THIRTY years dedicated to helping some of the world's poorest communities has landed a charity founder from Great Missenden with a major honour.

Dr Christie Peacock was made a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for her work in founding two charities that provide aid to Africa.

During her career she faced gunfire in Ethiopia trying to save specially-bred livestock, lived in a cramped 4x4 while carrying out humanitarian work and transformed a charity into one that raised £12million every year.

She received the award for services to agricultural development in Africa through her work with Farm Africa and a new charity she recently founded, Sidai Africa Ltd.

Dr Peacock said: "I am highly honoured by this award that also honours my former and current colleagues in Farm Africa and Sidai. I hope that in some way we have all made the world a better place and that I have made a contribution to developing my profession.

"I also hope that the award recognises the vital role that agricultural development plays in Africa. It can sometimes be hard to communicate the level of poverty in parts of rural Ethiopia and how even modest support can literally change lives."

She became CEO of Farm Africa in 1999 and recently established Sidai Africa as a social enterprise that provides livestock care services to farmers across Kenya as a commercial business.

Dr Peacock said: "Persuading people that setting up a for-profit company selling services to some of the poorest people in Africa was a good idea was not easy and raising the money to set it up required a lot of persistence.

"It is important to take the long view of Africa - to understand its past and have the courage to have a bold and positive vision for its future. If you are serious, never, never give up. Persistence pays off in Africa and Africans appreciate people who make a long-term commitment."