West Norfolk charity chairman recognised in New Year Honours List
The head of a West Norfolk charity, which supports disabled children and their families, has been recognised in the New Year Honours, which have been published this evening.
Katharine Fisher, 70, the chairman of the Lynn-based Little Discoverers, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to children with disabilities.
She is among hundreds of people to be given awards in the list, which also features an OBE for the Lynn-born Queen drummer, Roger Taylor.
Katharine, known as Katie, founded West Norfolk School for Parents, later known as Little Discoverers, in 2002 and has chaired the charity since 2007.
After taking around two years to set up, the charity began to operate in January 2005.
On being recognised for her efforts, Mrs Fisher said: "I was very chuffed and surprised. My sister put me forward for it which was very nice as I do not expect to get these rewards."
Based at the old cricket pavilion at Lynnsport, Mrs Fisher's charity has been running three sessions a week for children with complex needs such as cerebral palsy.
Mrs Fisher, of Dersingham, said: "We take children from 0-5-years-old as soon as they are born, and we also support brothers and sisters who can feel their parents do not have the same amount of time for them."
In total there are 13 on the Little Discoverers management team in addition to four trustees, all of whom are volunteers.
"The most rewarding thing is seeing how people develop and helping the parents," Mrs Fisher continued.
"The parents learn skills they can use with the children every day at home and the children develop wonderfully which makes us feel great.
"The most taxing thing is raising the money. We received £36,000 from a Children in Need award and just under £10,000 every year for three years, a grant from the NHS, and money from the children's centres. They now can't get us any money but we spoke to the county council and they are looking into getting us more funding."
Mrs Fisher has also previously travelled to Botswana on an unpaid sabbatical to work with schoolchildren, something she said she had "always wanted to do".
Having found out she had been included on the Honours List, Mrs Fisher only told her husband about the good news.
And she highlighted the influence of her mother as being an inspiration for her work.
"My mum was a very good example to me. She would say 'It's not what they can do for you, but what you can do for others," said Mrs Fisher, who has six children.
Other honours include an OBE for John Cushing, the founder of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular which brings thousands of people to the area each year, for services to charity.
There are also MBEs for Anna Morgan, director of nursing and quality for the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, for her contribution to the service, and Andrea Pull, the founder of the Conservative Spring Lunch event, for political service.
Elsewhere, Amanda Reeve, curriculum manager for Norfolk County Council's adult learning programme, has been awarded a BEM for services to education.
And two members of Sandringham Estate staff have also received awards.
Nichola Colman, the estate's public enterprises administrator, and assistant accountant Andrew James Barrett have each been appointed members of the Royal Victorian Order.
These are for personal service to the Royal Family.
Among the famous faces in the list are the Grease actress Olivia Newton-John, who is made a Dame and four members of England's victorious World Cup-winning cricket team.
They include captain Eoin Morgan, who is appointed a CBE, and star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who becomes an OBE.
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More by this authorBen Hardy