New Year Honours surprise for Hellesdon’s Wendy

Just Regional
Jan 22, 2016 3 mins read

There’s not many 73 year olds who suddenly have a change to their name, but for Wendy Maxwell that’s exactly what has happened. Three letters to be precise. Three very important letters!

You see, Wendy is now Wendy Maxwell MBE!

When an official looking letter dropped onto her doormat in November, little did Wendy know that she would have to keep one of the biggest secrets in her life – the fact that she was to be one of 1,196 people included in the New Year Honours List.

“I had to keep it a secret until the list was announced on December 31,” said Wendy, who has lived in Hellesdon for 50 years.

“I couldn’t believe it and I rang my daughter straight away. I just kept saying ‘I’ve got a letter, I can’t believe it, I’ve got a letter’. She was working and needed to be quick, but once I finally told her what the letter said she was so excited too.

“It’s just amazing!”

Wendy was selected for a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award in recognition of her work to support carers through an online community, and by giving out computers to carers who can’t afford them.

Wendy set up Chill 4 Us Carers 13 years ago following her own experience of caring for her mum through pancreatic cancer.

Her son Ross designed the website and Wendy has been running it ever since, chatting with the 1,500 members to whom the forum is a lifeline, publishing a daily online carers’ newsletter, as well as reaching out to more than 6,500 followers on Twitter and an active Facebook feed.

But that’s not all, she also runs Computers for Carers, which to date has given out 500 donated computers, laptops and tablets to tackle the isolation that carers experience.

Wendy will be invited to an Investiture held in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace in the next seven months, where she will be presented with her medal by the Queen or another member of the Royal Family.

“I’m so excited,” said Wendy, who hopes to be able to take her son and daughter, Fiona, with her to the ceremony.

“I’m so honoured to have MBE after my name, but thanks should also go to the volunteers who help run Chill 4 Us Carers – it’s a team effort.”

Wendy is unaware who nominated her for the award, and would like to thank them for thinking of her.

Were you the person who nominated Wendy? Get in touch on 01263 731520 or email sophie@justregional.co.uk.

Wendy Maxwell 1


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