Esther Rantzen, Founder and President of ChildLine has been made a Dame in the New Year’s Honours list for 2015.
Esther, who was awarded an OBE in 1991 and made a CBE in 2006, said:
"I am absolutely delighted that ChildLine, the NSPCC and The Silver Line have been recognized in this way for the fantastic work they do, transforming the lives of vulnerable and isolated children and older people.
"I want to thank all my colleagues, the staff and the volunteers, who have created these crucial services, and have turned my dream into a reality. I am so grateful to our callers for their trust, and our supporters without whom none of our work would be possible. And of course I am personally deeply honoured and unbelievably thrilled!"
Mark Wood, Chairman of the NSPCC, said:
"I have worked closely with Esther for the last decade. Her diligence in supporting our most vulnerable children is inspiring to us all. This recognition is richly deserved.
"Over 25 years ago Esther had the vision, insight and drive to set up ChildLine, a universal 24 hour confidential helpline for children across the UK with nowhere else to turn.
"She has worked tirelessly to ensure that it remains an essential service which has counselled over 3 million children, inspiring its volunteers constantly to provide life changing and life -saving advice to young people.
"She helped secure ChildLine's long term future through a merger with the NSPCC, since when, as an NSPCC Trustee she has contributed hugely to a broader range of child protection activities, while acting as a visible national champion for children.
"She devotes huge amounts of her time raising millions of pounds for ChildLine and the NSPCC and thoroughly deserves this honour."
Honours for NSPCC workers:
Others honoured for services to children in the 2015 list include the NSPCC's:
- Mary Margaret Mitchell, Fundraising Volunteer and Divisional Vice-President, NSPCC Northern Ireland.
- Janet Thethi, Divisional Vice President, North East NSPCC.
- Valerie Anne Morris, President, Birmingham Branch and Divisional Vice President, NSPCC.
Actress Joan Collins - who has generously supported the work of the NSPCC - is also made a Dame.