How many of us know someone who has been publicly honored by royalty? Before today, I’d say very few. However, news is starting to spread about the Queen of England’s New Year Honours List for 2013, and about how a woman many of us have come to know and admire is being recognized and rewarded in such a grand way.
Congratulations to Leslie Simpson, founder of Roundabout Charity Distribution Store, for being awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)!
Lives have been changed for the better because of the work Leslie has set out to do since 2008, giving us all a magnificent example of the possibilities for each of us to make the world a better place. Her dedication is second to none, and her humility is genuine. She’s the first to give accolades to the many people she has worked with along the way, yet none of it would have happened had she not personally spearheaded the project and stuck with it. You never see her without a smile on her face, and she makes time for everyone. I think many people wish they had a little bit of “Leslie” in them.
The New Year Honours is part of the British honours system. January 1 is marked by naming recipients of official honors, including achievement or service to the UK. They have been awarded since at least 1890 by Queen Victoria.
The British Ambassador to China, His Excellency Sebastian Wood, contacted Leslie (hailing from Aberdeen, Scotland), in November to tell her about the nomination. She graciously accepted, hoping that this recognition will result in further exposure and assistance for the work that Roundabout does. Later this year, she will be invited to Buckingham Palace to receive her award from either Queen Elizabeth herself or Prince Charles. It is one of the highest possible honors in England with less than 0.01% of the population in the UK ever receiving such an award. The listing of her recognition reads:
Mrs. Leslie Simpson. Founder, Roundabout Charity Distribution Store, Beijing, China. For services to charity and philanthropy in China.
Congratulations, Leslie! We are all very proud of you!