A WASHINGTON businesswoman has been honoured by the Queen for her work in the community.
Elizabeth Screen, who has helped run the family firm for more than 20 years, was presented with the British Empire Medal at a special ceremony in the North East, before travelling down to London for a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
The 67-year-old, who is company secretary of Runitem, on the Parsons Industrial Estate, said: “I was amazed when I first heard the news.
“We had to keep it a secret at first until the awards were formally announced in the New Year, but I’ve had so many people get in touch to congratulate me. They have been so nice.
“It makes you realise just how many people want to say thank you.”
Last month, Elizabeth, who set up the Dyno-Rod drains franchise with husband Jim in 1989, attended a ceremony in Newcastle, to receive the award from the Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear.
“All my family managed to come along,” she said. “It was a wonderful day, one I will never forget.”
Just over 10 years ago, Elizabeth created a drop-in community cafe, Martha and Mary’s, in Heaton, Newcastle. Working with churches in the area, she managed to acquire and convert an old shop, arranging grants and funding from a range of sources, including her own Dyno-Rod drains franchise.