Honour for social worker who protects children online

Kelly Alleyne of Hemel Hempstead
Kelly Alleyne of Hemel Hempstead

A woman who helps protect children from being sexually abused or exploited online has been recognised by the Queen.

Kelly Alleyne of Hemel Hempstead has been made Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to child protection.

NSPCC social worker Kelly is currently on secondment to the National Crime Agency’s Child’s Exploitation and Online Protection Command, where she manages a team to protect children from harm on the web, and identify potential victims to minimise the risks of future online abuse.

Kelly, who has worked at the command since 2006, has two children of her own – sons aged eight and five – which brings her work closer to home and makes it all the more personal.

She said she was ‘overwhelmed’ to make an appearance on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

She added: “It was a complete surprise to learn I’d been awarded an MBE. I was very emotional and slightly embarrassed.

“For me, I enjoy my job and I feel very lucky to do something that I love for a living. But to do it and to be awarded this honour is overwhelming.”

The National Crime Agency’s head of children’s safeguarding Zoe Hilton said: “This is fantastic news and we are all extremely proud that Kelly has been recognised for her innovative and child-centred approach to protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation.

“Kelly has led the way in developing ways to ensure we identify, safeguard and protect children as effectively as possible.

“She has tirelessly advocated for the needs of child victims and has always ensured that our teams stay focused on the needs of the children in the case.”

Kelly, who will be formally presented with her MBE in the next six months, said: “I’m so touched that the team at the protection command took the time to put in the nomination.

“It’s a very proud moment for me and my family.”