Ipswich mum awarded British Empire Medal

Crystal Stanley with her daughter Ariana who inspired the Rainbow Trail group

Crystal Stanley with her daughter Ariana who inspired the Rainbow Trail group - Credit: Charlotte Bond

An Ipswich mum whose idea of a Rainbow Trail to support NHS and keyworkers went national has made the New Year’s Honours list.

Crystal Stanley will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to the Covid-19 response, after she launched the Rainbow Trail, encouraging people to brighten their windows with rainbows in a display of support and solidarity. 

The rainbows were even praised by the Queen when she addressed the nation in April last year.  

“It still feels like a dream,” says Crystal. “But it’s helped so many people. 

"So many have contacted me to say, thank you, this has been what’s getting me through. Especially people with mental health issues. Children, too, the elderly. It was for everyone. 

“I think it took off the way it did because people needed something positive to do. A lot of people were stuck at home, not knowing what to do with themselves. This gave them hope.” 

Her daughter Ariana, aged five, is also very proud of her mother, Crystal says. 

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She added: “Whenever she sees a rainbow, she says, 'That’s what my mummy did.'"