Marilyn Waterman BEM

Marilyn Waterman was presented with her BEM by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dame Ingrid Roscoe, at a lunchtime celebration function held at Bowcliffe Hall, Wetherby.

The British Empire Medal was re-introduced as part of the Honours Awards in 2012 and Marilyn was one of seven recipients in West Yorkshire.

In 2006, Marilyn Waterman identified the need to build a community spirit within the Earlswood Community Centre and the adjoining sheltered housing scheme for the elderly.

Such was her concern that she co-foundered the Earlswood Community Group, where she set about improving the existing facilities and creating opportunities for the residents to socialise.

In the eight years from the inception of the group, Marilyn has worked tirelessly and selflessly to ensure its success.

From the outset, she developed a programme of activities which continues to evolve, but which take into account the needs of residents and ensuring as many people as possible have the opportunity to be involved.

Marilyn has made a huge difference to the community, even making the effort to visit people personally to let them know about upcoming events. She has also been known to deliver hot lunches to residents who were unable to attend.

The activities at Earlswood have become so popular that a large number of older people in the wider local area also come along. The regular activities attract around 40 to 50 people, some of whom would rarely see anyone else if the group did not exist.

Through Marilyn’s work, the Earlswood residents have now been integrated into the wider community of Wyke as opposed to remaining isolated in sheltered housing.