Harold Wood woman received MBE from the Queen

A Harold Wood woman has been given an MBE by the Queen for her voluntary work and work in the community over 35 years.

Pauline Obee, of Ronald Road, received the award last week at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

She was recognised as a volunteer fundraiser for St Francis Hospice for 15 years; for working as a magistrate in Havering and then across Essex for 13 years, and for opening up the Rainbow Trust shop in Station Road, Harold Wood and running it for 16 years.

Pauline said about the ceremony: “It was the most incredible day I have ever had.I have met so many people who deserved it, so it was humbling to receive it.”

She took her husband and three daughters to the ceremony.

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She added: “I did speak to the Queen. She asked me how many years I had done work in the community. I said 35 years, and she said “Oh, that’s a very long time”. I am pleased we had a little conversation about it.”

Pauline said she did the voluntary work because she wanted to be involved in the area she lived in.

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She added: “The charities were all part of the community, and as a magistrate I was dealing with conflicts and difficulties that arose in the community. I wanted to make it a better place.”

She said: “I started fundraising for St Francis because they needed help at the time as they were so new. Then I became a magistrate because I was interested after I did jury service.

“I got involved with the Rainbow Trust after a family in Hornchurch asked me to fundraise after the charity helped them and their son.”

She said she initially took on the shop for three months, but described it as a “roundabout she couldn’t get off,” and decided to continue.”

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