A FORMER nurse who played a key role in developing Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham has been made an MBE in the New Year Honours list.

Linda Johnson, 66, of Rhos Road, Penyffordd, was the first matron of the unit, retiring four years ago.

A native of Beverley, Yorkshire, she trained as a nurse in Edinburgh, later becoming a midwife.

She and her husband Keith moved to Hawarden when the wholesale fish company he worked for transferred him to Chester.

Mrs Johnson then worked at the former City Hospital, before moving to the Catherine Gladstone Maternity Hospital, Mancot.

She then moved to the Maelor Hospital, Wrexham, and set up a palliative care day unit, a project which evolved into the hospice. Mrs Johnson became the first matron and is now president.

She said she could hardly believe her eyes when a letter arrived six weeks ago telling her of the award.

Her husband, a retired driving instructor, and sons, Neil, Philip and Paul, were there to share the special moment.

Mrs Johnson, who is also a volunteer steward at Erddig Hall, Wrexham, said: “This is a tribute to all those who have worked so very hard alongside me to make the hospice the success it is today.

“I must also thank my family and friends for their support over the years.”

Hospice trustee Edward Williams, of Cilcain, said: “Linda undoubtedly deserves this award for the tremendous amount of work she has put into the hospice over the years. I congratulate her on her success.”