Peterborough woman who set up charity to help sexual abuse survivors gets MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List
A Peterborough woman who helped set up a charity to help survivors of rape and sexual abuse more than three decades ago has been honoured by the Queen.
Sonia Hitch, who was one of the founders of the Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group 36 years ago, was given an MBE for services to survivors of sexual violence in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List.
Another Peterborough woman, Priscilla Mary Padley, founder of Nene Valley Trust, has also been given an MBE For services to Children and Families in Northamptonshire and Peterborough.
They join actress Olivia Colman, singer Elvis Costello and comedian Griff Rhys Jones on the honours list.
Today Mrs Hitch dedicated her award to all those who had worked for the charity over the past 36 years.
She said: “It was very nice to hear about it. It is for everyone who has volunteered and helped the charity over those 36 years. There has been a lot of hard work.”
Mrs Hitch still works taking calls and as a case worker for the charity, and said the progress that had been made in recent years to offer help to survivors of sexual violence had been remarkable.
She said: “When we started, it was almost as if it didn’t exist, like rape was a figment of people’s imagination, but it has come on so well. It is wonderful to see the work going on.
“We always need more money and more women to come in and join the group.
“Of course it would be amazing if there were no need for charities like us - but while there is, we will be there.”
Mum of one Sonia has only told her husband of the honour - she said: “The letter came in May - I could not believe it.
“I know everyone at the charity will be pleased, and I can think of some survivors who I think would be pleased.”
Olivia Colman, who won an Oscar for her role in The Favourite this year, has been made a CBE for Services to Drama. Elvis Costello has been made an OBE for Services to Music. Griff Rhys Jones has also been made an OBE, For services to the National Civic Society Movement to charity and to Entertainment.