A woman in Truro has been recognised with an MBE after nearly 40 years of work to improve Cornwall's communities.

Barbara Rounsevell, 61, from Truro, was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List 2022 for her services to the community in Cornwall.

Barbara, known affectionately as Babs, formed a Community Interest Company, CHAOS (Community Helping All Of Society) in the wider Cornwall area in 2014 and the group has helped to feed the community ever since.

Then, in 2015, Babs was pivotal in establishing the first "Community Fridge" in Cornwall whereby unused food is given to people in need.

The community fridge is currently located in Truro and is free to use.

Falmouth Packet: Babs at the G7 Leaders SummitBabs at the G7 Leaders Summit

At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, rather than simply closing the Community Fridge, Babs developed ‘Food2Share’ working with local supermarkets, food manufacturers, catering suppliers and shops to divert food from going to waste.

Food2Share has a community-based distribution mechanism in which delivery people are given a box of fresh food for themselves as an incentive and then required to deliver on their route home.

This support is provided to those who were self-isolating, shielding, in rural areas, or without transport.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, some 750 families a week throughout Mid and West Cornwall were provided with free food boxes.

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Speaking to The Packet, Barbara said: "I'm delighted, I've not come down from cloud nine!

"What an amazing way to arrive in 2022, after a beast of a year in 2021 it was just beautiful.

"I didn't find out until early December, and at first I thought it was a scam, but when I found out it wasn't, I didn't dare believe actually.

"I just thought 'people like me don't get that,' something will go wrong, it always does.

"Then in between Christmas and new year I had TV and radio contact me and I knew it was real.

"I'm honoured, there are hundreds of people like me in Cornwall so I take it for all of them that have yet to be recognised.

"Our volunteers are our lifeblood, we could not operate without them and the hours they give up.

Falmouth Packet: Barbara has been awarded an MBE for her services to the community in Cornwall. Barbara has been awarded an MBE for her services to the community in Cornwall.

"There's Derrick who drives for us three days a week and is always lifting food boxes, there's Adrian who works for Coastline Housing and every minute he's not working he's going to supermarkets or I'm sending him here there and everywhere to collect rescued food.

"Then there's the volunteers at the farm and Beth who volunteers at CHAOS and gets out there.

"Cornwall has such wealth here, we're going up with the spaceport, down with geothermal, there's so much exciting stuff happening here.

"Let's just make sure we share that wealth out, that's probably my biggest message.

"Amazing things are happening in Cornwall, let's just make sure everybody benefits."