Nicola's shock at MBE for community work in Church Stretton
A community stalwart from south Shropshire has told of her shock after being told she is being made an MBE.
Nicola Daniels, formerly McPherson, will pick up her award for her work with the Mayfair Community Centre in Church Stretton, which is run by 300 volunteers and runs services and activities for people in the area.
The 53-year-old, who is currently chief officer for the facility, has worked tirelessly since 2004, but she was stunned to receive the good news.
She said: "I still am in a state of shock. When I received the letter, the evening before our annual May Fayre, I couldn’t quite believe it and I still feel pretty much the same.
"I have only told a few people so far, as we were asked to keep this in strict confidence until the list was published. I told trustee and friend Sue Wood, Meg Bacon, who is a trustee and founder of Mayfair. They were delighted. My fiance Justin was ecstatic, very proud and can’t wait to tell everyone, and my friend Charlotte, who has been my confidante for many years and hence gone through many of the trials and tribulations with me.
"I feel quite overwhelmed to have been nominated for this honour. Everything Mayfair has achieved has been as a result of a massive team effort and I am only one of that team. I feel very privileged to accept this honour on behalf of each and every volunteer, member of staff and trustee. I see it as the Mayfair MBE."
She could now find herself rubbing shoulders with A-listers at Buckingham Palace when she goes to collect her medal. Actress Olivia Colman received a CBE and adventurer and TV personality Bear Grylls received and OBE in the latest honours.
Services the Mayfair Community Centre provides include information and advice to help people remain independent, befriending, day services, hot meals delivery for people who aren’t able to cook for themselves, door to door transport through Church Stretton area, crèche, community café, exercise class and walks for all abilities, arts and crafts, IT, and space in both buildings for services from local support groups to NHS clinics.
Nicola, added: "In particular I believe this recognises the development of the Health and Wellbeing Centre in Church Stretton, a great example of what can be achieved when voluntary organisations, local communities and the public sector work together for the greater good. The £700,000 refurbishment of the dilapidated NHS building in 2016 created an attractive and welcoming space for the further integration of health, care and community services locally.
"Today, the building is a vibrant place where people come for company as well as NHS clinics and other services. There are so many people to thank for making this happen. Church Stretton Health and Social Care Partnership came up with the concept. This group included Dr Sal Riding from the GP Practice, Bob Welch, Hilary Claytonsmith and Anne Stafford from the town council, Mayfair and interested local people Anne Gee and Richard Chanter.
Nicola also thanked Mayfair trustees, giving special mentions to David Oliver, Sue Wood, Alan Fox, Richard Elliot and Roger Pearson.
She added: "Our funders the Roy Fletcher Trust, Bradbury Foundation and the people of the Strettons, 500 individuals and groups in total, gave an amazing £138,000 and it was that community ownership that kept our other funders on board.
Nicola thanked partner agencies including Shropshire Community Health Trust, staff who took on extra work and volunteers. She also thanked Meg Bacon and the original 60 volunteers who started Mayfair 22 years ago.
She added: "I am so excited about the ceremony my only regret is that my dad is no longer here to see this. He would have been so proud."