Royal honour for local HMS Hibernia naval reservist Linda
Linda Robinson, the Chief Executive of Age NI, the largest older peoples’ charity in Northern Ireland, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The award was not only for her dedicated service to older people, which includes several services in the Lisburn area, but also for her role as a Naval Reservist, based at HMS Hibernia at Thiepval Barracks.
Linda has a BSc in Psychology, Social Policy, Clinical Psychology and Social Work from Ulster University and a MA in HR Management from Queen’s University.
With over 30 years’ experience delivering best practice services for older people, Linda has exceptional knowledge and understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our ageing population.
Linda was overwhelmed when she found out that she had been nominated for the honour and at first she didn’t believe it was true.
“It was a complete surprise,” admitted Linda.
“I had to sit for a few minutes to take it all in and read the email again and again.
“I don’t know who nominated me but thank you for taking the time to think of me and to go through the lengthy process.
“It has been a lovely thing and it has given my friends and family a real lift.
“They are enjoying it just as much as I am.
“It was a lovely surprise and I am delighted that people would think I was worthy of such a recognition, which also recognises the work of Age NI and the Royal Navy.”
As well as her work at Age NI, Linda was also recognised for her service to the Royal Naval Reserve.
“We have one night a week at Thiepval Barracks and a couple of weeks away,” explained Linda, who is based at HMS Hibernia in Lisburn.
“My interest was very much about enjoying maritime history and wanting to do things at sea.
“I read up about the Naval Reserve and I enjoyed the opportunities it gave me to build my own skills. It also gave me the opportunity to travel.
“I have worked with Navies across the world, including Singapore, Australia, and America.
“It has given me so many opportunities to travel and work with international navies, promoting the Royal Navy.”
Linda said she is coming to the end of her career with the Royal Navy Reservists but would encourage young people to find out more about the Royal Naval Reserve. “When they see recruitment drives I would encourage them to come along to HMS Hibernia on open nights and see what opportunities there are to develop their own leadership skills,” Linda continued.
“A number of people who come through the reserve go into the Royal Navy full time.
“There are lots of opportunities to look at a full time career but for me it was about being able to balance work I enjoy working with older people and the opportunity to do something completely different.
“It really helped to develop my leadership skills and self confidence. It was a win win for me.”