A WOMAN who helped train volunteers to get food and medicine to thousands of people isolating during the pandemic has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Stacy Walsh, 52, who worked closely with Hyndburn Council during lockdown as well as supporting food banks in the area, has been awarded an MBE for public service.

Mrs Walsh said: “It’s an honour - it’s definitely unexpected and I am so surprised to have been recognised.

“A lot of it is for my work in the community and with the councils.

“I think it will sink in soon, now I am able to tell my friends and family.”

Stacy, who is from Altham, works for the Valuation Office Agency for the Government as local authority relationship manager ­— a job where she works with councils across the North West to ensure that support and measures are consistent between authorities.

She has also worked closely with Hyndburn Council to train volunteers who helped thousands of vulnerable and elderly people in the borough to receive food packages while they were isolating at the start of the pandemic.

She helped to supply foodbanks while supermarkets were only allowing customers to buy a few of the same items, trying to convince shops to allow them to buy in bulk to fill the shelves of the foodbanks.

This led her to set up the Hyndburn Food Pantry in Broadgate, Accrington, as an alternative option for families who could afford to contribute some money but would struggle to pay for a full shop.

The pantry allows those in need to go round the store with a basket and choose food and items for themselves instead of receiving a pre-packed parcel.

While regular foodbanks mainly accept non-perishables, the food pantry has a huge variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and promotes healthy eating wherever they can.

The pantry also acts as a welfare centre, offering advice, support and signposting people to organisations around Hyndburn, with plans for a tea and coffee area to allow people to come in for a brew and a chat if they just need some company.