Tireless volunteer Jean Holland recognised with British Empire Medal

Tireless volunteer work for a range of community organisations has led to Sheffield woman Jean Holland being awarded a British Empire Medal.

Friday, 26th May 2017, 9:18 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:14 pm
Jean Holland will receive a British Empire Medal for her tireless volunteer work. She is sitting on a memorial seat for husband Harry at St Mark's Church, Mosborough

An integral part of the Joseph Stone Centre at Mosborough, Mrs Holland said her late husband Harry was just as deserving of the medal as her.

Mr Holland, who passed away in 2012, was also instrumental in getting the centre off the ground.

Now, Mrs Holland said, the centre was 'going like a bomb'.

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All sorts of community groups use the centre, on School Street.

Over 50s gatherings and exercise groups are often using the premises.

The University of the Third Age will begin using the centre in September, Mrs Holland said.

"There are many surprised people, when they walk in and see a class, and that it's full," she said.

Mrs Holland, 81, rubbed shoulders with Royal Family members during a garden party for medal recipients at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

The Queen, and princes Charles and Philip, mingled with guests.

"I was two yards away from her," Mrs Holland said of Her Majesty.

"It was very nice. A beautiful day."

Mrs Holland said she was humbled by the award, but Mr Holland deserved to be recognised, too.

"I'm quite happy that I'm receiving it, but my husband did just as much, if not more, as I did," she said.

"We worked as a team."

Mrs Holland is also the secretary of the Mosborough Christmas Carol Group, and secretary of the Mosborough Village Action Group. Mr Holland was the group's chairman.

The Plumbley Hall Road resident is active in the church community.

She said keeping the secret from her children - Mrs Holland found out in November - was hard.

She was eventually allowed to break the news on New Year's Eve.

"They just stood there open-mouthed," Mrs Holland said.

She was thankful for volunteering.

"I enjoy it, and it's given me loads of friends," she said.