Border Force officer Emma Callan praised as volunteer

Emma Callan Image copyright Emma Callan
Image caption Emma Callan has a job with the Border Force and offers counselling in her spare time

A woman who works for Border Force in Kent during the day and volunteers as a counsellor at night has been recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours.

Emma Callan spent five years training as a counsellor in her spare time.

She became involved in voluntary work after witnessing the experiences of people desperate to get into the UK.

"I developed real empathy for people trying to get into the country no matter what," she said. She has received the British Empire Medal.

She was working for the UK Border Agency, which has since become Border Force, when she went to teach in villages in India.

The 30-year-old said people were needed to help in deprived areas but she had seen deprivation in her home town of Dover.

Further insights came from her work at HMP Wandsworth, where Mrs Callan interviewed foreign national prisoners claiming asylum.

Image caption Mrs Callan said she had seen deprivation in Dover

In Kent, Mrs Callan helped to set up a counselling service in Herne Bay, before joining Waymark Counselling, a Canterbury-based charity.

"Counselling is probably the only time when people will be listened to 100%," she said.

Others to be recognised in Kent's New Year's Honours list include Thomas Philip Winsor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, who has been made a Knights Bachelor for public service.

Network Rail's route managing director for the South East, David John Ward has become an OBE for services to the rail industry.

Raymond John Foster, asset performance team leader at the Environment Agency, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the environment and flood risk management in Maidstone.

And Antarctic explorer Felicity Ann Dawn Aston, from Tonbridge, has become an MBE for services to polar exploration.

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