Retired teacher's surprise at MBE recognition for children's services

Chairman of the trustees of Home-Start Great Yarmouth and District Ann Keable with Patron, The Lady

A flashback to when Ann Keable met Lady Dannatt during her work for Home-Start Great Yarmouth - Credit: Archant

A retired teacher has been given royal recognition for her work in helping children get the best start in life.

Ann Keable, of Caister, has been made an MBE for services for children thanks to her work at Home-Start Norfolk.

Mrs Keable, 77, is a patron and fundraiser of the charity which supports parents in raising their children, such as in healthy eating and mental health.

Ann Keable has been made an MBE

Ann Keable has been made an MBE - Credit: Ann Keable

She said: "I was amazed, absolutely amazed. I came home from shopping at Sainsbury's and found a letter from the Cabinet Office on my doormat.

"I could not believe it when I opened it.

"I am really pleased. It will help raise the awareness of Home-Start Norfolk."

Mrs Keable had became aware of the Home-Start while she was teaching and after retiring in 2004 decided to help the charity as she fully endorsed its ethos of supporting children.

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She had seen how a challenging start in life had a far-reaching impact on children’s development and lifelong outcomes. 

Mrs Keable was one of the founding trustees of Home-Start Great Yarmouth and in 2013 she became chair of its board.

She fought fearlessly against funding cuts, which saw the charity’s income decline significantly.

Continued cuts led Mrs Keable to represent her charity as part of a merger of five county-based Home-Start charities into Home-Start Norfolk, which was formed in 2017.

She gave up being a trustee last year and is now a fundraiser and patron of the charity.

Mrs Keable said: "This award isn’t just for me, it is a recognition of just how important the early years are for our children, for our future society.

"Home-Start Norfolk is a vital part of our health and care system and I have been proud to have been part of such an important movement."

ac anne keable MBE had been in teaching for 23 years in the Great Yarmouth area and ended her career as Caister First School.

A statement from Home-Start Norfolk said: "Her contribution to Home-Start Norfolk has been significant and she has certainly fulfilled her aim to make a difference to young children in her community."