Retired Bulwell teacher celebrates 'crazy' MBE honour at the age of 91

A 91-year-old former teacher from Bulwell has spoken of her shock after being made an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours.
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Barbara Maddison said the award was “crazy” as she was recognised for services to young women in her role as honorary vice-president of the National Council of Women of Great Britain.

She said: “It’s crazy, absolutely crazy, I can understand why my organisation has put me forward for the work I’ve done since I retired, but it still feels quite amazing and strange.”

Since retiring from teaching, Barbara has been an invaluable member of the NCWGB and a campaigner for the rights and welfare of women and girls.

91 year-old Barbara Maddison from Bulwell has been awarded an MBE91 year-old Barbara Maddison from Bulwell has been awarded an MBE
91 year-old Barbara Maddison from Bulwell has been awarded an MBE

Through her own efforts, she created the branch of the organisation called the National Council of Young Women, which reaches out to a younger generation through a network of schools and colleges linked to NCWGB.

Through one-to-one meetings, letters, emails and personal contact with school students and staff, she has encouraged young women to develop social awareness and personal confidence through organising and taking part in debates and seminars in school and dealing with issues relevant not just to women but to society as a whole.

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Despite the fact that she is now in her 90s, Barbara continues to travel to schools and to maintain an active involvement with her “graduates” who have gone on to become full members of the NCWGB and members of the active 18+ network of NCW.

For several decades, she has been a mainstay of the NCWGB, an active member of the Nottinghamshire Branch, and a spokeswoman for the organisation.

She has also contributed over many years to her church, both as a lay preacher and elder, and as an organiser of a full social programme for older members.

She also reaches out to those who can no longer attend church, keeping them in touch and informed.

Barbara said: “I feel very proud and that’s strange because being proud is not a characteristic I tend associate with myself.

“I think I would express it as feeling pride in helping someone achieve something through this organisation.

“To see young girls, particularly sixth formers, come out with the same ideals as the NCWGB, the organisation I belong to, that is something that is a real source of pride.”

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