A Birmingham community activist who was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours has chosen to break with tradition by receiving her award in the community enterprise she helped set up, rather than at Buckingham Palace.

While most recipients head to London for a formal ceremony, Moseley Society secretary Fiona Adams has chosen to collect her medal at the Moseley Exchange, which she helped establish in 2001.

Lord Lieutenant Paul Sabapathy will hand the award to Fiona at the Exchange, behind the Post Office on Alcester Road, on December 2.

Mrs Adams said: “I wanted all the people who’d helped me get this award to be able to come and share the credit.

“If I went to the Palace with a few relatives, no one would know who I was. But this award is all about our community and the hard work we’ve all done over the years.”

Secretary of the Moseley Society since 1980, Mrs Adams was instrumental in getting the village’s Special Licensing Policy enacted, controlling the growth of bars and clubs in the area.

But she admits it was probably picking up litter in the village’s car park once a month since 1979 that won her the award.

“Plenty of people have said that I deserve an MBE when they’ve seen me filling bin bags in heavy rain

“The award is a wonderful tribute to the work of so many of us in the Moseley Society.”

Birmingham city councillor Ernie Hendricks, who nominated Mrs Adams for the award, said: “Fiona is a shining example of how one person can make a positive contribution to an entire community.

“If the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is giving that little extra, then she deserves the honour she has received. Fiona has always given that little extra which has indeed made a big difference.”

A familiar face around Moseley, Mrs Adams said the award should stand for “Mum’s Busy Everyday”, in reference to her efforts to grapple with the area’s litter problems and intricacies of planning decisions.

She added: “One of our main objectives was to clean up the car park. An initial clean up in 1979 led to a huge skip and 50 black bags full of rubbish, and we’ve been keeping it from ever getting so bad again.”

Mrs Adams came to Moseley as a Birmingham University social work student in the mid-1960s, living in an Oxford Road bedsit.

She returned in 1973 and joined the PTA at Moseley C of E school before becoming secretary of the Moseley Society in 1980.