VOLUNTEERS from Chelmsford have been recognised by the Queen in the New Years Honour List.

British Empire Medals have been given to Daphne Field, Jackie Earney, both for services to their community, and Dawn Bracken for her services to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

Mrs Field has given up her spare time with groups including the Brownies and Girl Guides, Princes Trust and Essex Records Office.

The 72-year-old from Colvin Chase, Galleywood, who has lived in Chelmsford since 1961, now helps run the Essex Women’s Advisory Group which promotes Essex girls and the county positively.

Mrs Field said: “It was a total surprise when I found out. I think if anyone deserves an honour, it is my husband Michael for putting up with me for all these years!

“When it comes to volunteering, you always get far more than you give from helping and it has given me the opportunity to meet people who I would have not otherwise have met.”

Mrs Earney, 74, of Willow Crescent, was given the BEM for services to the community in Hatfield Peverel.

Assisted by husband Ken, she has produced the Hatfield Peverel Review newsletter since 1974.

She has also been involved with Contact the Elderly, which organises monthly tea parties for older people, for more than 24 years.

She is also a former parish councillor, is part of the St Andrew’s Church home visiting team, befriending people who are housebound, and is a volunteer for the Essex Wildlife Trust and RSPB.

Mrs Earney, who also picks up litter around the village and was nominated by her friends, said she was horrified but happy and proud to receive the honour.

“I honestly thought to myself what have I done, what did I do? I don’t deserve this medal,” she said.

Ms Bracken picked up the honour for her work as a Games Maker at the Olympics, having put her name forward as a volunteer the day after London were named the host city back in 2005.

The swimming coach helped with the organising of the games and had the job of leading US swim team star Michael Phelps away from the pool after winning gold in the 4x200m relay final.

BEM’s were reintroduced to the honours system in June as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations having not been awarded since 1992.