A LONGSTANDING Ashton Hayes resident has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Helen Rimmer, who is known to the community as the village’s sub postmistress for almost 28 years, was recognised as a Member of the British Empire for her services to the community.

Modest Helen, 60, who works full time in the Ashton Hayes community shop, said the accolade came as a ‘complete surprise’.

“I’m still amazed that I’ve actually won the award,” she said.

“It came as a complete surprise when I received the letter.”

Helen has become a well known face in the community over the years, for her dedicated hard work and friendly nature to customers.

But she has also faced tough challenges in her line of work – in 2008 Helen endured a terrifying ordeal when the post office was subject to a knife-point robbery.

Fortunately, brave Helen was unharmed in the incident, which she says is now in the past.

“I’ve moved on from that now and I don’t want to remember the bad things,” she said.

“I really enjoy my job which must be obvious because I’ve stayed here for over 27 years.

“This award is a great honour but it is as much for my colleagues as it is for me - we are very much part of a team.

“The whole community has been absolutely lovely and so supportive, which is all part of living in Ashton Hayes. It’s the best place in the UK to live.”

And her colleagues are full of praise for Helen, thrilled that she has been recognised with such an honour.

Deb Deynem, who manages the shop and works with Helen every day, said:

“We think it’s fantastic and such a huge achievement, for Helen and for Ashton Hayes.

“Helen has worked really hard through some tough times. We are so pleased for her.”