A Carlton woman has received an MBE for her services to charity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Val Green MBE, 60, was awarded the honour for running One Voice for Animals which is a directory for animal rescue services.
Smaller animal organisations have struggled with an increase in wildlife casualties and a decrease in funding during Covid-19.
Animal rescue centres, hospitals and sanctuaries are listed on the site with the aim of raising awareness and giving practical support.
The directory founder was delighted when hearing of the recognition of her work.
“I am absolutely thrilled.
“Last year I was supposed to go on my first ever safari and on holiday to Australia which both didn’t happen, but for me this was better.
“It was a bit like a dream because you don’t expect these kinds of things, it’s something that happens to someone else.”
The honour was announced on June 11 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
“The first person I phoned about it was my dad and obviously he’s very happy for me.
“He had Covid earlier in the year and he’s 87 years old, so it was great to tell him about the honour.”
Val was keen to use the honour to pay tribute to those who provide homes and care to vulnerable animals.
“I want this award to be about all the people who help care for animals, it’s a great way to focus on the people on the frontline of animal rescue.
“There are people who deal with the life and death of animals every day and it would break my heart to do that, to me they’re the real heroes.
“We want to give one voice to smaller organisations that haven’t got government funding and are really all self-funded volunteers.”
The Carlton Hill resident made it clear that the award did not mean her work was done.
“Even though we’re coming out of Covid, there’s the impact of loads more people being in their gardens causing wildlife disturbances.
“And for the pet rescues we’ve got about a million more dogs than we had before so they’re taking in a lot more abandoned dogs.
“So there’s an impact on both the pet and wildlife side of the rescue world.
“My long-term goal is to make One Voice for Animals the place to go to find and donate to their local rescue.”
One Voice for Animals recently became an associate member of the All-party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare with the intent to influence future polices
And continue to fundraise with an auction scheduled for the end of June.
You can read more about One Voice for Animals work here.