Queen gives medal to village helper Maureen
- Credit: Archant
MAUREEN Matthews has been given national recognition for her hard work making people’s ‘lives a little better’.
The 72-year-old, who lives in Belmont Road in Winscombe, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours for services to the village and charitable services to the Children’s Society.
She has lived in Winscombe for the past 30 years and has made a big difference to community life.
She said: “When the letter arrived I didn’t really look at the envelope, I wasn’t expecting anything when I opened it. It was a shock but I was very pleased.
“I had no idea – I know someone nominated me last year but I never thought any more abut it because I don’t do it for that.”
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Mrs Matthews was nominated by her colleagues at a sheltered house, where she has worked as a relief warden for 25 years, covering holidays and sick leave.
She said: “My family are very proud and they say I work too hard – but I do it because it is a pleasure and I like people. It’s not for reward.
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“The reward is helping people to make their lives a little better.”
She is also the team leader of the lunch club which has been running for 30 years. Every week the club provides a hot meal in the community centre for people who live alone and Mrs Matthews also cooks her popular roast lamb for the group once a month.
She was also the chairman of the town’s Save The Children branch and a member for 21 years.
She has been hosting yearly garden parties for nearly 20 years to raise money for the Children’s Society – which last year had 100 guests and raised £1,400.
She is also involved in church cleaning and is a driving contact in the village, taking vulnerable or elderly people to doctor’s appointments and hospital visits.
Maureen lives with her husband Paul, and said: “I couldn’t do this without the support of my husband, he supported me all the way.
“I should think I will carry on with it all – I can’t let my halo slip now.”