If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother. My name is Helen, and I’m the daughter of Dame Irene Hays.
They say behind every great man is a great woman, but my dad, John Hays, always said my mum "isn’t a great woman, she’s an extraordinary woman". He used to say "and she’s not behind me, she’s beside me".
On the 1 January 2021, my mother became a dame on the Queen’s New Year’s Honour’s list. There are more than 30 million women in the UK and only 12 women were given a damehood.
That means that my mum is not just one in a million, she is one in two million.
My mum isn’t made of steel, she’s made out of titanium. She is the strongest person I know. She is unwavering, extraordinarily innovative, and fair.