A VOLUNTEER who has helped support youngsters in her community for more than two decades has been recognised for her work.

Lorraine Bulloch is stepping down as Brown Owl after putting in many hours and much effort for the Brownies in Middleton St George, near Darlington, for the past 21 years.

Middleton St George Parish Council voted unanimously that the title of Honorary Freewoman of the Parish should be given to Mrs Bulloch at a special meeting held in April, and she final received the honour at a ceremony on Tuesday evening.

Mrs Bulloch, who has also been part of the girl guides for 40 years in Scotland, was recognised for organising, leading and running the Middleton St George Brownie pack for more than 20 years and through this, she developed a group where girls in the village can socialise and broaden their abilities through a variety of activities within the community and individually.

She was also praised for encouraging the children and their families to become involved in local events, and liaising with the guides and their leader, Beth Miller, in order to develop a smooth transition from Brownies to Guides.

In addition, she has used her position with Darlington Cares to arrange volunteer working groups to help organisations such as the school, the Parish Council and the community centre to carry out renovation, repair and decorating of neglected parts of the village.

Councillor Catherine Gilsenan, chair of Middleton St George Parish Council, said: “Lorraine has worked tirelessly with the Brownies and Guides, and the young people and organisations in the village over many years.

“So, it is with great pleasure therefore that the Parish Council is able to present her with a scroll and accompanying citation on the occasion of the granting of this title.”

Louise Seniscal, vice chair of Middleton St George Community Association, said: “Middleton St George Community Committee are very proud to have had Lorraine to help provide this service for the girls in the village and would like to wish her luck for the future.

“Lorraine has help and arranged many other village events - the mammoth poppies made that were around the village was with Lorraine’s inspiration and time, and also raffle and tombolas for various local charities.

“Sarah Pearcey is taking over as Brown Owl and would like to wish her the best of luck. Lorraine is still going to be helping out but her time is now needed with her family, friends and some time for herself.

“The ceremony was fantastic - many older girls who had been brownies and guides came along to wish her well along with other leaders from the area.

“She was a little overwhelmed but totally deserves it.”