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A New Plymouth woman has been awarded a Queen's Service Medal (QSM) for her work in the community.

Eileen Holt has been a leading member of a stroke victims community support group for the past 34 years, helping to establish the New Plymouth Stroke Support Trust in 1986.

Holt joined the group after her husband John had a stroke in 1986.

"I saw an advert in one of the local papers about people wanting to start up the trust. I said to John, I should go and see what it's about. I went to the first meeting and I've been going ever since."

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Holt is currently patron, after previously being a committee member and president.

Up until recently, she produced a monthly newspaper for the trust's members.

"It's a wonderful organisation and I enjoy helping."

Holt is also secretary of the Norfolk Women's Institute, and an active member of the Waitara Savage Club and of her local marching band.

Holt says she and other Women's Institute members have been knitting beanies for school children.

"The federation takes the beanies to schools and gives them to the children. It's something to do for the children."

The Norfolk Women's institute has also been knitting singlets for premature newborns at Taranaki Base Hospital's neo-natal unit.