A former Gainsborough woman has been awarded an MBE for her work helping the disabled in the workplace in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Liese Bowers, 45, said she felt unworthy of the accolade and was sure there must have been a mistake.
Liese was raised in Gainsborough and went to Lea Road Primary School and Queen Elizabeth High School in the town.
Her parents still live in Gainsborough and her father was the secretary at the local golf club.
“They are both immensely proud of this award,” she said.
Liese, a mother of two boys, and who now live in the Kirby-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, has been given the honour in recognition of her services to equality and diversity at work.
Liese, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), works full-time at East Midlands Airport for the UK Border Force and champions disability throughout the organisation.
She also volunteers at Ashfield Council to raise awareness of mental health issues in the area.
And she used her own experiences with MS as the inspiration for helping others.
“I was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago and found it really difficult to keep going in the workplace,” she said.
“But my manager was really helpful, so I thought if he has done that for me I would like to do it for others.”
“I think people are sympathetic to physical disabilities.”
“But it is more difficult with mental health because it is not so visible.”
As well as her work for Ashfield Council, the hard-working mum played a critical part in getting the Home Office to sign the Time To Change pledge.
The pledge is a public statement of aspiration from an individual or organisation that they are determined to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.
Liese also volunteers for mental health charity MIND.
At work, Liese helps colleagues with disabilities by doing everything from getting them a chair more suited to their needs, to having a lift installed or helping them change working hours.
“I have no idea who nominated me,” she continued.
“My mum is so proud and all my friends say it is so well deserved.”
“I do not do it for a reward but it is a wonderful feeling that someone from a normal background can achieve something like this.”
“I have been told I will meet a member of the Royal Family and am terrified that I might fall over or something.”
Liese celebrated the news she was to receive the honour with a family party.
She has also been on a celebratory holiday to Bulgaria.
For more information about the Time To Change pledge visit www.time-to-change.org.uk/organisational-pledge