Each year, the New Year’s Honours list recognises individuals that are making a difference to the lives of many. The Queen honours them with prestigious awards, including MBEs, OBEs and BEMs, as a reward for their hard work, dedication and achievements.
Penny Hodgson from Christ Church, Shamley Green is one resident in the Diocese of Guildford to have earned a spot on the New Year’s Honours list.
Lifelong nurse and volunteer, Penny has been a key member of Christ Church for many years and has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to older people and the community in Shamley Green.
Vicar, Revd Sally Davies said:
“We are delighted that Penny has been recognised in this way. It is very well-deserved as she is an invaluable support to many, not least myself!”
Penny moved to Shamley Green around 30 years ago and, after retiring at 65, spends most of her time volunteering for the church and the community. She served as a churchwarden at Christ Church and was more recently authorised as a pastoral assistant.
She has been the driving force behind many of the initiatives that seek to integrate the elderly, widows and widowers into the community, organising a driving service, monthly teas and Christmas lunches.
"I couldn’t believe it when I opened the envelope because I had no idea. I would love to know who nominated me. It was a massive surprise because I feel I do the same as a lot of people do in other villages. I am no different to any other volunteer in Surrey and they all do a marvellous job.
"We wouldn’t have such a brilliant community and village life if it wasn’t for all the volunteers. I feel as if the award is not just for me, but for the volunteers as a whole."