Carol Shanahan, co-owner and Chair of Synectics Solutions and Port Vale FC, today received an OBE for services to the community in Stoke-on-Trent.
Mrs Shanahan travelled to Windsor Castle this morning to receive the honour from Prince Charles.
Carol was recognised, alongside others nationwide, for making a significant contribution to the UK’s Covid-19 response in a ceremony which had to be postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic.
Carol, 63, is the Founder and Trustee of the Hubb Foundation – a Potteries based charity which operates from schools and community centres, supporting children and their families with food and activities during school holidays.
Under her leadership and direction, the Hubb Foundation continues to expand to help more and more families and extend the range of support it offers to young people.
During the pandemic lockdown Carol oversaw the transformation of Port Vale FC into a thriving community hub which has been assisting thousands of families across Stoke-on-Trent for more than six months.
Carol galvanised volunteers, local businesses and staff from across Synectics, Port Vale FC, and Summit Hospitality, as well as the Port Vale Foundation and Hubb Foundation charities.
Together this team oversaw the delivery of more than 350,000 meals to homes across the Stoke-on-Trent.
Hubb Foundation staff worked closely with more than 50 schools across the Potteries to identify the most vulnerable families, and Carol constantly assessed the level of support required to meet their needs.
On hearing that families could not afford personal hygiene and cleaning products, Carol made sure they received supplies with their next food delivery.
Through her position as co-chair of the local Opportunity Area Partnership Board, Carol facilitated links with school improvement projects to provide academic resources for young people (aligned to the curriculum) so they could continue to engage with education. This resulted in more than 6,500 activity packs being delivered to youngsters across the city. wifi dongles were provided to families without internet access.
Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathan Gullus said: "Carol is one of the most exceptional community leaders and business women in the UK - a key driver of community work in Stoke-on-Trent. The Hubb Foundation, under Carol's direction, has gone above and beyond in terms of tackling poverty and disadvantage here in the Potteries. Carol is a true champion for the city. We are lucky to have her and I look forward to continuing to work with her."
Professor Liz Barnes CBE, Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire, said: “Carol is an absolute inspiration to me. Her energy and commitment to doing what is right for our communities is endless. It is a privilege for me to co-Chair the Opportunity Area Partnership Board with her. It is fantastic to see Carol’s achievements recognised with an OBE.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Council Leader Abi Brown paid tribute to Carol, saying: “I’m so pleased for Carol. She is a wonderful advocate and ambassador for Stoke-on-Trent who has done amazing things in her time here and will continue to be an amazing inspiration and colleague for everyone working to improve the lives of people in our city.”
Gareth Higgins MBE, Chair of the Hubb Foundation board, said: “I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Carol and her family as a Trustee and Chair of the Hubb Foundation. Her passion and commitment to Stoke-on-Trent and our local communities is infectious. I am particularly proud of the work that the Hubb Foundation is doing in supporting children, young people and their families in some of our most deprived areas in the city. Thanks to Carol’s vision and determination, the Hubb Foundation is making a real difference to people’s lives. The work Carol and her teams have done during the pandemic is phenomenal and to see Carol honoured in this way is fantastic.”
Carol (pictured) said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed by this honour which reflects the hard work and generosity of everyone involved with the Hubb Foundation and Port Vale Community Hub.
“As a society we face unprecedented challenges because of the pandemic and I’m extremely proud to see the charity I founded and the companies I run playing a key role in putting local communities, families and people first.”
For more information about the Hubb Foundation, visit: TheHubbFoundation.com.
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