MBE awarded to Surrey Heath Council worker Aline Poulter

A Surrey Heath council worker who lifts spirits wherever she goes has been honoured with an MBE.

Aline Poulter, who single-handedly set up a Saturday club at a day centre for older residents, has been recognised for her services to vulnerable and older people.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List released by Buckingham Palace doesn’t just include celebrities but also people who have done extraordinary things in their communities.

Tim Pashen, acting chief executive at Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC), said: “As many of our residents have experienced, a visit from Aline is a welfare check, social occasion, mood-lifter and meal delivery wrapped up in a smile.

“She is a hugely valued and respected member of staff, who treats everyone who uses community services as she would members of her own family.”

Mrs Poulter is committed to reducing social isolation, not only in her role as community services operations manager, but also in the many hours of voluntary work she does at evenings and weekends.

She runs Saturday Club at Windle Valley Centre in Bagshot in her own time, giving carers and the cared-for a chance to interact and take part in dementia-friendly activities.

Mrs Poulter also drives a community transport bus to and from the club, which is described by members as “a lifesaver”, and the highlight of their week.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Mrs Poulter and her team have kept in touch with many who would normally attend the club, through phonecalls and Meals at Home deliveries that double as welfare checks.

She even delivers lunches to Meals at Home clients on Christmas Day before sitting down to eat with her family.

Mrs Poulter, who lives in Bagshot and has worked for the borough council for 14 years, said: “People like me don’t usually get these kind of awards.

“I come to work because I enjoy what I do, I don’t expect to get any extra recognition for it.

“The reaction of the people that come along is more than enough reward for me.”

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