Former nurse awarded honour for her caring role

Halifax Courier Community Spirit Awards 2014 at Berties at La Cachette, Elland.'Anne Dalby, left, and Jenny Hirst.

Halifax Courier Community Spirit Awards 2014 at Berties at La Cachette, Elland.'Anne Dalby, left, and Jenny Hirst.

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A caring Lightcliffe lady who has dedicated her life to helping others has been awarded a British Empire Medal and will visit Buckingham Palace later in the year.

Miss Jenny Hirst, 78, of Bramley Lane, is the founder member of Calderdale Help in Bereavement Service (CHiBS) - a self-funded support service for men, women and children coping with grief; operating voluntary across Calderdale for three decades.

The Hipperholme born girl began her nursing career in London and went on to work overseas in Canada before returning to Calderdale to fulfill roles as a health visitor, midwife and community nurse manager.

She said: “I was so shocked to receive the letter to say I would be awarded with an BEM - other than the Courier Community Spirit Awards I have never been recognised officially.

“It’s a honour to have the kind of work myself and the team of volunteers do at CHiBS recognised - there is so much recognition for celebrities; it’s refreshing for our line of voluntary work to be in the lime light.”

Friend and CHiBS volunteer Anne Dalby, pictured, of Brighouse, nominated Jenny who has invited her to the special Buckingham Palace, London, tea party.

Anne said: “Jenny works tirelessly to make a difference and for that she deserves national recognition.”

Jenny was made an MBE because of 31 years dedication and lending a loving ear to bereaved men, women and children and for other voluntary work in the community.

Four other Calderdale people were included on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List: Barrie Rutter, director of Halifax’s touring company Northern Broadsides, and Parkinson Lane Primary School headteacher Gugsy Ahmed have been awarded an OBE; David Malcolm Horsman, Chairman of Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, has been awarded an MBE.

And Metropolitan Police Commander Peter Terry, who grew up in Mixenden, has been awarded a Queen’s Policing Medal.