when the (Lieutenant) Governor rang to tell me about it, my husband answered the phone and when the Governor said ,'it's the Governor calling, could I speak to Mrs Child', he just said, 'oh don't be silly', because he thought it was somebody pulling his leg.

It was an honour to feel that people had recognised the things that I do, but everything I do, I do with other people. I am not a one-man band.

Really the charity stuff started at my retirement because I was still so full of energy and life."

Mrs Child was informed she had received the national award back in 2021, as a part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, but Covid complications delayed the presentation.

His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor Richard Cripwell commented:

"I am delighted to present this award on behalf of His Majesty The King.

Pat’s energy and compassion for her fellow islanders have improved the lives of so many throughout the Bailiwick."

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