Fresh Start – new beginnings’ Diana Porter awarded MBE

Fresh Start – new beginnings’ Diana Porter awarded MBE

Diana Porter,  Founder & CEO of Ipswich-based charity ‘Fresh Start – new beginnings‘, has been awarded an MBE for services supporting children who have suffered sexual abuse.

Diana Porter said of the award: “I am so very shocked.  I got home and Colin, my husband said you have got a letter from the cabinet office and he hovered while I opened it.  I am deeply honoured and delighted to have been put forward and to have been chosen.  This is for all the hard work that we, the team has put in over the years.

To receive the award just as I semi retire is the icing on the cake. The children and parents we have worked with over the years are the remarkable ones. The supporters who donate money and time and services which allow us as a team to work with the children – children who most of society do not want to admit exist.  These are the people who make up the family; the team of Fresh Start, and I accept the award on behalf of all of them.

Diana has worked with children and families for over 50 years in a variety of statutory and voluntary settings.  Having worked in the field of child sexual abuse she identified a need for there to be a charity which centered solely on the needs of these children and their families. When the national charity she was working for changed their way of working Diana chose redundancy and used the £6,000 she received to start up Fresh Start – new beginnings in September 2012.

Since then Diana has built up a team of workers who have been able to offer a service to over 960 children and their families.  Helping to rebuild futures – helping to take away the feelings of blame or shame – working with the children to take away any feelings of guilt. Teaching coping strategies and showing how it’s not their fault and how both the parent and child have been groomed.

Diana is often found in the office at 8am and leaves at 7pm, due to retire but will still be around to help and support the team at Fresh Start new beginnings.  Diana has 5 children and 9 grandchildren.  With a house full of 17 and 7 dogs on Christmas Day it has been very hard for Diana not to tell her family about the MBE.