Dorothy is honoured in New Year’s Honours list

Dorothy Mitchinson has been awarded a BEM in the New Year's Honours list for her work in the community.'Picture by Jane Coltman

Dorothy Mitchinson has been awarded a BEM in the New Year's Honours list for her work in the community.'Picture by Jane Coltman

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A woman who helped save a vital community facility has been honoured in the New Year’s Honours list.

Dorothy Mitchinson, of Cullercoats, was one of the campaigners who helped save the Linskill Centre in North Shields from closure under plans drawn up by North Tyneside Council in 2004.

The 82-year-old spearheaded a campaign among local residents to save the centre, creating a petition and lobbying all those involved in making the decision to close the centre, offering her own house as collateral to keep the centre open.

And as a result, she has been awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to the community through the Linskill Community Centre.

After helping save the centre, Mrs Mitchinson became one of the founding members of the new independent trust while she also runs her own craft classes.

Speaking about the recognition, Dorothy said: “I’m really proud to think that my work is valued by people who use the centre. It is something that I really enjoy and to be recognised for helping others is a special occasion for me.

“It’s just an every day thing that you help places like this to run. I am already looking forward to visiting to Buckingham Palace to receive the award and meeting the Queen.”

Mrs Mitchinson has helped the centre to thrive, with more than 4,000 people using the facility every month since 2014. Through her hard work with Patricia Brown, she has managed to keep it open and helped it to grow.