Caring Chickenley mum Emma named Emleys award winner

FLYING HIGH Emma Brookhouse with MP Simon Reevell and Neil Moss, of Arqiva, at the top of Emley Moor Tower.
FLYING HIGH Emma Brookhouse with MP Simon Reevell and Neil Moss, of Arqiva, at the top of Emley Moor Tower.

Like many busy mums, Emma Brookhouse has learned to juggle the demands of family life, studying and work.

But what makes her so special to the women who visit Auntie Pam’s is that she still finds time every week to volunteer with the service, listen to their worries and offer valuable support.

Colleagues and clients alike have described her as caring, selfless, knowledgeable, dedicated and some with a ‘heart of gold’.

It’s why the judges of this year’s Arqiva Emley Community Award chose her as their winner from the raft of worthy nominees across the Dewsbury and Mirfield constituency.

Emma was invited to the top of Arqiva’s Emley Moor Tower, which is usually off limits to the public, to receive her award last Friday.

MP Simon Reevell, who set up the Emley awards with sponsors Arqiva last year, told her: “I think what impressed the judges was not just what you do, but the quotes from all the mums and what they were saying about you.

“What those people were saying was it’s you – their Auntie Pam’s experience was so important to them because of you.”

Auntie Pam’s provides help and support for women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or have just become mums.

Run by peer support volunteers, it can help women with issues around pregnancy, birth, housing, benefits, stopping smoking, relationships, breastfeeding and more.

Emma, who lives in Chickenley, began her training in October 2009 and has volunteered with the service since it opened in Northgate, Dewsbury, in March 2010.

“As a volunteer, you just do it,” she said. “It’s not one of those things where you think you’ll do it because you’ll get a lot of praise back.

“When someone comes in, they can be in real distress and in tears but they go out with a smile on their face.”

Joining Mr Reevell on the judging panel this year were representatives from the local media, including Reporter Series editor Hannah Thaxter.