A WEE COUNTY woman who spent years supporting vulnerable women was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) last week.

Alloa's Marion Levett, 57, received the prestigious accolade from Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Stewart on Wednesday, September 18, at Arndean.

Members of Marion's family were in attendance to watch as she was recognised for her incredible contribution to Clackmannanshire.

Speaking after the event, she told the Advertiser: "Wednesday was absolutely brilliant – it was very informal and relaxing

"[The award] is a massive thing.

"My family was there to witness it too, and I got quite emotional and had to hold myself back when I was getting the medal on.

"It was quite overwhelming."

Marion received the BEM for her work with women throughout Clacks.

In 2010, she set up a charity called Women4Women which supported people in vulnerable situations.

Speaking about the organisation, she said: "I worked for an addiction charity, and the funding for that stopped, but I'd already built up a clientele with a number of service users suffering from addiction with heroin, alcohol, you name it.

"When that service was coming to a close I thought: 'What a shame,' because it could go on to more."

However, instead of letting the group come to an end, Marion formed Women4Women to take its place.

She said: "It was myself to begin with and I would meet [the women] in a public place or have them in my own home.

"Some of the women who were chronically addicted to alcohol would go through detox in my house."

The group offered a range of different methods of support, and also assisted women dealing with issues such as domestic abuse as well.

Earlier this year Marion took a step back from the organisation to become a specialist foster carer.

However, she still assists volunteers who have kept the group running in her absence.

And in what little time she has to herself, Marion works to support other vulnerable people in the community.

Most recently, she set up a Sunday meal service for Clacks' elderly residents in a bid to reduce loneliness and isolation amongst the area's older generation.

Lord Lieutenant Johnny Stewart said: "It was a privilege for me to present Marion with her British Empire Medal for all she has done for so many women of Clackmannanshire.

"It is really good news for her, Alloa and the entire Wee County."

The BEM was initiated in 1922 for services worthy of recognition by the Crown, and recipients are entitled to add the letters BEM after their name.