A former nurse from Bury who provides help and advice to those living with gynaecological conditions has called her MBE  “an honour and a privilege".

Helen Hyndman, 49, was named among hundreds of inspirational Britons in the 2024 New Year Honours List in recognition of her work with gynaecological cancer research charity, The Eve Appeal.

Formerly the assistant director of nursing at Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, Helen now runs the charity’s Ask Eve service, which provides one to one advice for anyone affected by a gynaecological conditions, including cancer.

Helen began working with The Eve Appeal in November 2021 after being diagnosed with Stage Four womb cancer, she now works to raise awareness gynaecological conditions and support anyone living with a gynaecological disease. 

She was one of four Bury residents to be named on the New Years Honours list, which seeks to recognise the work of extraordinary people up and down the country.

Part of the work of Ask Eve is to empower women to seek the treatment they need after experiencing symptoms, something Helen says can be difficult for some people.

She said: “Some ladies feel really embarrassed and self-conscious about going to see their GP for a number of reasons.

“They don’t know the language to use of how to broach that with their GP, some ladies have approached their GP previously and felt as though they had been dismissed and not listened to.”

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She added that others may experience cultural barriers preventing them from seeking medical advice as well as guilt due to current pressures on the NHS.

Helen’s work with the Eve Appeal aims to help women overcome these obstacles to access the help they need.

She said that one of the more common queries from women include post-menopausal bleeding, one of the key signs of womb cancer.

She said: “It gives us the time and space to talk to them in an environment that’s non-judgemental, we have a really professional but informal approach and we can encourage them to go and see the GP.”

The former St Gabriel's RC High School pupil says her personal experience of living with cancer has informed her work. 

She said: “When I speak to ladies, its always about them and their journey but having my nursing knowledge and having been through that from a personal perspective, it really helped me to empathise that little bit more about what they are experiencing.

“It really helps to for me to give them that information from a personal perspective and things you don’t always get told when you are a patient.”

Having worked with The Eve Appeal for just over two years, Helen says she was “completely blindsided” to learn she had received one of the country’s highest honours.

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She said: “It came completely out of the blue, I received a Points of Light award earlier in the year for the work that I do with The Eve Appeal but I was not expecting this at all!

“I’m still very shocked, I feel very honoured and privileged. I don’t think I do anything out of the ordinary, but it reflects the work that we do as a team.

“We are a small team but we are absolutely passionate about making gynaecological cancers a thing of the past.

"The people that I work with are absolutely amazing, so this MBE is a reflection of the work of the whole team.”

Later this year, Helen will attend a formal investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace along with other award recipients.

She said: “It's so exciting, it's such an honour and a privilege and I feel really humbled because I don’t think I do anything different to anyone else.

“There are many other people out there living with advanced cancers and doing amazing things.”

Athena Laminsos, CEO of The Eve Appeal, said: " We couldn't be more thrilled for Helen, so many people have come back to and us and said 'Helen helped me so much'. 

"I think it is a real skill to deliver information in ways people can really understand, that skill and being able to listen is really, really, vital. 

"We set up the Ask Eve Service three years ago and its very much a team effort.

"We have had a really difficulty year due to the economic climate - to keep this service going we rely on individual donations and we are really grateful to the people who donate to us." 

Ask Eve is The Eve Appeal’s free and confidential nurse information service. Anyone can get in touch for advice or information on their gynae health, or the health of a loved one, on nurse@erveappeal.org.uk or 0808 802 0019.


Visit eveappeal.org.uk for information on the five gynae cancers and their signs and symptoms: womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal.

To make a donation, please visit: https://donate.eveappeal.org.uk/