Six Suffolk people awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours have been able to spend the bank holiday weekend showing people their medals.
They were presented with them by Suffolk’s new Lord Lieutenant, the Countess of Euston, last Thursday in an investiture held at Euston.
Among them was the Rev Sue Nutt, who was awarded it for ‘services to the community in Barnham and Bury St Edmunds’.
She said afterwards that it recognised her work as an active member of St Gregory’s Church and the community of Barnham, Ixworth Carers’ Group and as an Honorary Chaplain at St Nicholas Hospice Care.
She admitted being shocked when she first heard she was to get the medal, then feeling a bit embarrassed about being chosen.
“We’re a small village at Barnham. We’ve got a church, a school and a village hall and it’s a wonderful village and that’s due to lots of people, not just me.
“It’s the same with the hospice – that’s got something like 600 volunteers.”
She has lived in Barnham for nearly 40 years and was ordained in 1999.
Jo Copsey, from West Row, was awarded her BEM for her work in founding and running the Town Pastor service in Bury St Edmunds.
She received the medal from Lady Euston only two days before the seventh anniversary of the pastors’ first night on duty.
When she first had the letter from the Cabinet Office saying she was to get the medal, she thought it was a hoax, but she said after the investiture: “It does seem more real now I’ve got the medal.”
Town Pastors support people leaving bars and restaurants in the late evening who are vulnerable.
Jo said: “It can mean they’re drunk or they may be vulnerable because they’ve become separated from their friends or are distressed.
The other recipients were: Marian Andrews for services to the community in Saxmundham; Lance Cruise, a Border Force Officer at Felixstowe, for services to the protection of endangered species; Judith Gowen for services to Aldburgh Carnival and Robert Pegnall for services to the community in Woodbridge.