Great-grandfather from Keighley honoured by the Queen for lifetime's service to Scouts and volunteering

For great-grandfather Ernest Pickles of Keighley, known to all as Ronnie, the greatest challenge has been keeping the secret under wraps as he is awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Ronnie Pickles, awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to young people and to the community in West Yorkshire. Image: Simon Hulme

“I’ve said nowt,” laughed the 82-year-old, who is honoured today for services to young people and to the community in West Yorkshire.

He is recognised for having dedicated his life to charitable work and volunteering, particularly with the Scouts.

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“It is a surprise, I didn’t think I’d get this,” he said. “I am grateful.”

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“I think really, from the bottom of my heart, that it’s the kids that get the benefit,” he said.

“From when they arrive on Scout camp to when they go home, there’s different faces. They are happy. I’ve benefited all the way round, with my wife beside me.”

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