Ann Porter was a committed supporter of Girl Guiding and was instrumental in offering opportunities for development and confidence-building to many girls and young women in north Cumbria.

Ann was born on February 19 1935 in Birmingham and died peacefully at Nether Place in Keswick on January 23, aged 81.

Ann grew up in Birmingham through the war years and later went to Roehampton College in London to train as a primary school teacher, before moving to Cumbria to take up her first teaching job.

She married and brought up her three daughters Clare, Sarah and Judith, in Cumbria – and it was through them that she first became involved in Guiding.

Initially, she was a parent helper at the girls’ Brownie pack.

But her organisational skills and caring nature were quickly recognised and she was invited to train as a Brownie guider with Welton Brownies.

This was a surprise to her, as she had not been a Brownie or Guide herself.

But she had attended scripture union camps as a teenager and later used some of the games and activities she learnt there at her own Brownie holidays.

Ann grew in self-confidence during her time in the Girl Guides and was happy to share her many and varied skills as part of her Guiding jobs.

She became a trainer of Brownie leaders and through this was asked to take on the role of region arts adviser for Girl Guiding North West England.

During this time she represented the north west at a conference in New Zealand, then stayed on to train New Zealand guide leaders.

She felt very honoured to be chosen for this international trip.

But she is best remembered in the north west for organising an activity called “stagecoached”. This was an event run over a weekend that gave hundreds of girls with no stage experience the opportunity to work together and produce a show, under the supervision of professional actors and musicians.

The girls had to make the scenery, learn the music and speaking parts and put on the production, all over one weekend.

This seemingly impossible task allowed them to develop communication, teamwork, self-confidence and artistic skills. Everyone who attended the weekend, either as a performer or as part of the audience, remembers the success of the production.

On completion of her term as arts adviser, she was invited to become county commissioner for Girl Guiding Cumbria North.

She was an extremely effective county commissioner due to her exceptional management and organisation skills, her sensible and practical approach to decision making and her extraordinary ability to empathise with the guiders and girls in her care.

Many guiding friends remember with fondness how Ann invited them to supper, or presented them with a small gift, when they were feeling sad or lonely.

When she completed her five year term as county commissioner in 1997, she was presented with the Laurel Award, which is the highest award a guide leader can receive.

Soon after this she retired from her job teaching adults with special needs and started to look round for new ways to help those less fortunate than herself.

Her deep Christian faith, which was always a key part of her life, then came to the fore, and she travelled to Tanzania for a one year placement teaching English to theological students.

When she arrived her students were entirely male – but word about the success of her lessons spread through the local community and many young women asked to join her classes.

Ann was a truly kind and talented person but was always very private and modest. She made a positive difference to thousands of young people in Cumbria and beyond and will be sadly missed.

A service of thanksgiving attended by Ann’s family and friends was held at Keswick Methodist Church on February 6.