Queen’s birthday honours have gone to a woman from Burton Green for her long service as an educator for a farming charity.
Janet Hickinbottom, 61, national education officer for Farming and Countryside Education (FACE), was made an MBE as part of the Queen’s 90th birthday honours list, which were announced on Friday June 10.
Janet said: “My husband handed me a letter at the end of April while I was in my greenhouse with my arms in compost.
“It had a Cabinet Office mark on it, so I thought it might just be a circular about the EU referendum or something. I had to read it three times before I believed it.
“The news only came out on Friday but I had lots of people contacting me on Saturday morning.
“The most humbling part of it is the amount of people who nominated me - it’s really moving.”
Janet has worked for FACE since the charity was formed in 2002 after the foot and mouth crisis after eight years as a teacher.
The charity aims to educate children and young people about food and farming in a sustainable countryside by helping schools organise trips to farms and providing resources to teachers.
Janet explained why she has worked for the charity for as long as she has.
She added: “My role is multi-faceted which is what makes it so enjoyable and why I have stayed in the post for so long.
“Most of all I enjoy helping people whether they are farmers asking about the process of hosting school visits, teachers wanting to know about resources available to use in the classroom, farm educators asking about disclosure and barring services, members of our regional team seeking advice about the development of a seminar, or general enquirers with a multitude of different questions.
“We all share a common aim which is reflected in FACE’s mission to work with school communities to help children and young adults understand the connection between farming and their daily lives.”
The Chief Executive of FACE, Dan Corlett said: “Janet is the cornerstone of everything FACE achieves and the impact the charity has had on educating young people about food, farming and the countryside.
“Because she is so humble, Janet is often overlooked despite her achievements being critical to the success of those around her who have been recognised.”
MBEs are awarded to those who have undertaken ‘outstanding work in their communities’, in either a voluntary or paid capacity.
Janet will receive her award in the next seven months.