|RECOGNITION: Ellen Delaney|
Ellen Delaney, a playworker at the Meriden Adventure Playground, was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the Fordbridge community.
Aside from the many hours she spends helping out at the Chelmsley Wood playground, she is also involved in the MAD House youth club and Community Action Fordbridge.
Speaking after receiving the news, Ellen said: “I am really pleased that Her Majesty has heard of our project and chosen to recognise us with this honour.
“It’s not just about me, this is for all of us who are standing up for children and young people and their needs and rights – and for families too.”
Simon Rix, senior playworker at Meriden Adventure Playground, said: “Ellen’s honour reflects on all the parents, young people and community members who have contributed to that.”
Also among those honoured is Janet Down, the long-standing chief executive of local charity Solihull Life Opportunities (SoLO). She will now look forward to a trip to Buckingham Palace to collect an MBE.
Janet has been with the organisation, which provides support for those with learning disabilities, for the past 17 years. During her tenure, the charity boss, who previously worked for Mencap, has overseen a number of new initiatives.
Not so many years ago, SoLO was facing significant financial pressures, but despite the challenges it has gone on to open a new base in Streetsbrook Road - complementing the existing HQ in Walnut Close, Chelmsley Wood.
In a statement SoLO paid tribute to Janet’s “deep commitment” to the cause.
Amanda Mordey, the principal of Forest Oak Special School, in Smith’s Wood, was awarded an OBE for services to special educational needs and disability.
The head also oversees Merstone School, in Shirley, with both sites having been ranked as outstanding by Ofsted.