Happy Alford woman Barbara is a ‘golden girl’ again!

Barbara Hughes receives her DofE gold award and badge from Mayor of Alford, Sarah Devereux (centre). They are pictured with other dignitaries and Barbaras family and friends.
Barbara Hughes receives her DofE gold award and badge from Mayor of Alford, Sarah Devereux (centre). They are pictured with other dignitaries and Barbaras family and friends.

Barbara Hughes thought she had lost her prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award for ever.

It went missing while she was having a ‘clear out’ at home a couple of years ago.

But last week, the 62-year-old from Alford was presented with a replacement gold award - 40 years after it was initially presented to her by the Duke of Edinburgh.

That first presentation took place in 1977 when Barbara was living in Mansfield.

She was the only person in her group to receive the award personally from the Duke.

Barbara explained: “I was in my early 20s when we travelled to Buckingham Palace for the ceremony.

“Out of the group of people I was with, I was the only woman to receive the award from the Duke - because as I was the only one to abide by the correct dress code, which was to wear a hat!”

Barbara visited Alford Library a few weeks ago and during a conversation with staff, she told them how upset she was about losing the award.

Amanda Wain, Client Services Manager of the East Lindsey Advice Project, heard Barbar’s story and wanted to help.

She said: “Barbara had explained how she had lost the award and we could see how upset she was - and how much the award meant to her.”

Ms Wain contacted organsiers of the DofE scheme and explained the situation.

Against alll the odds, she was successful in securing a replacement certificate and badge.

Ms Wain added: “I was told that it is quite uncommon to get replacements.

“They are only re-issued in special circumstances.”

Ms Wain explained the East Lindsey Advice Project always attempts to help with a ‘broad spectrum’ of requests and were delighted with the happy ending for Barbara.

Barbara said: “I was really upset that I’d lost the award and I am so happy that Amanda was able to get another. It will now be displayed in pride of place in my home.”

Mayor of Alford, Sarah Devereux, who presented the replacement, said that it was an ‘absolute honour’.