DROITWICH Paralympic swimmer Rebecca Redfern said she had a 'warm feeling' knowing she had inspired others after being awarded an MBE.

The 24-year-old has been given the honour for her services to young people and the community of Worcestershire. 

She told the Worcester News she and her entire family were jumping around and feeling very emotional when she got her letter through the post revealing she had been honoured with her MBE.

Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa aged just seven, Miss Redfern's life changed after being discovered as a para swimmer by British Swimming at age 14. 

She has since gone on to represent and medal for Great Britain at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2021, as well as achieving further glory at the European and World championships. 

She is a current world record holder following her successes in  Tokyo 2021. 

The Droitwich swimming ace also regularly visits groups and schools across the county to talk about her experiences as a young girl with a disability.

She uses these talks to show how she has overcome her obstacles to achieve not only her spectacular success on the world stage but also her victories in her personal life.

Miss Redfern makes time for these voluntary visits alongside her work as a school teacher, training to improve as a professional athlete and being a mother of a young child.  

And she is a patron of Sight Concern, a charity which supports those who are blind or partially sighted in Worcestershire.

She said: “It was all a bit crazy when we found out, we reflected on the past ten years and the journey we have all been on, it was really nice. 

“We’ve known for about a month and it has been so weird walking around with this massive secret I couldn't tell anyone about, so it is really exciting I get to share this with people now.

“This shows all our hard work has paid off, it is really humbling."

Miss Redfern added she loves showing her achievements to younger people as when she was growing up she didn't have a role model to look up to. 

"Growing up as a young visually impaired disabled child, I would have loved to have had that person I could look up to and tell me life is going to be good and everything would be ok. 

"Even if I have inspired just one young person to chase their dreams it would give me a warm feeling."