Marilyn Tozer, is a girl guide volunteer who has dedicated nearly 50 years to being a positive influence on young girls.

The 71-year-old from Watford has been leader of the 17th Watford Brownies since 1977 and has volunteered for 49 years with young girls in the community.

She was first introduced to Brownies as a young child working through the ranks up to guides and becoming a leader when she was finally old enough.

Mrs Tozer said: “Volunteering just seemed the right thing to do. I had got so much out of it myself I felt like I needed to give that opportunity to another generation.

“What has kept me there for so long is the help I want to give girls through the experiences and opportunities that girlguiding can offer.

“It's hugely satisfying watching girls develop their confidence and social skills over the time they are in Brownies.

“Then seeing them grows as guides and sometimes welcoming them back as leaders.”

During her time volunteering she has held many roles including five years as district commissioner for Girlguiding Watford Central and West District.

Her role helped to support all girls and adults in the area with their problems, big or small. Mrs Tozer has helped run 30 years worth of Brownie holidays which aids them with growing their confidence and independence without their family.

She added: “I hope to encourage the girls to become caring, confident and pro-active young women who are environmentally aware and are eager to help others.

“Girlguiding gives girls a place where they can be themselves in a safe environment, trying new things without the fear of being judged.

“They have the opportunity to help and take action within the Brownie unit and also within the wider community.

“It will not be 50 years until next year but so far I really love going on Brownie Holiday. It is something that I look forward to.

“It's an opportunity to get to know the girls very well, and just have lots of fun with them.”

When told she was our community hero this week, Mrs Tozer said: “I’m amazed, it’s a complete surprise but I feel very honoured.

“All volunteers with girlguiding are community heroes.”