Local Solutions team member receives MBE

Hazel Brown, head of communities at Local Solutions, has been awarded an MBE for services to carers, in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The chief executive of Local Solutions, Tom Harrison, commented, “Hazel’s inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday Honours is wonderful news and we are all proud of her. This award is richly deserved for her commitment and dedication to supporting carers over many years.”

We all know that caring for a loved one is not a 9 – 5 job and many carers need physical and emotional support. The devotion Hazel has brought to strengthening their resilience has impacted directly on thousands of carers in Liverpool.

Hazel has played a pivotal role at the Liverpool Carers Centre over the last 24 years, developing a range of services that aim to improve the quality of life for carers in Liverpool. The centre provides a safe space, support, impartial advice and information, and a range of activities to support health and wellbeing, allow people to share their experiences and help them feel connected.

In 2017, Hazel developed a pioneering idea called Mytime; the scheme provides respite opportunities for carers to enable them to take a much-needed break from their demanding caring roles. These opportunities include overnight stays at hotels, meals, afternoon teas and trips to theatres and cinemas. For many carers, it’s the first time they have been able to take a break with confidence, experience these leisure opportunities and relax.

Hazel has used her enthusiasm and persuasion to encourage over 60 leisure and hospitality providers to offer their support freely, enabling Carers to access respite breaks, improving morale, and strengthening their ability to carry on caring. MyTime now has contributing hotels, restaurants and theatres in Merseyside, Cheshire, and Manchester.

In 2018, Hazel was recognised by the Observer newspaper as one of the 50 “New Radical” entrepreneurs in the UK. She was invited to present to national leaders in Health and Social Care and extended her influence as an ambassador for carers with a natural empathy and a listening ear.

Hazel is a skilled collaborator, and her collegiate style and humility has encouraged these relationships to flourish for the benefit of carers.

Responding to her inclusion in the honours list Hazel said, “I feel very honoured and humble to receive this award and it is due to the people I have worked with at Local Solutions, both in the Carers Centre and in the wider organisation over 24 years, thanks to everyone. I have had lovely messages of congratulations from people, including many unpaid carers. I feel privileged to be part of their lives and to be able to support them in some small way. I hope that this award raises the profile of carers and the work that Local Solutions and many organisations do to offer support.

I don’t know who nominated me, but I just want to say thank you – it is really a privilege.”

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