Domestic violence worker "overwhelmed" at MBE

Surrey Comet: Help for victims: Jo Keogh Help for victims: Jo Keogh

A Kingston woman who was made an MBE for helping victims of domestic violence said victims’ courage inspired her.

Jo Keogh, 47, from Thames Ditton, has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Honours Birthday list for her dedication to victims of domestic violence.

The crisis intervention and risk manager at Kingston police was the founder of the successful one-stop shop, which was set up in 2003, but has been working against domestic violence for 26 years.

She said: “I am very overwhelmed at the moment but I am proud. I really enjoy my work. It is about supporting people through difficult times.

“The Wednesday’s Women groups over the years have been amazing.

"I am in complete awe of every single woman that has attended.

"Their strength, courage, resilience and humour in the face of such dire circumstances is what has given me the inspiration to keep working on their behalf.”

She also praised the support of her colleagues and said without them she would not have been able to carry on.

She said she was looking forward to the official ceremony and would be taking her mother and daughter along.

Christos Kalamatianos, Kingston’s acting borough commander, said: “I would like to congratulate Jo on her appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“Jo has received the award in recognition of her work in supporting victims of domestic violence both within Kingston as well as across the Metropolitan Police Service.

“Her dedication and commitment to those affected by domestic abuse is second to none and this is a well deserved award for outstanding work.”

After working for Women’s Aid helpline while at university, Mrs Keogh later managed its London helpline before it merged with the Refuge service to become the National Domestic Violence Helpline.

She was the co-ordinator of North Kensington Women’s Aid, then Kingston Women’s Aid, during which time she set up outreach services that still exist as the Hestia Kingston Floating Support Service.

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