Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale receives her MBE at Buckingham Palace
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Everton in the Community Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of Everton Football Club, Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for "services to the Merseyside community".

Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale was in attendance at an Investiture at Buckingham Palace on Thursday morning and was officially presented with a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Her Majesty the Queen.

The announcement of the Queen's Birthday honours in June saw Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire for "services to the Merseyside community".

The honours system pays tribute to those people who have made achievements in public life and/or committed themselves to serving and helping their country and recognises the service of extraordinary people right across the United Kingdom.

Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer for Everton in the Community (EITC) in January 2010, bringing with her a wealth of experience from across all phases in the education sector.

Since her appointment, the official charity of Everton Football Club has received a plethora of local, national and international award wins in recognition of the life-changing work it undertakes on a daily basis and, in 2013, was awarded a Big Society Award by Prime Minister David Cameron. The high-profile award recognises the charity's numerous achievements, from providing a huge range of sporting opportunities to the people of Liverpool and wider Merseyside, to its successful health, education, disability and employment projects.

During Denise's tenure EITC has been successful in gaining new and significant funding to help the most hard-to-reach groups of people in the city region realise their potential and take full advantage of the life-changing opportunities the charity has to offer.

In the past two years alone, the charity has secured almost £1million from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver a programme to help young offenders integrate back into society and also gained approval from the Department for Education to open Everton Free School - the first charity affiliated to a Premier League club to open a Free School.

More recently, Everton in the Community secured £4.5million worth of government and business investment to deliver a flagship traineeship programme which offers young people from across the region access to qualifications and employment.

Denise was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Everton Football Club in October 2011 and promoted to Deputy Chief Executive in June 2013. Her Club position sees her working to improve the matchday experience for supporters and raising standards and performance across the Club.

After the Investiture, Denise said: "It has been a wonderful honour to be presented with this MBE by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace today. To receive such prestigious recognition is a massive honour and I am truly humbled.

"I owe this to the inspirational community leaders and delivery staff that I have had the privilege to work with in the last 15 years in our city. This MBE is not just for me personally, but also to all the staff at Everton in the Community, our fantastic partners and our amazing participants. They are the people who truly inspire me and my team on a daily basis and help us support some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

 "To be given the opportunity to build something sustainable that is making a difference to the lives of so many across Merseyside is incredible and I would like to thank Everton Football Club for providing me with the support and courage to innovate each and every day in my role. I am particularly grateful to the Board of Directors, Robert Elstone and the Board of Trustees for affording me the opportunity to lead Everton in the Community, a phenomenal charity with extraordinary staff, which has served as a fantastic canvas for our pioneering and progressive vision for social change.

"Her Majesty said to me that this is a side of football that people are unaware of; for the work of Everton in the Community to be recognised at such a prestigious level is overwhelming and only serves to further cement our desire to keep continually developing the charity and to keep on tackling the social issues which are so prevalent in Merseyside."  

Chairman of Everton Football Club, Bill Kenwright, said after the Investiture: "From the moment Denise stepped into Goodison Park she has brought an energy, a vibrancy, and a work ethic that few have ever bettered. Our extraordinary success as the country's leading "Football Club in the Community" is hugely down to her skill and her relentless enthusiasm - attributes she has continued to display magnificently as she has climbed the Everton ladder to her current position as Deputy CEO.
"I can think of few people who are more worthy of the acclaim that Denise is currently, and quite correctly, receiving.  As I often say to fans, and shareholders meetings, she is our "Little Miss Dynamite" - and we adore her."

Born and raised in Liverpool, Denise resides in South Liverpool with her husband and two children. Since graduating from university in Manchester, she has held various positions in education, including those at University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester Business School, the University of Chester and a role as Chief Executive of The Fiveways Trust, the first collaborative educational trust in Liverpool.

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Comments about Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale receives her MBE at Buckingham Palace
Paul Newton, Bootle, 8:10 PM 16/10/2014
For a second there I thought Mickey Blue Eyes had changed sex! :o)
Paul, Warrington, 8:40 PM 14/10/2014
Well done Denise, well earned, a credit to everyone at the club. We can all be proud of Everton in the Community.
Spectator, Crosby, 5:48 PM 14/10/2014
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