A teacher from Chester is ‘extremely proud’ to have been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to young people in Wirral and West Cheshire in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour List.
Karen Green, 54, from Hoole Village, is head of physical and outdoor education at Upton Hall School, Wirral, but the honour is in recognition of her voluntary work in supporting young people through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and outdoor education over 30 years.
A qualified Mountain Leader and a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy (RN) section of the CCF, Karen said: “Receiving an MBE is a wonderful recognition of 30 years helping young people, I firmly believe that the DofE Award and the CCF really allows young people to flourish and learn life skills outside the classroom.
“I am very proud that I have empowered, motivated and encouraged young people to shape their lives and respect the natural environment. I feel that the MBE is recognition to the pupils and staff who have supported me and been involved in the success of the activities at Upton Hall School.”
Karen was nominated by someone who was once her pupil and today that former student, Emma Seed, is now a colleague at Upton Hall School where she is head of physics but currently on maternity leave. Mrs Seed was also a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF section of the CCF and is a qualified expedition leader running the DofE Award so knows just how much work is involved.
The application was also backed by Karen’s headteacher Patricia Young.
'A few drinks' in celebration on New Year's Eve
Karen will celebrate with family and friends plus ‘a few drinks’ on New Year’s Eve but hopes to bring in leaders, helpers and older girls who achieved gold in their DofE for a gathering in a school environment at a later date.
And the PE teacher, who previously taught at Whitby High School in Ellesmere Port, Upton High School in Chester and Tarporley High School, added: “The first people to know were my parents, I drove down to Farndon to tell them the news. They were absolutely delighted and very proud, being aware of the time that I have committed over 30 years.”
Last year Karen was fortunate to be invited to a gold DofE ceremony at St James Palace where she was introduced to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh himself, who asked if she knew any of the young people standing next to her.
“I informed him that 20 of the pupils were from my school, he said I ‘should be very proud of that achievement’.”
She added: “I have been fortunate to help in the region of 3,000 young people achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Award, provide opportunities for young people and adults to challenge themselves, develop their confidence and grow as individuals.”
Karen’s award is also a recognition of her fund-raising efforts.
She explained: “I am passionate about the outdoors and teaching young people to respect the natural environment. This led to me organising, with the help of the school staff, an annual sponsored walk for Upton Hall School. Over 500 people, pupils and family members take part in the annual five-mile walk and the school has raised thousands of pounds for a local or international charities.”
Karen has also run many school trips in her own time including a recent skiing trip for 40 pupils to Stowe, Vermont, New England, with a day in New York. In October she took a group white water rafting at Bala and trekking in Llangollen. She has also taken numerous watersports and adventure trips to Spain, France and Austria.
The Combined Cadet Force at Upton Hall School also ran as a partnership with pupils from Birkenhead School. Young people were involved in the three services and Karen gave pupils from both schools the opportunity to complete the CVQO Level2 in Public Services, all completed in their own time.
As well as leading weekly parades, Karen, who was the Deputy Contingent Commander and the OIC (Officer in Charge) for the RN CCF, had the honour of leading the Remembrance Parade at Birkenhead School and has remained a Cadet Forces Adult Volunteer (CFAV).
Amazingly, Karen does enjoy spare time when she loves playing golf at Hooton Golf Club and Pryors Hayes Golf Club in Tarvin as well as cruising down the Dee in her fishing boat. She may also be found hill walking, cycling, skiing or even photographing wildlife in Snowdonia and Scotland.