OUTDOORS enthusiast Ida Ashworth is celebrating the award of a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list – just four months after celebrating her 90th birthday.

Royton born and bred Ida launched the Wednesday Walkers Oldham rambling group 33 years ago as she approached retirement.

She ran the club single-handedly for four years before it became so successful a committee was formed to help administer it.

Now the president of the group which has 240 walkers in five groups of different grades and ages, Ida is still an active participant herself.

Ida’s name was put forward for the BEM fellow members Sue Dibden and Margaret Lang.

Sue said: “We submitted the successful application form to the cabinet office to nominate her back in November, 2017 as we felt she should be recognised for her achievement of forming the club single handed, which has flourished beyond her wildest dreams.”

The BEM was awarded for Ida’s work the community.

The club promotes four different levels of walking, as well as leisurely walks for older members.

It also organises regular events, potato pie lunches three times a year, two day trips, a six-day holiday and courses on first aid and “heartstart”.

Excess funds are donated annually to various charities including the air ambulance and mountain rescue organisations.

Ida told The Oldham Times: “I was amazed and surprised I was going to be receiving the medal.

"I formed the group almost 33 years ago. There were two other walking groups were full up. They ran buses to their walking destinations and they wasn't enough space to accommodate others. So I launched the group and ran it myself for the first four years then it became too big and we formed a committee.

“I’ve always been an outdoors person and I formed the group when I was coming up retirement.”

Ida worked in the canteen as a cashier at Ferranti in Derker when she retired. Before that she was a baker and confectioner.

She added that her husband, John, is “very proud of me”.

Ida will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire at a ceremony yet to be arranged and has been also been invited to a Royal garden party in the summer.