Mrs Betty Johnson, a member of the Surbiton Branch of the Surrey Masonic Widows Association and a volunteer at The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton, has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List for her service to charities and non-profit organisations.
Betty, who is 89, has been a volunteer throughout her life and first started volunteering at The Royal Star & Garter Homes, a charity which cares for disabled veterans who live with disability or dementia, in 2000.
Betty began volunteering originally at the charity’s former Richmond Home after her husband, who was a resident there, passed away.
Now she helps at the new Surbiton Home, taking two buses to get there and priding herself on never letting the residents down by being late.
Over the years, Betty has assisted with a variety of roles and tasks: for five years she supported the Speech & Language Therapist on a weekly basis, helping residents who have lost their ability to speak following a stroke.
Betty also supports the ecumenical services offered to residents at the Home.
For many years, she regularly escorted residents on outings in the adapted coach to enable them to enjoy outings and events.
Due to her own health she in no longer able to accompany residents on outings but Betty continues to provide support within the Home.
She now gives her time to the Home’s choir and to reading to and chatting with the residents.
This crucial work promotes the residents’ well-bring and enjoyment of life.
In 2016 Betty was awarded the Order of Mercy medal for her voluntary service over many years to charities in the United Kingdom and overseas.
Betty will be presented with her BEM by Michael More–Molyneux, the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, at his home at Loseley House, Guildford on 6th March 2018.
I am sure you would all wish to join me in offering Betty our sincere congratulations for her very well-deserved honour.