A FORMER Keighley News community correspondent has received the British Empire Medal.

Kath Gower was awarded the accolade in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

The BEM is for services to the community in Cross Roads with Lees and Haworth.

Kath said she was delighted but "absolutely shocked" to receive the honour.

"I just couldn't believe it," said the 62-year-old mum-of-two and grandmother.

"I received a letter about a month ago from the Prime Minister's office.

"I thought it was a joke and spent an hour trying to find out if it was genuine!

"I'm absolutely blown away.

"My daughter Kate put my name forward. I had no idea at all.

"Clearly I'm delighted but whatever I have done has been part of a team effort. I don't feel I've done things above and beyond what others do."

Kath – who's married to Trevor and has daughter Kate Lunt, son Peter and a granddaughter – will be presented with her medal by West Yorkshire's Lord Lieutenant, and will then attend a Palace garden party next year.

Kath stepped down from her KN community correspondent role in November, 2016, after supplying news from Lees and Cross Roads – and latterly Haworth and Stanbury too – for at least 27 years.

She had also provided community items to sister title, the Telegraph & Argus, since 1999.

Kath has been actively involved with Haworth Cricket Club for about 15 years, since Peter began playing there.

She has special responsibility for child welfare and other duties such as player registration.

She was also a founder member of the Friends of Lees School, and helped at the playgroup.

And Kath has been involved in many community activities and events through the village association, including the gala for over 30 years.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed whatever I've done," she said.

Last year, Kath received recognition locally for her community efforts when she was presented with the Gordon Daley Trophy, by Cross Roads Bowling Club.

The trophy is given in memory of a former bowler, who died suddenly in 2005.

It is awarded annually to an individual in recognition of his or her achievements, either within bowls or the community generally.

A club spokesman said at the time: "It was an honour to see Kath receive this award in tribute to her sterling work over many years."