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Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard, of Harrow, to get OBE
The founder of a website supporting mums and families says her OBE is for everyone who has helped the organisation.
Siobhan Freegard, of Harrow, set up the Netmums website along with fellow mothers Sarah Russell and Cathy Court. The trio were named in the New Year’s honours list for their services to families.
The website, which was launched in 2000 after a meeting at a Harrow toddler group, now has more than 1.6million members and offers parenting advice.
Mrs Freegard, 46, said: “When I first got the letter I couldn’t quite take it in and I’m still finding it hard to believe.
“It has been a long process to get this far but importantly this is not just for me, it’s an OBE for the whole of the Netmums organisation.
“There is no way we could have got this far without the work of our members and the staff who helped us in the early days.
“I think the thing I am most proud of is that now no mum needs to feel isolated like I did when I first became a parent because there is support out there.
“When we first started the site it was meant to be a way for mums of Harrow to connect, but after a while people from all over the country stated getting in contact asking if they could start one in their area.
“With the help of volunteers we were able to start a nationwide network and it just snowballed from there.”
Since starting the organisation has also been able to get Government funding to pay for specialists to give professional support to mother’s suffering with post-natal depression.
Mrs Freegard now has three children and still has her home in Harrow from where she continues to manage Netmums.
The national website now has 151 local websites offering information to mums and dads about their community and gets more than five million hits a month.
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