A woman who helps homeless people in South Tyneside has been honoured by the Queen.
Amelia Luffrum, founder of charity Hospitality and Hope, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year’s Honours List.
I’m accepting this award on behalf of the team of people who work at Hospitality and Hope.Amelia Luffrum
The award recognises her services to homeless and deprived people in South Tyneside.
Ms Luffrum, of Coleridge Avenue, South Shields, said: “It was a massive shock, I had to read the letter about three times before it sunk in. “I’ve got an idea about who nominated me for it but obviously I haven’t been able to ask them about it yet.”
Hospitality and Hope was founded in 2001 to help homeless people in the borough and opened its first drop-in centre a year later.
The Christian organisation now works with local churches, businesses, schools and South Tyneside Council to run four drop-in centres and provide hot meals, clothes, sleeping bags and other essentials to those in need.
In 2009 she established a food bank and, in 2011, started the South Tyneside Food Bank.
The mum-of-two, 53, said: “I’m accepting this award on behalf of the team of people who work at Hospitality and Hope.
“It’s been hard keeping it a secret from everyone and I can’t wait to share the news with them because this is for all of us.
“The work the charity does is all done by faith. We’re a Christian organisation and everything is done with faith. That’s a massive part of what we do and why we do it.”