A CWMBRAN woman has spoken of the 'humbling' news of being told that she would be named as a Member Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire (MBE) as part of the New Year's Honours list.

Kerry Wade, 51 and leader of Gwent Missing Children's Hub will receive the title for services to the protection of vulnerable children.

Following extensive research into missing children within Gwent, Ms Wade recognised the need for an effective safeguarding operating model to be introduced, and set up the Missing Children's Hub.

The hub is a multi-agency team is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. It was designed to reduce the number of child missing person reports, improve the lives and outcomes of children who go missing and to reduce demand across the various agencies.

Knowing that missing children are at great risk of physical and sexual abuse, and that their lives can quickly spiral into dangers such as alcohol, drugs, crime and exploitation, Ms Wade focussed on identifying the most vulnerable, and the project has been successful in helping protect them.

She demonstrated sheer determination and through her passion of wishing to Break the Cycle for young vulnerable people, successfully persuaded different agencies to form a coalition of Gwent public sector services, including the five Gwent local authorities, Gwent Police, Aneurin Bevan Health Board, five Gwent educational authorities, third sector charity - Llamau, and Housing Association participation.

The service is being held nationally as an example of good practice from HMICFRS inspections, with the team regularly receiving visits from other UK wide agencies looking to set up similar models in their area.

The service has halved the number of children who repeatedly go missing within Gwent since its inception.

Ms Wade's consistent, personal drive and ongoing commitment to the project has been instrumental in securing a further £1m of Big Lottery funding for 2018 to develop the missing children services to actively scope for indicators of child sexual exploitation, trafficking and slavery.

She has also co-ordinated and delivered extensive training for private sector partners such as local taxi firms and hotels to raise awareness and educate their staff in signs of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) to encourage reporting and prevention of such incidents.

Upon hearing the news of her inclusion in the New Year's Honours list, Ms Wade said: "It was humbling for a start.

"I was so pleased but also very emotional."

She went on to say that keeping the news a secret from friends and family until the official announcement was 'a killer', but that celebrations were planned once everybody had been told.

"We're having friends and family round for New Year," she explained.

"We will be having a few bottles of Champagne too I expect."