Buckingham Palace honour for founder of online community for carers

Wendy Maxwell from Norwich is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by the Princess

Wendy Maxwell from Norwich is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by the Princess Royal during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 22, 2016. See PA story ROYAL Investiture. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The founder of an online community for carers has been honoured by the Princess Royal at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Wendy Maxwell, who run Chill4Us Carers, helps to bring the outside world into the lives of those unable to leave their home because they are caring for a loved one.

Yesterday, she was made an MBE in an investiture ceremony which also saw Stephanie Houghton, captain of the England women's football team, honoured.

The 73-year-old, of Holt Road, Hellesdon, was inspired to set up Chill4Us Carers by the experience of looking after her mother Irene Hodkinson, who was battling pancreatic cancer, and has campaigned tirelessly to give computers to around 500 people those who can't afford them.

Speaking when her honour was announced in the New Year's list, she said: 'It's part of my life now. So many people say they couldn't do without it, they have been telling me for years it's their life support.

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'They can open up their heart and speak to people who understand. It's a great honour to be made an MBE.'

She has run the service - which relies on donations, fundraising and gifts – for more than 12 years on a voluntary basis.

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The website has a games arcade and a forum, which is used constantly throughout the day and night.

It has grown since its conception, and she has launched an additional project, Computers4Carers, to enable carers who are unable to afford a computer or laptop to gain access to a refurbished one, in liaison with local business and residents.

She also arranged courses for carers at Hellesdon Library to help carers get to grips with the latest technology.

Do you have a community hero who deserves some recognition? Email reporter Martin George at martin.george@archant.co.uk

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