New Year's Honours: 'One of a kind' Redbridge band leader made MBE
- Credit: JLGB
The leader of a Redbridge band who has inspired countless young musicians through her decades of volunteer work has been made an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.
Linda Diamond, of Gants Hill, who has served as a volunteer at Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade (JLGB) for the past 35 years, has been honoured for services to young people.
Linda joined JLGB as a young member more than 40 years ago and went on to become an adult volunteer in 1985.
Since then, Linda's passion and dedication as a volunteer, particularly as the leader of the JLGB Redbridge Band, which meets at Kantor King Solomon High School, Barkingside, has had an immeasurable impact on thousands of young people.
The volunteer spirit spread to her family, and after her three children played in the band they all went on to become adult volunteers for JLGB groups around the country.
As the band's group leader Linda inspired thousands of young musicians to build their confidence, develop their skills and pursue their passion.
She has also empowered volunteers to run musical development weekends, remembrance parades and national camps.
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Ilford North MP Wes Streeting was one of many people who wrote in support of Linda's nomination, including parents, volunteers and JLGB staff and community leaders.
Linda said she felt humbled and overwhelmed at the news and was happy to give young people the same opportunities that were afforded to her when she was younger.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing young people have fun, build friendships, develop their skills and confidence, and grow into the next generation of leaders.
"I work with some amazing, dedicated volunteers without whom I could not have continued for so long and who also deserve thanks.”
JLGB chief executive Neil Martin, who was one of the musicians who Linda inspired when he was a teenager, called her a cherished volunteer and staff member "who is loved and respected in equal measure".
He said: "There can be no more uplifting way to mark the end of this extremely challenging year than Linda being awarded an MBE.
"Linda really is one of a kind and her care and dedication has shaped the lives of countless young people, in Redbridge and beyond."