Charity founder Diane Raybould has received the British Empire Medal (BEM) from the Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan, Mrs Kate Thomas.
Having started the charity Rhondda Breast Friends in 2006, following the death of her daughter and having been diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 2002, Mrs Raybould has gone on to offer help and support to thousands of local women.
Mrs Raybould was awarded the British Empire Medal in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017, in recognition of her voluntary service to people with breast cancer.
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Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan, Mrs Kate Thomas Mrs Thomas, said: “This is a well deserved award for Diane. She has been a great supporter of her community. She has shown leadership, awareness, skill and dedication in her role with Rhondda Breast Friends.”
Mrs Raybould, originally from Trealaw, was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 50. Her daughter Helen died from the illness at the age of 28.
Along with a group of ladies who had been directly and indirectly affected by breast cancer, Mrs Raybould launched the charity Rhondda Breast Friends in 2006, with the aim of providing much needed information and support for breast cancer patients after they had been discharged from their consultant.
Mr Raybould received her BEM from the Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan, Mrs Kate Thomas CVO, DSTJ, JP at an event hosted by Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor, Cllr Margaret Tegg. Also present at the special ceremony was Deputy Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan, Mr Roy Noble.
Diane Raybould BEM, said: “Working with Interlink RCT we set up the First Cancer Focus Group in the country, consisting of 40 National and local cancer and carer organisations working together to implement our Charter of Rights and improve cancer services and support in Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough and Cwm Taf Health Board.
“The community support has been amazing, local businesses support us, along with other organisations for which we are truly grateful.
“We have left a legacy in Wales for years to come and the Mayor is happy to recognise the people, organisations and their representatives and the army of helpers behind it.”
Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor, Cllr Margaret Tegg, said: “Diane Raybould is a worthy recipient of the British Empire Medal having established the Rhondda Breast Friends charity 11 years ago.
“I am delighted that she received her British Empire Medal from the Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, in her home County Borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf.
“We all thank Mrs Raybould for firstly establishing the charity and secondly, for offering guidance and support to so many local women over many years.”