A WOMAN who has dedicated years of her life to supporting children has been honoured.
Marian Stapley, of Portsmouth and Hayling Island Chernobyl Children’s Life Line, was given her British Empire Medal.
The 49-year-old was named in the New Year’s Honours last December.
Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Nigel Atkinson handed her the medal.
Speaking to The News, Marian, of Blakemere Crescent, Paulsgrove, said: ‘It’s absolutely amazing.
‘It’s wonderful to be recognised for something that I do with a passion and not as a paid role.
‘I have a massive interest in the country.
‘I was only 19 when Chernobyl happened.
‘I lost a son to still birth and I needed something to get into and this charity came along.’
This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl power plant.
Every year Marian invites children from Ukraine over to Portsmouth for a month to get away from a life of poverty left in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
Next week, more children will come, with Marian now acting as a host, chairwoman of the local group and area co-ordinator.
They will arrive on May 27 and leave on June 26 after visiting lots of the attractions across the area.
For more information about the group and to help or volunteer for the cause, see phil-ccll.org.uk