A Bonnyrigg woman who in 1995 set-up the registered charity, Bonnyrigg After School Club, has spoken of her joy at being awarded an MBE.
Anne Elliot (57) is also a member of the Bonnyrigg Community Events Committee, which has run various local events such as gala days and the Christmas light ceremonies for many years.
Speaking about receiving an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours last weekend, she said: “I was really stunned when I heard about it. It’s a great thing to have.
“I found out in November, I had just come back from a holiday in America and the letter was there for me. I was told I couldn’t tell anybody. It’s been hard.
“I’m proud of the after school club and it’s great to have this MBE. But I have a really good team of staff who have been with me for a long time. They are very loyal, I think that’s the key. We have gone through the ups and downs together.”
The after school club has come a long way since Anne founded it, with it due to move into its new home at Poltonhall Bowling Club next year.
“The after school club was started in 1994 as a Friday club as there was a demand for childcare due to the schools starting to close early on Fridays”, said Anne.
“Then we quickly found out there was a general demand for child care so we went full-time in 1995. We started with one club, now we have got four after school clubs, three breakfast clubs and a nursery, all in Bonnyrigg.
“Next year will be our 25th anniversary of full-time child care so receiving this MBE is perfect timing. And we are going through the asset transfer for the bowling club, so everything is happening.”
Anne also supports the local community by offering employment opportunities to young people and supports them to undertake further study such as SVC modules and gain the Duke of Edinburgh award.