A church stalwart was today (Sunday) honoured at a special service attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Durham – Mrs Sue Snowdon.
Dedicated charity worker Olga Bainbridge of Shildon was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Olga, a longstanding member of the Church congregation at St John’s Shildon, volunteers with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and is a member of the Shildon district committee and South West Durham fundraising branch, was recognised for her services to her local community.
Olga has spent 39 years supporting the children’s charity where she has helped raise thousands of pounds by organising events across the North-East, including coffee mornings, supermarket bag packs, musical evenings and fashion shows.
She was presented with the BEM award by Mrs Sue Snowdon – The Lord Lieutenant of Durham during a Sunday service at her local church, St John’s in Shildon.
Vicar of St John’s Shildon the Revd David Tomlinson said: “Olga has shaped her life around faith that involves caring for the vulnerable.”
“In recent years she has overcome serious illness and worked tirelessly to see others flourish. Olga is an unstoppable force, organising, supporting, and encouraging in a kind unassuming way that belies the passion she undoubtedly feels.”
Olgar commented: “ Being presented with the BEM by The Lord Lieutenant is an absolute honour, but I am overwhelmed, I am delighted and very humbled.“
Sue Snowden said: “What Olga hasn’t told you is that She and I worked together for many years on the bench and in supporting the NSPCC with their fund raising so I know Olga really well.“
“The BEM is a very special medal I think because it reward ordinary people who do the most extraordinary things. But to give it to somebody that you know and care about in these circumstances makes it very special.”