A lifetime’s dedication awarded with an MBE People involved in their local Home-Starts make a massive difference to their local communities. There are 18,500 committed regular volunteers playing a vital role right across the UK, working with 1,000 local Home-Start staff to transform the lives of families. Linda Robinson is just one of these incredible people and she has now been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List. Linda RobinsonAs the co-founder of Home-Start Uttlesford, she celebrated the charity’s 30th year of work in 2014 and says of the award “I was stunned when the envelope dropped through my door and am immensely humbled and proud to receive such an accolade. My initial thoughts were for all the amazing families that I have had the privilege of working with and who have overcome many of life’s difficulties. I also couldn’t have achieved anything without the support of the amazing team of staff and volunteers at Home-Start. Truly an honour.” Linda has worked tirelessly and with passion for families across the Uttlesford District. She visits families, trains and supports volunteers ensuring the isolated, bereaved, abused and vulnerable are supported in the best way possible. Linda has gained the respect of fellow professionals; the midwives, health visitors amongst others, who make the referrals to Home-Start and she is known by many people for her focus on ensuring children are at the centre of our work, helping them to gain the best start in life. In fact, she has recently completed her training to work as a Doula, a name of Greek origination, which will enable her to provide continuous support through pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenthood. Christine Till, manager of Home-Start Uttlesford said, “We at Home-Start Uttlesford are immensely proud of what Linda has achieved and can’t think of a more deserving person to receive such recognition. Always a pleasure to work with, she exudes a positive attitude, kindness and leads by example. Nothing is too much for her and she constantly puts the needs of others before her own. Huge congratulations from us all.” Having helped over 3000 families since its conception, Linda and the team at Home-Start Uttlesford continue to receive referrals that are in part, becoming increasingly complex as Home-Start plays an ever important role in the community. “We will not give up” insists Linda and “we will fight to continue to fund Home-Start and watch parents and children look forward to a better future”. If you want to find out how you can get involved with your local Home-Start as a volunteer, click here. Linda is to receive her award at St James’ palace in 2016.