A Cheshire resident received an MBE from Princess Anne recently in a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace. Wendy Coomer was awarded the honour, which was announced in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, in recognition of her services to young people and the community in Cheshire. Mrs Coomer has been actively involved with the Stockport based charity the Together Trust in a variety of volunteer roles for more than a quarter of a century. 

The charity, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, supports children and families from across the North West, providing a fostering service, short breaks and community services, residential homes, schools, special education services and family services.

Mrs Coomer said:

“While I have visited Buckingham Palace several times in the past as a tourist I never thought I would be invited to receive an honour. The Princess Royal made the presentation and she was charming and spent time speaking to each recipient.

“I first became involved with the Together Trust 26 years ago when I was asked to join the management board of Bethesda School. In 1997 I was invited to become a Trustee of the Together Trust and I remained on the board for 23 years, becoming Chair between 2013 and 2018. In addition to this, I was also on the board of Bridge College, where I became Chair of the Board of Governors from 1998 to 2012.

“I have seen a lot of changes in that time and I have watched with pride as the Together Trust has grown, increasing not only the number of its services but deepening the level of service it provides to some of the most vulnerable people in society. For me a personal highlight was the successful move of Bridge College to the new state of the art, purpose-built facility in Openshaw in 2012.

“But what has always remained a constant is the high level of care that you see all around the Together Trust. People here, staff, students and those we care for always seem to have a smile for each other. The atmosphere is happy and positive. We have always tried to create a family atmosphere at the charity and I think we have been successful in that ambition.

“I would like to thank those who nominated me for an honour, it was a great surprise to me when it was announced. It has been a privilege to work with the fantastic staff, volunteers and young people at the charity and I have very much enjoyed my association with Together Trust and other charitable causes in Cheshire that I’ve been associated with over the years. I hope to continue supporting and volunteering at the charity for many years to come.”

Mark Lee, Chief Executive of the Together Trust, said:

“Wendy has made an enormous and valued contribution to the Together Trust for many years, and we’re delighted that her hard work and unfailing commitment has been formally recognised.

“Her support has been crucial over the years, especially during the move of Bridge College to the new site in 2012. Wendy has been a loyal and constant advocate for the young people we support.

“She’s taken on some very big, very challenging roles in the charity, roles that required huge commitment on her part. For more than a quarter of a century her professionalism, and dedication to the people we support has been exemplary, as has her kindness to everyone she’s worked with. Her MBE is certainly well deserved.”