Twins, 11, who raised £50k for charity become youngest recipients of this year's Queen's Honours

1 June 2022, 22:48

The twins have become the youngest recipients.
The twins have become the youngest recipients. Picture: PA

By Sophie Barnett

Eleven-year-old twins who raised nearly £50,000 for charity are the youngest recipients of the Queen's Birthday Honours in her Platinum Jubilee year.

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Elena and Ruben Evans-Guillen, from Warrington, Cheshire, have been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for their services to charitable funding.

The pair, who were just six when they took on their first challenge, have taken on trekking, kayaking, running and climbing for charity and have carried out 100 acts of kindness.

They ran 100km in a year to raise money for a garden at the town's hospital, where their mother, Mercedes Guillen Dominguez, works.

They said receiving their BEMs was "unreal" and a "surprise".

"I'm really excited to be getting these awards from the Queen and I'm proud of my brother and myself that we have achieved this much," Elena said.

"It's really been hard not to tell my friends."

Read more: Sunshine and 23C to kick off Jubilee weekend before thunder storms hit later on

Flypast rehearsal for Queen's Platinum Jubilee takes place at RAF Cranwell

Ruben said: "I felt really surprised.

"My favourite thing about the charity work we do is that we get to help the community and we help other people."

Their father, Mark Evans-Guillen, said the family were "thrilled" to find out their children were receiving the award.

He said the family first became involved with fundraising as a focus for the children, who both have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"It has been life-changing and I don't know what we would have done without it," he said.

The BEM was reintroduced in 2012 by then prime minister David Cameron as part of his bid to make the honours system "classless".

Dance teacher Angela Redgrave, 104, becomes the eldest recipient with her BEM.

She has been the principal of the Bristol School of Dancing since 1970, having started dancing herself at the relatively late age of 10.

The centenarian said she felt "honoured" to be presented with such a "lovely award".

Among those made a Companion of Honour are Sir Salman Rushdie for his services to literature, and Sir Quentin Blake for his to illustration.

"I am very well at the moment and very happy and, of course, I feel very honoured to be presented with such a lovely award," she said.

"When I found out, 'I thought why have I got this?' Of course, apart from that, naturally honoured, very pleased and very happy."

During the coronavirus lockdown she organised along with her daughter Felicity Redgrave, the online teaching of pupils.

"Dance is something that everybody can do, and we want to be very open to all children, from whatever background, to come and take part because it should be available for everybody," her daughter said.

"The lockdown hasn't done anyone any favours at all, as we know it's been dreadful for everybody, but the young people have been really adversely affected.

"I now run the Bristol School of Dancing but she's still very much got her fingers in the pie and it is her baby."

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