Birthday honour for birthday girl

Ann Maxwell has been awarded an OBE
Ann Maxwell has been awarded an OBE

A Dalkeith mum of three received an extra special birthday present this week - an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Ann Maxwell, who turns 53 today (Thursday), is co-founder of Musselburgh-based charity, the Muir Maxwell Trust.

She received her honour for charitable services to the treatment and care of epilepsy in children.

Mrs Maxwell said: “I am honoured, absolutely honoured. It is fantastic recogntiion of all the work we have done over the last 12 to 13 years.”

For the first four years of its existence, the trust operated from Jonny and Ann’s home in Dalkeith. Jonny is the trust’s chairman and Ann is one of its volunteer fundraisers.

Over the years the trust has worked hard to provide practical support to children and their families coping with severe epilepsy. The trust frequently lobbies the Scottish Government and Westminster to increase awareness and understanding of epilepsy.

The trust is named after the couple’s middle son, Muir (now 18), who had his first seizure at four months. He has been diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome. The couple’s other sons are Connor (21) and Rory (16).

“We were struggling with his care for the first five years of his life and I resolved when I had the capacity I would focus on trying to improve things for families like ourselves,” explained Mrs Maxwell. Much of the trust’s work follows the experiences of Ann and Jonny raising Muir.

The trust recently launched its cupcake challenge to raise £250,000 to provide epilespy alarms for children’s bedrooms. The trust has a waiting list of 300 people seeking alarms.

A keen runner, who can often be seen out pounding the streets of Dalkeith, Mrs Maxwell was a Commonwealth Games baton holder.

Of her gong, Mrs Maxwell added: “I don’t want to overlook the contribution made by everyone who works for the Muir Maxwell Trust and the volunteers.

“None of it would have been possible without the support of so many people.”