Uttlesford charity Home-Start founder given MBE

Linda Robinson

Linda Robinson - Credit: Archant

A woman who founded Home-Start in Uttlesford and has worked for it for more than 31 years has said she was “absolutely over the moon” to have been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours for services to children and families.

Linda Robinson, 65, a mother of four and a grandmother of five, said: “I am most thrilled that my families – the people I work with – will know. The medal is for them. I have been privileged to have met some amazing families who have gone through some very difficult times. They are the ones who have done all the work.”

She said she and her husband Paul, a retired builder, had known about the award for five weeks and had to keep it secret until midnight last night. “My husband didn’t sleep for three days, he was so excited”.

When the Reporter rang her she said: “This makes it real.”

The couple will be invited to Buckingham Palace at some time during the summer and will be given five weeks’ notice.

Mrs Robinson, from Little Chesterford, is a senior coordinator at the charity, which is based at the Uttlesford District Council offices in London Road, Saffron Walden. She also goes out herself to help families in difficulty.

Her work at Home-Start involves going out to see families as well as coordinating the work of volunteers.

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She said: “I really love working with the families and with the volunteers who are such a great and supportive group. We work with between 60 or 70 families at any one time.

“People in the family can be suffering from depression, isolation or be having marital problems, or there might be domestic abuse. We work with people to build up their self-esteem and their confidence. They can do it but they may need a little bit of help if they have no family or friends close by. It’s a spread-out world now.

“It’s a lovely job and it’s a privilege to work with so many lovely people. It’s a very close team. They are always there to cheer somebody up if they are having a bad day or a bad week.”