Aylesbury volunteer wins British Empire Medal

Joyce Rutter, 88, has been given a British Empire Medal for services to Cancer Research.
Joyce Rutter, 88, has been given a British Empire Medal for services to Cancer Research.

Joyce Rutter, 88, has been given a British Empire Medal for services to Cancer Research.

She's a volunteer at the local Aylesbury branch of Cancer Research, next to Poundland, where she has worked for 13 years.

She is also the volunteer manager.

Joyce said: "My first reaction was of complete surprise! I was really shocked .

"It's not really something I felt like i deserved.

"I used to volunteer at the hospice shop before it sadly closed, then came to Cancer Research 13 years ago.

"I've absolutely loved every minute of it.

Joyce worked as Askeys for 32 years, but after retiring says she felt bored at home.

"I'm not one to sit about doing nothing just doing the housework, so I got myself out volunteering. I've made some fantastic friends along the way, and it's great to help people out who are in need. It's just fantastic to meet new people every day from all walks of life. I've definitely got no plans to retire!

Joyce received a confidential letter earlier in the month, before a letter from the cabinet office last weekend confirmed the accolade.

The British Empire Medal is granted in recognition of meritorious civil or military service. Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "BEM". The honour is divided into civil and military medals in a similar way to the Order of the British Empire itself.

Her manager, Linda said: "It's just amazing news. I can't believe her drive and determination at her age. I nominated her last year for the amazing contribution she has made to Cancer Research.

It's not Joyce's first taste of success, as four years ago the shop put her forward for Cancer Research's volunteer of the year, which she won!

Linda added: "We are honestly just so grateful to have such a wonderful person working for the charity. She deserves nothing but success. I absolutely idolise this beautiful, wonderful lady, and she should be immensely proud of what she's achieved.

"I hope she has no plans for retirement - she can retire when I retire!"