A volunteer who helped to set-up healthcare and education services in a remote area of Pakistan was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list.

In 2000 Helen and others set up the Abaseen Foundation in the UK and Pakistan to improve the lives of the poorest people living in North West Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. 

Helen Bingley said, “I found out that I had been awarded the OBE at the end of November and keeping it secret was incredibly difficult as I was so delighted for myself and for the charities that I support. 

"I am delighted to be recognised in such a way and I must acknowledge and thank all the people that support me in what I do. 

"I now intend to do even more and I hope that the OBE will enable me to kick open more doors to provide benefits for the people who depend on the charities that I support”. 

The Abaseen Foundation received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services last year.

Asian Image:

Asian Image:

Asian Image:

Helen has also devoted much of her life to voluntary projects including carrying out work for Children of Russia, Mind in Furness, St John’s Hospice Lancaster.

She is a Trustee at Mind in Furness, a non-executive director at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. Helen has supported Mind in Furness in various roles for more than 10 years. 

When she got involved the charity was going through a challenging time.  Helen and others have worked tirelessly to transform Mind to become the organisation it is today, transforming the lives of people with mental health problems in Barrow, Millom and surrounding areas with an excellent reputation with the communities and partner organisations including the NHS, local councils and MPs. 

When asked why she is so committed to voluntary work Helen said “I didn't plan to do so much voluntary work, over the years I have encountered people in need who do not have the skills that I have to problem solve and make a better life for themselves, I don't believe I have had any other choice but to step up and help. 

"I have gained a great deal personally from voluntary work, the personal rewards are enormous and I have made many lifelong friendships that are very special”.