SAMARITANS volunteer Doreen Yate received her MBE from The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.

Doreen, 79, from Barrowford, has been recognised for 31 years of voluntary service to Samaritans in Pendle, Burnley and Rossendale.

Doreen has twice been Director of the Pendle, Burnley, Craven and Rossendale branch and was also the Director of Rochdale Samaritans.

Great-grandmother Doreen has also served as Chair of Samaritans’ Correspondence branch, and was instrumental in setting up a freepost scheme allowing prisoners to correspond with Samaritans by letter.

She said: “Volunteering with Samaritans has become a huge part of my life over the years.

“I enjoy helping people in their time of need and have met some life-long friends in my fellow volunteers.

“Being awarded an MBE has left me speechless and my family are very proud of me.”

Stephen Hoddell, chair of Samaritans, said: “Doreen is a true inspiration and her MBE is further recognition of the hard work, passion and dedication she has shown to Samaritans and her community for more than three decades.”