Netmums co-founder and Watford mum, Sally Russell, 'overwhelmed' to receive OBE

Watford Observer: Sally Russell with David Cameron when he visited netmums HQ in Watford last year Sally Russell with David Cameron when he visited netmums HQ in Watford last year

The co-founder of the internet forum Netmums was “overwhelmed” to learn she was receiving an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Sally Russell, from Mildred Avenue in Watford, was named in the honours list on Tuesday for her service to families.

Netmums was founded in 2000, and has grown to become Britain’s biggest parenting site, with 1.6million members and more than a million mums and dads logging on each week.

Its founders Siobhan Freegard, Sally Russell and Cathy Court were all given OBEs this year.

Ms Russell, 47, said: "I am quite overwhelmed actually, as it was so unexpected.

"I am delighted that the honour isn't for me personally, but is for all those who've helped to build Netmums and contributed to making life better for other parents.

"I've always been aware of the value of receiving an honour as my father and grandfather were both awarded OBEs, but I never thought it would come to us."

The website was set up by Ms Russell and her friend Siobhan Freegard who both suffered from post-natal depression and wanted to meet up with others in the same situation.

They were joined by child food expert Cathy Court who helped grow Netmums into the UK’s largest parenting site.

Ms Russell added: "Parenting doesn’t come with a manual but Netmums is the closest thing to having a community of supportive friends carrying you through the daily ups and downs.

"It has created a 'movement', giving mums a voice locally and nationally, at a time in their lives when women often feel disempowered.

"Because of our work post natal depression is no longer a shameful secret but something parents talk about openly, lessening the stigma and ensuring more families get help fast."

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