Will I be on the same list as Sir Bob ?

MBE award given to LEYF CEO, June O'SullivanLast week I was awarded an MBE for services to children and young people in London. As an Irish person, I am technically a non-National so I never imagined receiving an MBE. In fact, when the letter stamped by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) popped through the door, I was convinced that after 30 years they had decided to throw me out. Non-nationals have their awards listed on an Honours roll in the FCO; I just hope I am on the same list as Sir Bob and that it is printed in the Cork Evening Echo. My parents will be chuffed!

Irish flag MBE congratulatory card from Warwick nursery Staff, Parent and Children who wondered whether I was the big boss or the Queen?!

I have been more touched by the responses from people. Naturally, I told my family first. Husband very happy. Son number one said from China where he lives with his sister “Ma, you are becoming part of the establishment – next you will be a member of the Bullingdon Club.” Daughter echoed his worries about the establishment, but did the lovely daughter thing which is, “of course Mum, we will be happy whatever – but you will have to wear a hat!” Son number two arrived with a bottle of wine and a packet of Figrolls! Worth it…

I next told colleagues at LEYF.  The response from staff was truly humbling. I loved the kindness, delight and tone of the comments. My Curly Wurlys have been replenished and my spirits soared. Then reality hit, however. A load of folders arrived for internal verification, and my husband was struck down by acute appendicitis. Sitting in A&E at Kingston Hospital all night, the MBE seemed a long way off!

But thank you to everyone for twittering and texting and sending cards. I truly appreciate all your kind words.