AFTER sending out more than 13,000 knitted hats to soldiers serving overseas Hats4Heroes founder Tina Selby has been rewarded for her inspirational efforts with a British Empire Medal.
Tina, of Grove Place, was presented with the prestigious honour by the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Dr Peter Beck, during a glamorous ceremony at the Mansion House in Cardiff on Tuesday, April 22.
Tina, who set up Hats4Heroes in 2010 with the original intention of sending out just 500 hats to soldiers serving in Afghanistan, said she felt “proud and humbled” to be presented with the award.
Tina, who was joined at the showpiece event by her parents, husband and mother-in-law, said:
“I was proud and humbled to receive the award, especially when you hear some of the other stories about people being presented with honours,” she said.
“It was nice to have the recognition but I didn’t do it for that.”
Before she was presented with her medal the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan gave a short speech about why everyone had been selected for their honours and the contributions they had made to society.
Tina said that she was in awe of everybody’s efforts and that her efforts, which have led to national TV news appearances and donations coming from across the world, felt like a “drop in the ocean” compared to everybody else’s.
Her husband Brian paid tribute to his wife and said: "It was a marvellous ceremony and really made you feel proud of all the people receiving medals for their good work in the community. "
Since Tina Selby formed Hats4Heroes in 2010 more than 13,500 knitted hats and chocolate bars have been sent out, and it is expected that the final total will be around 17,000.
She is continuing to send them out, including to the likes of the RAF and HMS Protect in the Falklands recently, and is planning on sending any remaining ones left by the end of September to the Help for Heroes Rehabilitation Complex at Headley Court.
“They want whatever is left as they have a constant flow through of soldiers,” she said.
As part of her award Tina has also been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace on June 3.
She added that after the garden party she planned on framing her British Empire Medal, but she was unsure whether she would use the BEM title after her name.
“I haven’t used it yet, but I don’t know whether I could get an upgrade on a plane if I used it, but it’s worth a try,” she said tongue-in-cheek.