Anne honoured with BEM

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A local woman, who now lives in Scotland has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to the Multiple Sclerosis Society in the Borders.

74-year-old Anne Elizabeth Campbell, originally from the Coleraine area, has worked industriously for the society for more than 60 years.

Speaking to one of our sister papers in Scotland, Anne said: “The brown envelope with the Cabinet Office mark came when I was on holiday in November, and my son Richard, who was looking after my correspondence, was pushing me to open it as soon as I got home.

“I don’t think it will sink in until I actually receive it, but it is great testament to the work done by the MS Borders branch, as I believe I am its third recipient of an award.”

Anne Weston, the chair of the MS Borders Branch, of which Mrs Campbell is president, said: “Since Anne arrived in the Borders in 1987 she has been involved with the MS Borders Branch.

“This is a long-overdue acknowledgement of her valued service and of her hard work.

“She has been our leading fundraiser, she visits members of the branch on a regular basis and she is much loved.

“This award will be a real boost to people with MS in the Borders.”

Her parents co-founded the MS Society in Northern Ireland, after her mother was diagnosed with MS, and this led to the beginning of her dedication, first shaking a collection can at eight years old.

Anne said: “Back then, very little was known about MS. There is still a lot we don’t know even now.”

She served on the Ballymoney Committee and was a very dedicated secretary from 1970 to 1986.

During this time she was a representative at the Northern Ireland headquarters and helped to campaign for better support for those with MS in Northern Ireland.

In this same period she proved exceptional in her employment as head occupational therapist and was instrumental in setting up the occupational therapy department in a new day hospital and geriatric unit at Coleraine Hospital in 1970.

Since moving to the Borders, where she worked as chief occupational therapist at the BGH until her retiral, she has been a committee member, and then an outstanding chair with great drive and determination to provide better facilities and care for those with MS and their carers.

Morna Simpkins, MS Society Scotland Director said, “It is wonderful to see Anne get the recognition she deserves today, and on behalf of all of the MS Society and community I’d like to thank Anne for all the support she has offered over the years. We simply couldn’t do what we do without our hard working, dedicated volunteers.”