A MONMOUTH woman has spoken of her shock at receiving a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Toni Ann Salmon received the award for services to the community in the Forest of Dean during Covid-19.

This year's Birthday Honours were postponed due to the nationwide lockdown earlier this year, in order to recognise those in society who had gone above and beyond to help during the tough times.

The Forest of Dean Sea Cadets Commanding Officer worked "flat-out" as a food delivery driver throughout the coronavirus lockdown, ferrying food to the vulnerable and those in need.


She said that she was proud, if shocked, to receive the BEM.

"It's not something you expect," she said.

"It was quite emotional and a nice accolade for the unit to have."

She said the hardest part was keeping the news quiet from family and friends.

"My mum would also have loved the idea," she said.

"She was very patriotic."