Charitable pensioner among those named in New Year Honours

By Dan Santy Wednesday 02 January 2013 Updated: 03/01 13:16

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Beryl Emery (left) has been recognised in the New Year Honours list for setting up the Rugby branch of the Parkinson's UK. He she is pictured with Sally Huckstepp and Jim Cave. 19.07.111.jm7

A WOMAN who was inspired to help people in Rugby suffering with Parkinson's after watching her husband battle the disease has been recognised in the New Year Honours list.

Beryl Emery was awarded a British Empire Medal, an honour not given out since 1992 and only brought back this year for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The inspirational 70-year-old, of Sycamore Grove, lost her husband Anthony to Parkinson's 16 years ago.

Just five years after they were married Anthony was diagnosed with the disease at the young age of 32. From then on then Mrs Emery was forced to watch him battle the illness until he died aged 58.

Grandmother Mrs Emery has devoted half her life to fund-raising, having been secretary of RSPCA Rugby for 26 years.

In 1986 she and a friend set up Rugby's branch of Parkinson's UK after realising there was no other service to help people with the disease or their families.

It has grown from a two person operation into a group with over 100 members which meets on the last Thursday of the month at the United Reform Church to provide support and advice.

Speaking of her pride at getting the award, said: "When the letter came it said confidential and I opened it and just went wow – I read it again and again as I couldn't believe it.

"It's wonderful to think I'm worthy of something. I do charity work because I enjoy it - to see the look on people's faces when we have had a charity night and they are smiling, that's all the reward you need.

"I look forward to fund-raising because I know it's going to used for people in Rugby who really need it.

"I've never won anything in my life. I felt like a balloon about to burst as I've known for months but was unable to tell anyone."

Also recognised was former Princethorpe College pupil Professor Richard Wilding, awarded an OBE for his services to business.

Prof Wilding spent his childhood in Birdingbury and Marton before attending Leamington Hastings Infant School, Bourton on Dunsmore School and Knightlow School in Stretton-on-Dunsmore.

He was a pupil at Princethorpe College before going on to study at the University of Sheffield.

After graduating he spent a number of years working in industry and is now professor of supply chain strategy at Cranfield School of Management - one of Europe’s leading business schools.

He works across the world with businesses enabling them to create more value for customers while lowering costs and has pioneered new approaches to logistics and supply chain management.

Richard, who became a Christian in his mid-20s, is a member of the congregation of St Matthews and St Oswalds Church (M2O), which is part of the Rugby Revive initiative.

Talking about being awarded an OBE, he said: "I discovered the motto of the Order of the British Empire is 'For God and the Empire' and this is quite special to me.

"I am incredibly honoured and thrilled to have received this award. I was not particularly great at school and really struggled with reading until I reached my teens when it was found I had a problem with my eyes that meant I could not focus on words for long periods of time.

“I just got through my O-levels and A-levels and it was only once I got to university I did better and it is amazing I am now a professor.

"I'm humbled to receive an OBE and it just shows that even if you struggle at school you can achieve great things by working hard."

Also recognised in Rugby were Ian Francis, awarded an OBE for his voluntary service to law and order and the Church of England, and Patricia Scriven, awarded an OBE for her services to HM Prison Service.

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