Today is a remarkable day for A Fairer Chance, as our Operations Director Maggie Walsh MBE will be officially awarded her Member of the Order of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace this morning.
Maggie appeared on the honours list published on the Queen’s official birthday last June, for services to the Employment of Ex-Offenders. The ceremony, known as an Investiture, is likely to take place in the Ballroom, and around 120 people, including Maggie, will receive their Order, decoration or medals from HM The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales or HRH The Duke of Cambridge.
We asked her earlier in the week for her thoughts on her fantastic achievement:
Interviewer: When did you first hear about being awarded the MBE?
Maggie: I got the letter in April last year, and I was very surprised when this padded envelope came through the door, because getting this honour was not on my radar!
I: What does it mean to you to have been awarded this MBE?
M: I’d be lying if I said that personally I wasn’t really chuffed. I think we all thrive on a bit of acknowledgement, but for me this is so much about the work we do at A Fairer Chance; the work we did at the Department of Work and Pensions before, but absolutely about our work.
I: What do you think being honoured in this way will mean to A Fairer Chance?
M: Well, it’s already raised our profile. It’s quite interesting, I received a letter from Iain Duncan Smith MP at one end, and at the other end, quite a lot of companies who knew of us, or who we know of, took the opportunity to get in touch, congratulate me, and to meet us. Yes, I think it’s done us a lot of good.
I: What will you be doing to celebrate?
M: On the day (Friday the 13th! Only I could get my invitation for that day), I’m having a private lunch with my immediate family and a couple of my really supportive employers who have really set us on our way. On the following day I’m having a vintage tea party for all the friends, family, employers and beneficiaries we’ve worked with over the last four years, with the odd glass of sparkly as the afternoon goes on!
All of us at A Fairer Chance would like to say a huge congratulations to Maggie for this acknowledgement for all her fantastic work.