Two Plymouth council workers to get MBEs

Two Plymouth City Council workers have been recognised for their work with children and young people in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Heather Ogburn who is a senior education advisor and Michelle Newman who is a team manager in children’s social care will both be honoured with an MBE.

Plymouth City Councillor’s portfolio holder for Children, Young People and Public Health Councillor Sue McDonald said “Warmest congratulations to these two officers who’s dedication and hard work has really shone through. I am proud to say that they work for Plymouth City Council and applaud them for the challenging work that they do with children and young people.”

Heather is recognised for her work in leading initiatives to develop pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills, with several of these having received national recognition. This includes the annual Plymouth Anthology of Children’s’ Writing which encourages writing by children of all ages and aims to grow their confidence with literacy. She is also a founding member of HMS Heroes which works with children whose parents are in the armed forces.

Heather said: “I feel very proud and humbled to receive this award. It represents many people who work alongside me to support our children.”

Michelle has worked as a qualified social worker for 12 years and has been team manager of the Advice and Assessment Duty team for 6 years. This team is the front door for professionals, family and members of the public who have a safeguarding concern about a child or young person. This isn’t the first time Michelle has been nominated for her work. In 2013 she was awarded Team Manager of the year at the National Social worker of the year awards.

Michelle said: “I was more than a little shocked and in disbelief at being nominated for this award. I am delighted to have received this, not only for myself but in recognition of the support and hard work of all my colleagues both in Social Work at Plymouth City Council and other all the other agencies that come together to help keep children safe in Plymouth.”

Carole Burgoyne, Strategic Director for People said: “I am so proud of Heather and Michelle for the vital work they are involved in with children and young people across our city to ensure they are safe and protected and receiving the best education possible.
It’s wonderful that their work has been recognised at a national level.

“I’d also like to recognise the entire work force across children’s social care and Learning and communities. They are an extremely skilled and committed group of people that we should all be proud of.”

Heather and Michelle will be presented their MBEs at a special ceremony at either Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle in the next five months.