THE sterling efforts of two inspirational Ribble Valley women have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour’s List.
Former Head of Midwifery Services for the East Lancashire Trust and now best-selling authoress Sheena Byrom has been awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire), while charity stalwart and founder of Derian House Children’s Hospice, Miss Margaret Rose Vinten, received an MBE for her years of services to the charity.
Sheena, of Whalley, has been given the commendation for services to nursing after a 35-year career, which has recently been chronicled in her Sunday Times Bestseller list book “Catching Babies”.
The incredible life and career of the well-known Ribble Valley midwife became the subject of the captivating and heart-warming autobiography which has steadily climbed the bestsellers lists since its release in December. The story provides Sheena’s own view on what she herself describes not as a job but a vocation. Her impressive career has seen her at the forefront of evolving midwifery practices in East Lancashire, witnessing the complete and radical change in maternity care over the years and seen her become a passionate advocate for women.
Sheena said: “I’m absolutely delighted and overwhelmed to be recognised at this level. I’ve been so fortunate over the years to work with some inspirational colleagues, who have all played a big part in my success. I’ve worked in the North West and East Lancashire for the whole of my career and it really feels like I have been able to give something back to the area and to my colleagues, family and friends through this achievement.”
Meanwhile, successful Ribble Valley businesswoman and founder of Derian House, Margaret Rose Vinten has been given well deserved recognition with an MBE. As the inspiration behind the original appeal to build Derian House as a children’s hospice for Lancashire, Cumbria and South Lakes almost 20 years ago, Miss Vinten, who lives in Stonyhurst, continued her role as Chairman to the Trustees of the hospice until April this year when she stepped down to hand over the role to Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Moving Works, Georgina Cox.
But it was her unstinting efforts to enthuse and motivate people throughout Lancashire and beyond to raise the funds for the original appeal to build the hospice that captured the imagination of so many people and made Derian House a reality.
Mrs Cox paid tribute to the unique contribution that has been made by Margaret since she was approached early in 1990 to take on the role of directing the appeal and co-ordinating the initial fund-raising to build the hospice.
She said: “We are delighted that the incredible contribution she has made over the past 20 years has been recognised in this way.
“She is not only founder of the hospice, but has also been the driving force behind its development, from the original concept of the Derian House Appeal all those years ago, until April, when she has decided to step down from her role as chair to the Trustees.
“The legacy she has left behind is considerable and this honour goes some way to recognising that legacy.”