Toybox Chief Executive Officer Lynne Morris has been awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2022 New Years Honours List for services to children in the UK and abroad.
This recognition comes following 25 years of service in the UK and international charity sector. Appointed CEO at Toybox in 2012, Lynne is driven by an unrelenting commitment and absolute faith that there will one day be no child forced to live or work on the streets. Along with her passionate and determined leadership, Lynne has helped to transform the Bletchley-based charity into a leading voice in the sector on street children’s rights that is helping to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children globally.
Prior to joining Toybox, Lynne held Director roles in the UK and international not-for-profit sector, including at World Vision UK and Spurgeons, organisations focused on supporting vulnerable children and their families.
During Lynne’s time leading the team at Toybox, she has overseen the development and growth of the organisation’s innovative birth registration programme, which began in Guatemala in 2013 and has since expanded to four countries, two continents and registered over 8,000 children and young people with their legal identity documents. It was during a trip to Guatemala City shortly after joining Toybox that Lynne first discovered the urgent need for this work, sparked by a conversation with the local team and an unregistered family, this life-changing programme began. Lynne has sat on the board of several national charities including Livability and the Consortium for Street Children.
Lynne Morris, Chief Executive at Toybox, says: “Well this is a shock! I am delighted to accept this honour. I would like to except it, if allowed, on behalf of all my friends and colleagues who work tirelessly in the charity sector to make people’s lives better. I am grateful this award gives me the opportunity to raise the profile of street children around the world and highlight the completely unacceptable fact that millions of children live or work on dangerous streets, facing abuse, discrimination, rejection and more recently a terrifying global pandemic.”
Ian Gray, Chair of the Toybox Board, says: “I have known Lynne now for 20 years. I have witnessed her dedication to supporting vulnerable children in the UK and abroad in the different career roles she has had in that time. On joining Toybox in 2012 she took the natural next step to bring her skills and passion to supporting street children.
I have seen Lynne lead the Toybox team through the most challenging times the organisation has faced so far due to the pandemic. Supporting the team and our partners to adapt and meet the needs of the children and their families under truly heart-breaking circumstances whilst always looking forward with determination and focus. She has been the very embodiment of Toybox’s core value of “Be Courageous."
I cannot tell you how delighted I am to find out that Lynne has been awarded an OBE. In doing so she is representing the spirit, courage, inventiveness and perseverance of the street children Toybox work with.”