SHE isn’t planning on buying an entirely new outfit, but Iris Leary cannot wait to meet to Queen and collect her MBE.
The 89-year-old will visit Windor later this month with her eldest daughter to receive her honour for services to Newport Pagnell.
“I never expected to come away from my time volunteering with this honour,” Mrs Leary said. “It was a real shock when I found out, and I don’t even know who nominated me.”
For more than 50 years, she has lived in the town and volunteered at the Brooklands Centre, helping eldery people and ensuring the centre was always up to scratch.
And although she doesn’t help out as much as she used to, Mrs Leary still finds the time to offer her services.
She said: “It’s very rewarding. When I started volunteering with my husband, we always said that we’d never accept anything from the people we helped.
“I don’t think this counts though!
“I’m looking forward to the Queen’s garden party in Windsor. I’m taking my eldest daughter with me.”
Her family, made up of two daughters, four grand children and a great grand-child (and another on the way next month), are all delighted for her recognition, but Mrs Leary is concerned for the future of volunteering at the Brooklands Centre.
She said: “I’m concerned for the future because all of the volunteers at the Brooklands Centre are elderly ladies, and we are worried about where the next generation of volunteers are going to come from.
“My grand children keep saying I’ll be around forever, but I won’t!”