A WOMAN who has devoted much of her time to helping improve her community has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours.
Valerie Barker and her husband, John, have lived for over half a century in the Mixenden area of Halifax.
She has been instrumental in bringing the community together and helping newcomers to build relationships.
She has also worked tirelessly to encourage and mentor tenants and neighbours to support her campaign to give Mixenden a positive image.
Mrs Barker, who is 64, was educated at the former Stanningley Green Primary School and J. H. Whitley Secondary before starting work at the former Mackintosh sweet factory in Halifax and later at Balme and Pritchard, dyers and finishers.
She is the area representative and secretary of the Middle Mixenden Tenants and Residents Association, and was actively involved in the “Mixenden for the Future” regeneration scheme.
“It is nice to receive this award but it’s for the whole of Mixenden and the people who are working so hard together to make it a better place,” said Mrs Barker.
As well as helping with projects at the Holy Nativity Church, she has helped run a Link project for asylum seekers and set up the Mixenden Oasis community garden.
According to the citation for her award: “She has been a true ambassador for Mixenden and her sympathetic and conscientious nature has helped many people in the community.”