TWO LOCAL women have been awarded MBE’s for their selfless work helping others as part of the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Sully’s Catherine Mary Margaret Parker, known as Mair Parker to her friends, was awarded the prestigious accolade in recognition of her work helping children and young people cope with grief and bereavement.
Dinas Powys’ Carole Ann Davies, who cared for people with cystic fibrosis at University Hospital Llandough for more than 20 years as a lead clinical nurse, has been rewarded for her services to nursing with an MBE.
Mair, of Cog Road, said she was humbled and honoured to receive the award for her voluntary work providing support and counselling to children that had suffered from bereavement.
She added that it was ‘God’s calling’ that she should help others, and that her faith as a Christian had helped her throughout her career.
"The main thing is just to be there for them and for them to know they are loved," she said.
"One of the key things is to be a good listener and not to interrupt.
"Just to be quiet and sit there with someone that is talking about a recent bereavement can help."
In many cases Mair has kept in contact with the children that she has helped as they have grown into adults and still receives Mother’s Day cards and speaks to them each week.
Despite working full time managing and teaching in the social services sector she still found time to support people suffering from grief and serious loss.
As well as being a founder volunteer member of George Thomas Hospice Care over 25 years ago, she was also involved in pioneering video teaching materials at Penarth’s Marie Curie Hospice in the 1980’s. The videos, about how to cope with grief and loss, were later sent to most UK hospices.
Carole Ann Davies, of Heol-y-Frenhines in Dinas Powys, said that she couldn't believe it when she received the letter saying that she had been chosen for an MBE for her services to nursing.
Carole, who started nursing when she was 18 and retired in March last year, worked as a lead clinical nurse specialising in cystic fibrosis at Llandough Hospital for more than 20 years.
"It was a very challenging job and my role was very complex as I was responsible for both in and out patients," she said.
"A lot of my work involved end of life care and how to deal with it."
Carol, who started off in the medical wards before specialising in cystic fibrosis, added: "I'm really pleased to get this award for nursing. There's a brilliant team of cystic fibrosis nurses working there now and this award is about all of them."
Carole, who is chair of the Better Life Appeal, is now hoping to raise more than £1million to help support the All Wales Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre based at Llandough Hospital
"We are really keen to raise it but it's a lot of money. The patients are very close to my heart so I will do anything to help them."
You can donate towards the cause at: https://www.justgiving.com/betterlifeappeal/