Published: February 25, 2012
Queen presents Pam with MBE during Buckingham Palace ceremony

The Queen has this week presented a long-serving member of staff at Burnham-On-Sea Police Station with an MBE during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Pam Whitehead, 57, was recognised for her services to Avon and Somerset Constabulary over the past 38 years by being named in the Queen's New Year Honours List.

This week, she travelled to London with husband David to receive the award.

"It was a huge honour when the Queen presented me with the award - a truly wonderful moment that will stay with me forever," Pam told

"The Queen asked me about my work with the police and Royal British Legion Women's Section before presenting the award. She was so soft spoken and reassuring."

Pam added: "It was a truly amazing day and I was treated like Royalty along with the 91 other people receiving awards at the service."

She also caught a glimpse of twice Oscar-nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter, who was receiving a CBE at the ceremony.

Pam has been a front desk enquiries advisor at Burnham Police Station for 31 years and has been involved with Avon and Somerset Police for a total of 38 years.

She joined the police in 1974 in Bridgwater and worked as a typist before moving on to Taunton to work in the Coroner's office. She returned to Burnham in 1981 as an Enquiry Officer/Admin Officer/Detained Property Register clerk where she continues to work today.

Chief Superintendent Daimon Tilley, District Commander for Somerset West, said: "I am extremely proud and pleased for Pam that her efforts and dedication have been recognised in this way."

"She is an inspiration to others in her professional life and her work in and for her local community. She is an excellent example of our officers and staff who work hard to provide the highest possible quality of service to the public. I extend her my congratulations."

Inspector Roger Tolley added: "I am delighted for Pam. This recognition is certainly much deserved and justly awarded. She has served the Constabulary loyally and efficiently for 38 years and her dedication in providing the quality of service we strive for is second to none."

"She is a shining example of a person who gives so much of herself to her role. Her dedication to the community in Burnham, to ensuring that everyone she meets is received in a professional and friendly way and her general commitment is unmatched and I am extremely pleased that has been recognised in such a way. She truly deserves this accolade."

In addition to her day job, where she often starts early and finishes late, Pam has also made significant contributions to Royal British Legion (RBL). In 1983 she joined the Women's Section of the RBL, beginning her commitment to voluntary work and fundraising, which she continues to this day as the County Chairperson, devoting over 16 hours per week to her duties.

Between 1993 and 2002, she was the RBL Women's Section (RBLWS) National Standard Bearer champion six times, a record in the 84 years of its history then. In 2002 she became Deputy National Parade Marshall and was the National RBLWS Standard Bearer at the laying in state of HRH the Queen Mother. In 2005 she took over as National Marshall with responsibility for the convening of all national events, retiring from this position in 2007.

Throughout her association with the RBLWS she has raised many thousands of pounds for the charity, including over £5,000 in 2008 as part of a team completing a 100 mile sponsored walk from Weston-Super-Mare to Bournemouth over four days. Pam has also abseiled down Avon Gorge and cycled from Greenwich to Paris for the Poppy Appeal. She has also been the local co-ordinator for the Poppy Appeal within the Somerset West Policing District.

Pictured: From top, Pam with her MBE award; Pam with her husband David outside Buckingham Palace; and Her Majesty The Queen


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