Uttlesford charity founder received MBE from Prince William

Linda Robinson MBE

Linda Robinson MBE - Credit: Archant

Linda Robinson, founder of the charity Home-Start in Uttlesford, received her MBE from Prince William at Buckingham Palace on Friday (March 11).

She said: “The nicest thing was when I came out of the palace gates and all my children and grandchildren were waving and smiling, I will never forget that.”

Inside the palace, she sat next to actor Sir Idris Elba, newly knighted, and then she told Prince William about Home-Start.

The charity, which Linda co-founded 30 years ago, supports families in difficulty, possibly because someone is ill, there are marital problems or they are bereaved, abused or isolated. People are often referred by midwives and health visitors.

She said: “I said what was lovely was that after the story was in the paper, I got so many Facebook messages from families I had worked with 30 years ago, 15 years ago and now. He said: ‘I don’t do Facebook, if I did, I could like you’ and I said and I could like you and we could be friends.”

Linda could not take all her four children and five grandchildren with her up the red carpet as only three guests are allowed.

She said: “Actually I took four guests. I phoned Buckingham Palace, as you do.”

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With her at the ceremony were husband Paul, sister Carol Bowyer, Home-Start colleague Christine Till and Linda Stokes, a friend.

Then her party of 20 went for a hotel lunch. She said: “It was an incredibly special day from the first moment to the end. I was thinking of the families and how proud I am of them. This medal is for them because they do all the hard work.

“I had some replica medals made for my guests, the children thought I had lost the plot, but the guests humoured me and wore them.”

Meanwhile, Linda has just completed her training to work as a Doula, someone giving continuous support through pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.

Christine Till, scheme manager for the charity, said: “We can’t think of a more deserving person to receive recognition. Linda exudes a positive attitude and kindness and leads by example. Nothing is too much for her. Huge congratulations from us all.”

Home-Start is running a 10-week, daytime volunteers’ course from Tuesday, April 12, at Uttlesford District Council’s office in London Road, Saffron Walden. Contact the office on 01799 525403 or email lisa@homestartuttlesford.org.uk.