THE POPULAR founder of a Worcester charity has described receiving her MBE from HRH the Duke of Cambridge as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’.
Jean Wilson, who set up the charity New Hope, received the honour during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace last Tuesday (October 11).
The caring mum set up the charity in 2010 and travelled to the capital on her first day off this year to be presented with the MBE with her two older children and grandson.
The need for the project was identified by Jean when she could not find suitable specialist daytime respite care for her daughter, Emily.
She thought there must be other parents and carers in Worcestershire who were experiencing the same difficulty in finding a service which was open every school holiday and every Saturday throughout the year.
After speaking with fellow parents and carers, Jean discovered there was a real need in the city.
With the help and support of Worcester Community Housing leasing the project a building rent free and donations from Worcester Round Table, Mencap, Tesco and the Lotto, New Hope was born in Wells Road in July 2010.
Speaking to the Observer, Jean said receiving her MBE from the Duke of Cambridge was an unforgettable experience.
She said: “It was a very exciting moment and was lovely to share it with my two older children Tara and William and my grandson Tyler.
“I received the award for my work with children who have disabilities. New Hope is a real team effort, I continue to run it along with the charity shop in Tolladine.
“The charity needs a lot of support and I am very grateful for the support over the years, without it i’m not sure we would be around. It is a great project to be involved in.
“It really was a once in a lifetime opportunity. To meet HRH the Duke of Cambridge and talk to him about New Hope was a tremendous honour,” she added.
The honour is the latest accolade for the kind-hearted mum who was also honoured by former Prime Minister David Cameron with a ‘Point of Light’ award in 2014.
The award recognises outstanding individual volunteers making a positive change in their community and those who inspire others.
Visit www.newhopeworcester.co.uk or visit www.facebook.com and search for New Hope Worcester for more information about the charity.