Having been included in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List, Marie Roulston from Ballymena has received her OBE for services to healthcare and young people at an investiture ceremony held at Buckingham Palace.
Marie, who is Director of Social Care and Children, Health and Social Care Board, received her award from Prince William in front of two of her children and her mother.
Marie said: “It was a truly wonderful day for my family. Seeing inside Buckingham Palace and being introduced to Prince William was a great experience and he even referred to his visit to Ballymena and Little Steps Sure Start a few weeks previous. It was also tremendous to be in the company of so many other passionate and committed people at the ceremony”.
Born and raised in Ballymena, Marie has over 30 years’ experience in working with children and families. She has worked across the range of children’s services and moved into a managerial role as Area Manager in 2002 in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.
Marie was then appointed as Assistant Director in the Women and Children’s Directorate in May 2007. In this post she had responsibility for Looked after Children Trust wide, encompassing children in residential care, children in foster care, the Northern Trust Adoption service, recruitment of foster carers and 16+ services.
In 2012, Marie took up post as Director of Children’s Services/Executive Director Social Work within the Northern Trust and had responsibility for Women, Children & Families from 2015.
Marie has been Director of Social Care and Children at the Health and Social Care Board since August 2018.
She said: “Receiving an OBE was incredibly humbling. I am very proud to be a social worker and accepted the honour on behalf of social workers throughout Northern Ireland who, through tireless dedication and commitment, protect vulnerable children and support families in need of support”.