South Gloucestershire Council employee Rhiannon Holder, 22, has been awarded an MBE in recognition of services to young people’s healthcare.
Rhiannon, who was named in the New Year Honours List, has been employed as a project worker (teenage pregnancy) at the council since May 2009 and is based at the Bowling Hill offices in Yate.
The scope of her work is to help reduce teenage pregnancies through the No Worries! scheme. The No Worries! scheme enables young people to find sexual health services in their local area. Rhiannon is working to increase young people’s participation in the scheme to ensure that services are young people friendly. She is also developing the No Worries! website which can be found at www.youthunltd.com.
She was given a special mention during the Council’s Cabinet meeting yesterday, when Cllr Sheila Cook, executive member for children and young people, commended the important work she is involved with and described her as ‘an inspiration to other young people’.
Rhiannon has been volunteering since she was 15 and started out at Bread Youth Project in St Werburghs, which gives advice to young people on a range of issues and she is now one of the charity’s trustees.
For three and a half years she served as the young adviser on the Government’s Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group.
She said: “I’ve always been very passionate about young people’s health. Just because I’ve got an MBE doesn’t mean I’m going to stop the good work I am currently involved with at South Gloucestershire Council. Teenage pregnancy rates are falling nationally but there is still a lot of work to do to give young people the sex education, clinics and services they need to make informed choices.”
Amanda Deeks, chief executive of South Gloucestershire Council, also received recognition in the New Year Honours List. She received an OBE in recognition of her services to local government. Under her leadership, the council gained a maximum four-star rating from the Audit Commission.
During the same Cabinet meeting Amanda was also singled out for praise for her achievement and Cllr Shirley Holloway, Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council presented her with a bunch of flowers.
Commenting on her OBE Amanda said: “It was a complete surprise, but I am very humbled and honoured to be awarded an OBE. I will be accepting it on behalf of all councillors and staff at South Gloucestershire Council in recognition of the council’s achievements and our shared commitment to working in partnership with our neighbouring councils in the West of England.”
Source: South Gloucestershire Council