A Derry woman has been awarded an M.B.E in recognition of her work in education and the community in which she lives in England.
Jane Harley, originally from Beechwood Avenue, lives in Sheffield where she works for the Department of Education.
The former Thornhill pupil is responsible for managing the relationship the Department has with the Chartered College of Teaching.
It was during a career break in 2013 that Jane decided to become more involved in a voluntary capacity in the local community in Sheffield.
“I started volunteering in an area called Broom Hall in 2013 during a career break,” explained Jane. “It’s a place which has high levels of deprivation and a high ethnic minority population. I started volunteering at Broomhall Breakfast Club. When the person who was running the club got another job and had to move on, I took on that role and I’ve been there since. I work in my full time job from Monday to Thursday and on the Friday we do the Breakfast Club. We rent the hall from the local church and provide a cooked breakfast for people who are disadvantaged. Many of these people are homeless and we provide a space like a cafe where they can come and have hot food and a conversation. It’s about food and friendship.”
Jane praised the team of volunteers who work with her.
“We work closely with the University of Sheffield Politics Society and we have a brilliant set of volunteers. We get no state funding so we rely heavily on volunteers for fundraising.
Modest about her work and being awarded the M.B.E, Jane added: “I think if there’s a situation where you can lend a helping hand, you should. Through the Breakfast Club I’ve met the most interesting people. Some of the people who come to us have travelled all over the world. They have fascinating stories. This is just something that I do and I really enjoy it.”