Jane Boulton of Chippenham has been rewarded in the New Year's Honours for her work to help local children.

Jane, 55, who is the manager of Chippenham’s Springboard Specialist Pre-school, has won the BEM for services to education during the pandemic. Her school and its associated charity provides support for children with special needs aged up to five.

The pre-school also offers group activities and events to support the wider family. An example of this is the ‘Saturdads’ group, which is a group for fathers and other male carers of children who have special educational needs or disabilities.

Alongside these groups, Springboard offers holiday clubs for children who would find it difficult to attend mainstream provision.

READ MORE: New Year's Honours: All our Wiltshire winners of OBE, MBE and BEM

The Cabinet Office said: “During the pandemic Jane has kept Springboard Special Pre-School open with very limited resources and a reduced team. She has enabled children of key workers and those with very complex special needs to continue coming to the centre, and to continually support all the families who use Springboard's service.

“She has kept in close touch with her colleagues to ensure their wellbeing during furlough and has ensured that training was provided to allow staff to maintain the required skills for when they could return to work.

“Jane and her team adapted the play area to ensure it is a very safe environment and taken trouble to train herself and her small team to use all the communication tools available to help these very vulnerable children who are shielding at home.

"Families in lockdown are provided with practical ideas and activities to keep the children engaged whilst they remain at home, such as the ‘pictures are powerful’ online event, which provided a hands-on introduction to how visual systems help young children learn routines and develop their communication skills.”