Rev Pat gets MBE for Indian charity work
2006: Norfolk minister Rev Canon Pat Atkinson
has been made an MBE
in the New Year’s honours list
for nearly two decades of work helping street children in India
and more recently victims of the tsunami in Sri Lanka
Pat, who is also chaplain at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has spent over 16 years trying to help impoverished children in the slums of southern India through the Vidiyal Trust (formerly part of the Cooper Atkinson Trust).
Made an MBE for services to street children in South India, Pat, from Brundall, is keen to deflect attention away from herself and on to those who have supported the Christian charity whose fundraising efforts she has spearheaded.
“I don't like publicity, we don't work that way,” she said. “This MBE isn't about me at all, it's about all the people in Norfolk who have supported us for the last 16 years. They have stood by us when things have been really difficult. I'm just an ordinary person, but I fell in love with some kids - that's what did it, love.”
It was during a trip to India 16 years ago that Pat vowed to do something to help after staring into the eyes of a child beggar.
That led to annual visits and the building of a Montessori nursery school, a drop-in centre for street children, a home for destitute women and girls, a work centre for 60 boys and a medical centre.
The Vidiyal Trust recently announced plans to build two children’s homes, a school and day care facilities for local destitute elderly people, on land in Kerala, in India.
The £80,000 project is the result of many months of planning and work in the area on the south western coast of the sub-continent and is supported by many Norfolk churches.
If you want more information or would like to support the project, you can contact Pat and the Vidiyal Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org
or on 01603 635777.
Pictured is Rev Pat Atkinson with two Indian women.