She juggles planning charity fetes and protecting the environment with being a doting grandmother – and Ann Goddard said she “would not change that for the world”.

The Borehamwood woman was stunned to be recognised in the New Years Honours list with a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Hertsmere.

Dr Goddard began volunteering for the NSPCC almost 40 years ago after seeing a feature about the Moors murderers on television and has never looked back.

She is also the chairman of the Elstree Green Belt Society and is on the committee of Allum Hall Community Centre in Allum Lane – but still has time to watch her favourite sport, cricket.  

The 79-year-old, of Deacons Hill Road, said: “I was very surprised to be named in the honours list, I had no idea I was even nominated – I have my lovely friend Peter Wong-Morrow to thank for that. 

“I really do love my community because it is a wonderful place, but I am conscious of the hundreds of people who do much more than me across the country.

“I would never have won this award if were not for my NSPCC committee, I am so thankful to them.”

Dr Goddard will be presented with the honour by the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire later this year.

She also volunteers for the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Borehamwood Seniors, holds charity book stalls and is now also a school governor at St Nicholas School in Elstree.

Her four children grew up as a “prop” to the hundreds of charity fairs she has planned over the years, raising thousands of pounds for the NSPCC.

The retired GP said she loves volunteering and has fond memories of the time Esther Rantzen attended a charity lunch she planned last year.

She added: “I first decided to volunteer when I heard about Myra Hindley in the 1960s – I was raising my four kids at the time so decided to do something for child abuse.

“Someone asked me if I wanted to join in with fundraisers for the NSPCC and it seemed like the perfect thing to do.

“Even though it has been nearly 40 years I am not bored of it yet. I love planning these fairs – sure it can sometimes be stressful, but it is worth it at the end.

“I really love volunteering for the Green Belt Society too. I have been part of that for ten years and there is never a dull moment.

“In reality, I would not change any of this for the world. My life is busy, but at least I am never bored. My spare time is spent on my family and my six grandkids - they are a huge joy to me.

“Volunteering for all these causes has given back to me as much as I have given as I have so many treasured memories across the years.”