Charity Founder Says She Owes her BEM to the Dedicated Team She Works With

by | Jul 10, 2023 | News

Lynva Russell, River Holme Connections founder and Chair of Trustees, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the environment in the King’s first Birthday Honours.

Lynva, 66, of Holmfirth, said she owes her award to the hard work of colleagues and volunteers.

Lynva said: “I feel delighted and honoured. River Holme Connections would not be the charity we see today if it had not been for the dedication of the team I work with.

“We chose our charity’s name carefully. River Holme Connections focuses on our rivers and streams but it’s the connections that are so important.”

Lynva began charity work 25 years ago following a successful 20 year career in the chemical industry.

Charities she has helped include the former recycling charity Urban Mines, The Loose Change Charity set up to support small community groups and activities, as well as River Holme Connections which works to maintain and enhance the river that runs through the Holme catchment. She was also Chief Executive of the London based not-for-profit, cross party organisation Policy Connect.

Lynva is a firm believer in helping the environment for the benefit of both people and wildlife.

The award follows a successful fundraising bid by River Holme Connections for a new project to create nature rich corridors along nearly 22 km of the River Holme and its tributaries.

The charity has partnered with South Pennine Park, The University of Huddersfield and The Palladium Group. The two-year Nature’s Holme project is Government funded through the Landscape Recovery Scheme, and is backed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Lynva said: “This is an important milestone in our charity for recognising the ongoing work to deliver a wide range of environmental benefits, including improved soils, flood alleviation and water retention, as well as increasing biodiversity, carbon storage and improved water quality.

“Our vision is that by 2038 the River Holme catchment will be resilient to climate change, a place where nature and wildlife is connected and thriving, and where our local communities, landowners, local businesses and visitors can continue to enjoy and care for the land, its rivers and native wildlife.”