NEWS FROM HM LORD LIEUTENANT OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE: Five Buckinghamshire residents receive royal recognition for their community work

  |  Published: Nov 16th 2018

Five Buckinghamshire residents who have tirelessly devoted their lives to helping others in their local community have had their achievements formally recognised by the Crown as they are awarded British Empire Medals.

The five individuals were presented with their medals at a special ceremony hosted by HM Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, at the Hall Barn Estate in Beaconsfield on Wednesday (14 November). The ceremony was also attended by a number of Buckinghamshire’s Deputy Lieutenants who read the citations.

The British Empire Medal is awarded for civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown and was first created in 1922. The five individuals who received medals were:  Mrs Margaret Davies, Mrs Hilary Evans, Mrs Barbara Rosenberg, Mrs Elaine Trump and Mrs Pauline Walker.

Margaret Davies, known more commonly by her middle name, Ann, was awarded a British Empire Medal for her 26 years’ service to people with Downs Syndrome. She has worked nationally and regionally for the Downs Syndrome Association and was co-founder of the South Bucks Downs Syndrome Group. Ann’s youngest child Christopher has Downs Syndrome and she was inspired to help him and others with the condition.

Reading her citation, Deputy Lieutenant Mrs Francesca Skelton said: “Ann has been a fierce campaigner for adults with Downs Syndrome, understanding the challenges and barriers, seeing the lack of opportunities for independent living, for post 18 education and training for work and employment.”

One of Ann’s greatest achievements has been her involvement in a project to introduce a Citizen Card for adults with Downs Syndrome to help them prove their age and independence. The card has been successfully introduced locally and it is hoped it will become a national initiative benefitting young adults with a range of disabilities.

Another champion for those with Downs Syndrome is Pauline Walker who receives her medal for services to swimming for young people with the condition. Pauline set up the Eels Swimming Club 35 years ago specifically to support young people with Downs Syndrome in learning how to swim. Ten years ago she followed up with the Electric Eels Synchronised Swimming Club so children could further develop their skills and compete against others. The club is the only one of its kind in the country and its members have achieved success both nationally and internationally.

Reading Pauline’s citation, Deputy Lieutenant Allan Westray said: “She has touched the lives of very many people and has raised awareness of what children with Downs Syndrome can achieve.”

Burnham resident Hilary Evans received her award for services to her local community. Hilary’s work has seen her support people of all ages in the local area.

Through her work with different groups Hilary has shown her commitment and willingness to helping others who may be going through a difficult time in their lives. This has included helping a young homeless woman to find suitable housing, supporting a young single mother recovering from an illness and many other examples. More recently she has been involved in a project helping older people to socialise and enjoy time together.

Reading Hilary’s citation, Deputy Lieutenant, The Countess Howe, said: “No matter how many causes Hilary supports she always seems to have more time to offer to help others. She is a stalwart of the community of Burnham and has enriched its community, its social and its spiritual life over many decades.”

Barbara Rosenberg received her medal for services to the community of Maidenhead.  Barbara, her husband Roger and their three sons moved to the area after relocating from South Africa in 1987. Barbara took the opportunity to immerse herself in working at her local synagogue, particularly in supporting the more vulnerable members of the community including the elderly. Under Barbara’s guidance a highly successful weekly lunch club was established giving residents a much needed opportunity to get out and socialise. The club has gone from strength to strength under Barbara's control.

Barbara’s cooking and baking has also been instrumental in helping other people in the community and beyond including homeless people and all those who attend the many clubs and social groups she has helped set up.

Elaine Trump received her medal for services to fundraising and voluntary support for the NHS. Elaine has been a volunteer at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust for more than 10 years and is no stranger to receiving prestigious awards, having been awarded a Queen’s Guide Award at the age of only 13.

Elaine has drawn on her own experiences of undergoing treatment for the long term condition of colitis to offer support to others. This includes taking part in an NHS film to provide reassurance to patients about invasive procedures. The film has been highly viewed on YouTube and has benefited multiple patients. She has been a member of her local Patient Experience Group for the past 10 years and continues to champion the voice of the patient to help improve the experiences of all patients accessing local NHS services.

Speaking after the ceremony, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher said: “The British Empire Medal is only awarded to the most exemplary candidates and these five residents embody everything it represents. They have tirelessly devoted their lives to helping others in their local communities in a variety of different ways. The one thing they have in common is their dedication and commitment.  On behalf of HM The Queen, I heartily applaud each and every one of them – well done!”

five BEM holders with Sir Henry
The five new British Empire Medal holders with Sir Henry
external group shot
The group outdoors. Images courtesy Buckinghamshire County Council.
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