FEW people can say they have had a date with the Queen... but Nikki Webber from Bircotes can.
Road safety campaigner Nikki, was handed an MBE by her majesty last week in a grand ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
The 30-year-old was delighted to have been nominated in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and made the trip to London with her parents and carer Sarah.
“It was really cool going into the palace and meeting the Queen,” said Nikki.
“I did feel a bit weird when she shook my hand. I was like ‘Oh my God, that’s the Queen’.”
But brave Nikki wasn’t daunted by the formality of the ceremony - even asking the Queen for a hug.
“I said to her ‘do I get a hug then?’,” said Nikki.
“She didn’t give me one but I kissed her hand when I shook it.”
Twenty years ago Nikki was knocked down by a car in Bawtry as she ran across the road while out collecting chestnuts with her mum, dad and sister.
She was in a coma for six weeks and left severely brain damaged.
Her parents were told she would never walk or talk again but she began talking again after 18 months and walking after two years.
Nikki’s website www. nikkiwebber.co.uk tells her uplifting story.
Now, Nikki devotes her life to teaching others about road safety, visiting schools and working closely with the police to deliver her message.
“All the kids out there have got to understand it only takes a second to change your life,” she said.
Her mum Janet said the whole family were so proud of Nikki, who was nominated for the award by Notts Police inspector Tony Dennis and South Yorkshire Police Sergeant Richard Barnes.
The pair work with Nikki on a regular basis when she gives talks to children about road safety and gives public presentations.
“We are very proud. Rather than sit round and feel sorry for herself she turned a negative thing into a positive one.”
“She can’t go out and earn money and hold down a full-time job, she can go round and tell people what happened and raise awareness.”
“She leaves a lasting impression. She has a fantastic personality and a fantastic sense of humour.”
Nikki’s memories of her trip to the palace will stay with her forever, but she has been told to remain tight lipped about what it is like on the inside.
“I’m not allowed to say what it looks like in there. But I will tell you it is very posh.”
And Nikki says she is still coming to terms with the honour of having an MBE.
“I still don’t think I deserve an award. I’m just me doing my bit for road safety,” she said.
“But I would not have got it without the support of everybody in my community.”