Kirkby woman receives MBE for work with disabled in Queen’s Birthday Honours list

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A Kirkby 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), of Southwell Road, said she felt unworthy of the accolade and was sure there must have been a mistake.

The Kirkby mother of two boys was 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 District Council to raise awareness of mental health issues in the area.

Said Liese: “I was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago and found it really difficult to keep going in the workplace.

“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 District 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,” said Liese. “My mum is so proud 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 will be celebrating tonight with a family party and jets off to Bulgaria next week for celebratory holiday.

For more information about the Time To Change pledge visit