Honour for children's counsellor from Seagry

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Honour for children's counsellor Honour for children's counsellor

CLARE Clilverd has been with families as they struggle through the darkest times in their lives.

Now her work, not only as a children’s counsellor, but also as a community stalwart in her village has been recognised with a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours.

Clare, who has lived at Seagry for 20 years, is chairman of the trustees of the Goss Croft community hall, completed last year at a cost of £600,000.

“I think that really this is for lots of people, not just for me,” she said. “I’ve just done my bit where I’ve lived for quite a few years.”

“Last year we achieved our dream thanks to an amazing project team full of retired professional people who just never gave up.”

“It was an incredible achievement involving a lot of hard work. There were times when it didn’t seem as if it was going to happen.”

Her honour is also in recognition of her work as a counsellor for Cruse Bereavement Care and Bristol-based Help.

She first volunteered for Cruse 13 years ago after seeing a TV feature on the charity.

Years before that her brother Jonathan was killed aged 19 crossing the road outside their home in London and she felt her experience of dealing with grief might help her to do some good.

“Cruse is the most fantastic charity,” she told the Standard. “It is full of amazing people, most of whom have experienced loss and difficult things in their lives.”

After a while she specialised as a children’s counsellor. “They are a group of people who are often forgotten, especially if they behave well,” she explained.

Then at the age of 50 she went to university, earned a diploma in child counselling and started working with Help, which provides advice for children and young people facing a range of serious problems.

“To go into someone’s home and for someone to entrust their child to you – it is a huge responsibility and a huge honour.”

Other local honours recipients included former Tetbury firefighter Michael Houghton and and Environment Agency flood and coastal risk management officer William Beach from Cirencester, who were also awarded the BEM.

Kevin Lomas, who manages Highgrove House for Prince Charles was made a member of the Royal Victorian Order.

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