A CAMPAIGNING retired journalist has been presented with the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Mrs Sybil Edwards of Trevine (and formerly of Haverfordwest) has received the award for ‘Services to People with Cystic Fibrosis’

She was presented with the BEM by the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, on Friday (7th February).

Mrs Edwards was one of a trio who, in 1978, founded the Pembrokeshire branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Since then she has worked tirelessly to raise over £140,000 for the charity – more than any other Welsh branch.

The national organisation was formed in 1964, a time when 80 per cent of those with CF died before their fifth birthday. It was centred in London with few branches outside the capital.

Mrs Edwards and her fellow founders recognised the long overdue need to reach out and help families in the area whose loved ones suffered with Cystic Fibrosis.

She was chairman of the county branch when it celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2018.

As young woman Mrs Edwards trained as a journalist on the Western Telegraph and returned to the newspaper in the 1970s as its Chief Reporter.

In reading the award’s Citation, the Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor Dr Simon Hancock, said: “She is the first port of call for families in difficulties and grief. She always has time to listen and help.”

After the presentation Mrs Edwards said: “I’m very proud to receive the BEM honour but most of all I’m proud of what we’ve achieved as a branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in Pembrokeshire on behalf of the CF families across the county over the past 40 years.

“I believe that if you have a talent you should use it. I used my particular talent, including my writing abilities as a journalist, to raise awareness, galvanise and encourage the fundraising effort and give the CF families the support they deserve.

“I like to feel that I stood beside our CF families as they faced the scary unknown that was CF in the earlier years and I now look forward to seeing Pembrokeshire continuing to play a significant part in the CF fundraising and awareness campaign in West Wales in the future."

The presentation was witnessed by her family and fellow CF branch members.