Manchester

'Royal' flower arranger Gillian Platt from Bolton awarded MBE

Gillian Platt
Image caption Gillian Platt has had arrangements on display at Westminster Abbey.

A woman whose flowers have adorned Westminster Abbey, including the Queen Mother's funeral, has been appointed an MBE in the New Year Honours List.

Gillian Platt, 72, from Bolton, said it was "just unbelievable" she had been honoured for her services to floral art and the community.

Mrs Platt is a former chair of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS).

Her work has been displayed at Westminster Abbey on several occasions.

These have included the Queen's Golden Jubilee as well as providing a floral arrangement which was on the Paschal Candle in the Queen Mother's funeral at the abbey.

She admitted she was a reluctant convert to flower arranging in 1968.

"My mother and auntie were going to local authority classes and invited me along because my two children had started attending playschool - I said, 'no, I'm enjoying two hours on a Wednesday morning doing my own thing'," she said.

Mrs Platt added: "But then I succumbed and I got hooked on it."

There is an MBE too for Greater Manchester firefighter David Leneghan, 53, who helped start the UK's first children's burns camp to help them to come to terms with their injuries.

He began the first camp in 1998 and currently 150 children a year are a given a chance to spend time with peers who have experienced similar injuries.

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