A dedicated charity volunteer rubbed shoulders with royalty at a Buckingham Palace garden party yesterday.

Marie Scott, 86, of Whitehaven, was due to attend the special event after being recognised for 25 years service with the West Cumbria Society for the Blind.

Marie, who is chairwoman of the charity, took her sister, Veronica Robinson, to the garden party, which was expected to be hosted by the Queen.

She believes she was nominated by one of the charity’s benefactors.

Speaking ahead of the prestigious occasion, Marie said: “It was a surprise. I feel a bit apprehensive but everyone has said you will enjoy it.”

Over the years Marie has made a difference to the lives of countless people who are blind or partially sighted.

She volunteers for the charity full time and helps with a range of activities the society provides.

Marie carries out secretarial duties and runs social groups groups in Copeland and Allerdale. She has obtained thousands of pounds for visually impaired people by referring them for financial benefits. Marie is also a volunteer reader with the Copeland Talking Newspaper.