Sally Morris has been given the award for services to the community of Islip.
A modest Mrs Morris, 84, says she’s shocked and humbled to have been given the award.
She said: “It’s a great honour but why me?
“Other people have done just as much and it’s very humbling.
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“I think I’ve been given it for the fundraising I did for the swimming pool in Thrapston where I helped teach children to swim.
“I also helped with the village hall in Islip which is a fantastic thing for the community to have.
“I want to thank everybody and I would never have got this without the support of so many people.
“This is for everyone.”
Mrs Morris has lived in Islip for her whole life and spent time on Islip Parish Council, where she also served as chairman.
Former council colleague and Northants Telegraph village correspondent Tom Love said: “I’m so chuffed for her to be given this.
“Her whole life is Islip and she has lived here since she was born.”
Mrs Morris is also part of a group celebrating the links between the Northamptonshire village and Islip, New York.
The American town, found in Suffolk County, was named after the Northamptonshire village.