The founder of a Barnet-based child bereavement charity was made an MBE at Buckingham Palace.

Shelley Gilbert, founder and chief executive of Grief Encounter, received the honour from HRH Princess Anne as a public acknowledgement of her work over the past 20 years helping bereaved children.

Shelley lost her own mother when she was just four years old, and her father only a few years later when she was nine.

She said: “I am absolutely bowled over by the thought that the little orphaned girl from Edgware just met and received an MBE from the Queen.”

Over the last ten years, Grief Encounter has established a family programme which includes one-to-one counselling, workshops, a bespoke grief relief kit, a camp and family days.

Grief Encounter also offers a wide range of specialist resources and award-winning publications.

Grief Encounter ambassador and television presenter Jeff Brazier said: “Grief Encounter has really made a difference to me and my boys.

“Right from the beginning they were there, together with my family and friends, to help us pick up the pieces following the traumatic death of my boys mum, Jade.

“Grief for children throws up many difficult and unforeseen complexities along a road that is very rocky. I can rely and trust the team at Grief Encounter.”