A local woman has been made an MBE (Member of the British Empire) as part of the Queen’s birthday honours.
Sarah Howard, 47, was given the award for her services to the community in Haverhill.
Mrs Howard, who runs Sarand, a Haverhill based Business Software company, lives in nearby Sturmer.
Mrs Howard has given her time on a voluntary basis as Chair of Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and now as President of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to promote Suffolk as an excellent place to do business and has joined employers and young people together to reduce barriers to employment.
In 2012, when Haverhill was chosen as one of 12 areas to pilot a Neighbourhood Community Budget, she was instrumental in bringing together public sector bodies, the voluntary and community sector and business owners to form One Haverhill. As a board member and later Chair of One Haverhill, she secured an investment of £50,000 from JobCentre Plus to hire a ‘Youth Skills Manager’ to work with employers and provide tailored support for those not in education, employment or training - as a result of her drive and focus, 50 new apprenticeships have been created in the town, with 35 of the posts being filled.
She has been a key influence behind a number of skills days being run in local schools, bringing employers and young people together. She is the Chair of Abbeycroft Leisure, a social enterprise and charity set up to run the community’s leisure centres.