A GIRL Guide is poised to make her mark on the next generation of young women after earning the charity’s highest accolade — the Queen’s Guide Award.

Lyndsey Gibson, 26, from Hoghton — has worked for three years, including trips to Africa and Switzerland — to gain the award, a feat achieved by only a handful of Guiding’s half a million members annually.

Lyndsey is a leader with the 2nd Gregson Lane Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, near Hoghton.

The Queen’s Guide Award encourages young women aged 16 to 25 to raise their aspirations and develop leadership skills.

The female-only challenge sets participants a series of tasks, including embarking on a four-day outdoor adventure, overseeing a pair of community action projects and devoting a year to cultivating a new skill.

Among the tasks Lyndsey chose to tackle were travelling to Rwanda to learn more about a Stop the Violence campaign aiming to improve women’s rights.

She also took up badminton and co-led a trip to Switzerland for Guides and members of the senior section. She received her award from Baroness Hilary Armstrong and Chief Guide Gill Slocombe, a former recipient herself, at a ceremony in the House of Lords.

Lyndsey, who is studying speech pathology and therapy at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “The biggest difference the award has made is getting a chance to be involved in the Stop the Violence campaign.

“Getting to go on that trip was extremely eye-opening and showed me the importance of helping to make a difference.

“Completing the award presents you with lots of different challenges, and ultimately with numerous skills.

“It has helped me gain confidence in public speaking, planning events and making new friends. It’s a great way to show employers the things you have achieved.”

Chief Guide Gill Slocombe, said: “Girlguiding’s research shows most girls aged 16 to 21 aspire to take on leadership roles in their future careers, but they need to see more inspiring women at the top to give them the confidence to do so.”