The three founders of the parental support website, Netmums, have received OBEs in the New Year Honours List. Sarah Russell, Siobhan Freegard and Cathy Court (pictured above) set up the site when their eldest sons were in the same toddler group in Harrow.
“It really doesn’t feel like an individual award. It’s as if Netmums has got an OBE,” said Ms Freegard.”It’s a real surprise – nothing you ever expect to happen to you.”
With young parents now increasingly living away from their families, Netmums aims to fill that gap by offering them peer-to-peer parental support.
Despite starting with almost no computing expertise, Sarah Russell, Siobhan Freegard and Cathy Court have worked tirelessly to make Netmums the resounding success it is today. They have shown that through sheer determination and resourcefulness, anyone can grow a local organisation into a national success.
Netmums leads campaigns on a wide range of issues and now they have experts, as well as links to local health services and organisations such as Relate and Women’s Aid.
Netmums now has over 1.6 million members and 60 dedicated members of staff. While they may be surprised to learn of their awards, given the scale of their achievements, there are many for whom their OBEs come as no surprise at all. They have created a service that has touched the lives of many, and will continue to do so for many years to come.