A WOMAN who set up a domestic violence drop-in centre at her workplace has been awarded a British Empire Medals (BEM).

Suzanne Oldnall, from Kempsey, is one of two Worcestershire people to receive the award.

Roy Starkey from Bromsgrove also received a BEM at Worcester Guildhall from the county’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Beatrice Grant.

She received her British Empire Medial for services to the victims of domestic abuse after heading up her firm’s domestic violence unit and devoting both her professional and personal time to protecting vulnerable people at what for most, is the worst point of their lives.

She developed a drop-in centre at the Worcester office which allows victims to call in without an appointment for legal advice and protection.

She works with many domestic abuse charities to help victims get legal protection from the perpetrators and campaigns with West Mercia Women's Aid, West Mercia police and Victim Support to highlight the crimes.

Her work often involves out-of-hours assistance in obtaining emergency injunctions for victims.  She had the vision to set up a unique specialist service in Worcestershire to protect men as well as women and children.

Suzanne said: “I am both honoured and humbled to have received such a prestigious award.

"I sincerely hope that this award further raises awareness of domestic abuse and the devastating  impact it has on both victims and children.

"Victims having the courage to speak out about it is, is a step in the right direction in obtaining protective orders and ultimately obtaining a life free of fear, uncertainty and often desperation. 

"I am delighted that opening a local drop-in centre has gone a long way to achieve that and I am hopeful it will continue to do so.”

Mrs Grant, Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, said: “It was a real honour for me to present these medals to our latest Worcestershire recipients.

"They had impressive citations, explaining in detail how they have supported those in their fields and raised awareness of incredibly important issues.

"The ceremony provided me with a great opportunity to thank them for their dedicated support of others over many years and for the wonderful example they have been to others."