Dedicated Doreen White is appointed MBE for services to education
"I FEEL honoured to be in this position – but the Queen is a lot smaller than I imagined!"
These are the words of a 66-year-old who met Her Majesty after travelling to London to be appointed MBE for her services to education.
As reported, Doreen White, of Crosby Road, Grimsby, visited Buckingham Palace to receive her prestigious award.
Mrs White – who has had to take a step back from work to fight cancer of the throat – has enjoyed taking on various roles at Franklin College for more than 20 years.
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She started as a cleaner, before taking on a more active role with students and working in the student welfare department.
However, a full-time caretaker role provided her with more hours, which she committed to until the age of 60.
Many people at this age would start to think about retirement, or even their pension, but not Mrs White.
Instead, she applied for a new job within the school – which she was successful in getting.
She said: "I worked from 10am to 4pm as a social area supervisor.
"I just made sure the children were okay and made myself available to them if they had any problems.
"In one way the students were more like my friends. They would come and ask me about anything and I would try to help them out as best I could.
"I would like to think they could confide in me."
The married mum-of-four, received a letter about her MBE earlier in the year, but recalls not taking it too seriously.
She said: "I thought it was a joke at first, but it had a header from St James's Palace.
"The news was very welcome as, at the time, I was going through treatment for my cancer.
"I am now in the recovery stage after an operation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I have loved working in the education field and was sad to have had to leave because of my illness at the beginning of the year.
"This kind of recognition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – visiting Buckingham Place was fantastic.
"The Queen was a very polite lady who asked me about my time at Franklin College.
"My husband Paul, 62, is very proud of me and keeps telling people about the award."
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Family announcements can be read from page 26 of today's paper.