Dedication to helping others earnspair OBEs

TWO local people have been presented with their OBE medals at Windsor Castle.

They are Amy Perrin, founder of the Marmalade Trust, and Dr Teame Mebrahtu, a former lecturer and magistrate.
Amy, a health professional who lives in the Cotham area, was honoured for services to older people.

She said:“It’s an incredible honour to receive this acknowledgement and recognition of my contribution and work. I was so surprised to be nominated and kept re-reading the letter when I received it. I feel so passionately that we should understand the impact of loneliness and help to achieve a more connected society.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to have worked with so many incredible people who have helped over the past 10 years. I’m humbled, honoured and grateful to those who nominated me.”

With the support of hoteliers, publicans and many volunteers the Marmalade Trust ensures that isolated and lonely people will not be left on their own on Christmas Day. Last Christmas 222 older people were taken to a hotel or pub.

The Marmalade Trust helps people of all ages and is the only charity in the world specifically dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “Over the last decade the charity has had a direct impact with over 4,000 people involved in its projects, delivered loneliness training to 55,000 people, as well as running global awareness campaigns.

Bishopston resident Dr Mebrahtu was honoured for services to education, refugees and the Bristol community.
After he fled Ethiopia in the 1970s, he became a senior lecturer at the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education. In 1984, he was one of the first black magistrates in the city. With his wife Teblez, he set up a project feeding the homeless, and he has also spent many hours assisting newly-arrived refugees.