A WOMAN who has volunteered at Bromsgrove’s Dodford Children’s Farm for more than half a century has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Since 1956, Jean Davidson, 90, has been involved with the charity, which offers breaks to children under ten from Birmingham who have never seen the countryside and have problems or unhappy backgrounds.
Jean, from Worcester, was first attracted to the farm by a friend who called her to see if she would like to become involved with the farm, which she described as ‘a very unusual and special place’.
She said: “When I met the people who were running it I thought it was so terrific.
“I mucked about with the children which I adored and I mucked about with animals which I also adored – it was great fun, I had a great time.
“I even took my own donkey down there and left him.
“It gives them the chance to muck around outside and experience the countryside – some children from Birmingham have seen nothing but concrete before.
“Sometimes they have a mother or father who goes with them and they get a bit of help too.
“It has been really lovely and it has been the joy of my life helping to run the charity and keep it going.”
Jean also spent 25 years as a magistrate and an advocate for Onside Worcester – an organisation which helps vulnerable and disadvantaged people in serious need of help and and a fresh start.
Although Jean is now retired she takes a continued interest in the farm’s wellbeing.
She said she was very surprised, delighted and grateful when she was told about the award.
“You do not really get much when you’re nearly 91 so it was very surprising but I am, of course, delighted.
“I am just an ordinary working woman who has had a busy life.
“But, I have always been interested in anybody who has had a raw deal and needs help.
“Now I just help people who I know need help and be a good listener.” she added.