AN OSWESTRY woman has been awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Rachel Clacher has been given the prestigious award in recognition of her services to business and disadvantaged young people.

Rachel is the co-founder of the business telephone service Moneypenny, as well as being the founder of Wrexham-based charity We Mind The Gap.

Today Moneypenny is the world’s leading provider of telephone answering, outsourced switchboard and live chat services, with offices in the US as well as the UK.

In 2014, she brought Moneypenny’s unique approach to people development to a new charity which she established called the Moneypenny Foundation.

The charity is now called We Mind The Gap, which gives new opportunities in life and work to unemployed under-served young people through providing totally holistic paid traineeships. The first traineeships proved so successful - 70 per cent of all participants move into full-time work or education - that the charity has now expanded and runs traineeships in Wrexham, Flintshire, Liverpool and Manchester.

The charity recently received a £1.2 million bid from the Big Lottery meaning that it will be delivering 16 traineeships across Wales and the North West by 2023.

Rachel said: “I am honoured to be receiving a CBE in the Queen’s Honour’s list. It is wonderful to receive acknowledgement for Moneypenny’s success and for We Mind The Gap.

“I strongly believe in doing the right thing, treating people well and providing ongoing support. This is not about ticking boxes, it’s about business and communities, and helping young people who are operating within a system that often doesn’t communicate.

“At Moneypenny we pride ourselves on our culture and empowering people to do their best and it is wonderful to see that this ethos translates into We Mind The Gap. The charity has grown and expanded into the North West and will continue to implement new traineeships each year so young people can transition from ‘prisoners of circumstance’ to ‘pilots of their own lives’.”