Ottery woman 'elated' by MBE honour

AN OTTERY social worker this week spoke of her elation after being awarded an MBE in the Queen s Birthday Honours List.

AN OTTERY social worker this week spoke of her elation after being awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Delighted Butts Road resident Sue Ashby, 58, will be handed the honour at Buckingham Palace later this year after being singled out by Ministry of Defence (MOD) bosses for her work helping military servicemen and women at the Commando Training Centre (CTC) in Lympstone.

"I've been switching from being elated to overwhelmed", said mum-of-three Sue. "Its such a great honour."

"I had a letter from the Cabinet Office about a month ago. I thought it was about a re-structuring that was going on but I had actually been put forward for the honour- It came totally out of the blue- I thought it was a joke.

"We have a fairly small team (at the CTC in Lympstone) but are a dedicated, hard working bunch. As a social worker, to know the work I do is valued is the most amazing part."

Proud Sue has had no difficulty in finding takers for the three guest invitations for her trip to Buckingham Palace later this year- her "thrilled" trio of now grown-up children have all jumped at the chance to accompany her.

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She said: "It all feels like a dream, and has to be the highlight of at least the last ten years. We are all looking forward to a family get-together so we can celebrate."

The MOD was quick to praise the scope of Sue's work. A spokesman said: "She supports an establishment with an annual trainee turnover of 7,000 and switches from supporting new trainees, who are unsure of themselves, to managing complex child protection cases. She also plays a leading role in supporting the families of those on operational service, Marines suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder and all those coming to terms with fatalities, injury and disability.