Andrea Fox, who runs Belper’s Drop Inn youth centre was ‘abolutely overwhelmed’ after being awarded an MBE this week.
The 53-year-old, of Mill Lane, was told she would be presented with the honour for her services for working with young people in Belper.
During the last 14 years, the Drop Inn has helped more than 5,000 young people in total. Five hundred of those gained a recognised qualification.
Andrea said: “When the letter arrived I had to read it five times and check the address.
“It just doesn’t seem real. This kind of thing happens to stars and celebrities and important people, not me.
“I’m over the moon and so proud and I’m really looking forward to receiving it.
“The reaction since it was formally announced has been overwhelming I have been receiving so many cards and congratulations.”
The Drop Inn is an independent youth organisation and a place for young people which offers accredited courses and multimedia workshops through its training centre.
Andrea continued: “I think what we do here is go beyond what the average youth centre does.
“We have faced bankruptcy, break-ins and fire and when you face those challenges it does make you think ‘what am I doing’ for a moment.
“But it only makes you stronger in the end - and after a cup of coffee I am soon back and more determined we will succeed.”
Andrea was one of 474 across the UK to be recognised with an MBE.